It was 'fuckin' awesome, a gig to remember, stories will be told for years...etc.' on Friday night. We really mean it.
Objavljeno: 28.06.2015. 22:00
SLASH FEAT MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS - Zagreb, Šalata - 26.06.2015 - galerija
After the concert, Slash posted on his Twitter/Facebook accounts: "I think we showed 'em a good time in Zagreb. Crowd was fucking awesome! Hungry for RnR for sure. We have to come here more often. iiii];)" - I wouldn't mention this at all if the post wasn't pretty personalized for Zagreb and it confirms what Slash told us in the interview.
Whoever I spoke with after the gig, everybody said it was "fuckin' awesome, a night to remember, it'll be mentioned for years..." etc. As they said on Thursday (LAA Agency that made a booking), "God is in Zagreb." – it was, "R'n'R God made an appearance at Salata” on Friday night.
But we should begin from the start. Punctuality was unbelievable from start to the end of the evening. The first guest was a local band Luxus Lord that started off hard and heavy having a solid number of early-comers in the audience. Their 20-minutes set was excellently played. Maybe the setlist was not the best they have, but there was not much room for drastic improvement, 20 minutes is only 20 minutes.
After Luxus Lord, the second guest was long-lived heavy-rock Croatian band Hard Time. Frontman Pishta presented new of many line-ups of this band, all young guys. Hard Time is not especially active in the recent years, at least not to a wider audience, so we almost forgot how good they are. In fact, I was glad to see them again, since Pishta is a really good frontman, singer and was very eager to play that night. Enough to rock'n'roll. Even the part of the audience that was not too familiar with the band, responded more than well. Talking about the audience - I have to mention one little but significant thing: you could have seen anybody from age to 7 to 77 or even less and more. This was awesome.
Hard Time finished the set with their legendary song "Kiss my ass and go to Hell" followed by loud cheering. I can almost make a bet, Slash management has chosen Hard Time the second they heard that song :).
After Hard Time, there was a break of a half an hour which was a bit too long, if you ask me. People were coming in slowly, too slowly, so I really feared we are going to disgrace ourselves with half-filled venue, but to my great relief by the time the guitar legend set foot on that stage, Salata was packed.
Starting off with "You're a Lie" the things were clear right from the beginning : audience at the upper seats stood up instantly and so it remained for the rest of the show.
Slash may have some problems with capricious Axl Rose, or more correctly - it is vice versa, but has no problem whatsoever playing Guns n' Roses songs, rightfully so. So we heard a number of Guns' songs, from "Nightrain", "Mr. Brownstone" to "You Could Be Mine" still at the beginning of the show. This not nearly being all there was. Either they knew or presumed (maybe from the experience from Ljubljana two years ago) that these parts of Europe are big fans of Guns n' Roses. After all, the new fraction of GNR was in Croatia two times already.
At the first in Zagreb, Axl almost experienced a collision with foreign objects for being three hours late to the show, but at the end show went fine. At the second, he learned a lesson from Ireland the hard way (bottles to his head) so he was just a little late and set Split on fire in an almost three hours long show (he must have been compensating for something). But if I have to choose, I will always chose the fraction "Slash ft. Myles Kennedy", because there is only one Slash and Myles is a fantastic vocal. And they are never really late.
The setlist was smartly played out - Guns' songs mixed with the new from "World on Fire" and the old from Slash’s previous solo work. For a moment I almost didn't realize that they played even seven songs from the new album, so well they fit in the setlist.
I may have missed one or two from "Apocalyptic Love" and Velvet Revolver phase (Fall to Pieces), but it really didn’t matter.
Somewhere half-way, high-spirited Myles let his vocals rest and let Todd Kerns took the microphone on "Doctor Alibi". Todd was high powered on the second song in particular, "Welcome to the Jungle" sounded like it was written for him and not for Axl Rose.
Slash was simply Slash, hard time cooler. Only the ones close to the stage could have seen his facial expressions, his mimic, so I cannot say anything about it, but if you pay attention during the show, his face will tell you stories. I remember while shooting from the photo pit in Ljubljana, he was smiling amusingly. I believe Friday was no difference.
Reaction on "Starlight" was emotional, soothing overall euphoria for a notch with sing-a-long that unfortunately wasn't well heard at the upper seats due to the poor sound, unlike at the stands below. Windy night simply messed it up. But even if you couldn't heard all the subtle transitions and understand all words, you know how they usually do it and how they play it - this just couldn’t spoil the show.
After few new songs, "Beneath the Savage Sun", "Bent to Fly" and "The Dissident", the best is yet to come - Guns' "Rocket Queen" and Slash's 15th-minutes solo that you actually do not realize it is played for 15 minutes, that quickly it is all over. It is just Slash. That is why he is one of the greatest guitarists. Not because he is super precise, technically superb or the fastest - but because he is one of the rare great ones whose guitar has - soul. Just like Hendrix and BB King had.
"World on Fire" seems to be the next "the song", it will undoubtedly enter the setlist permanently. Myles was inspirational to the crowd for feedback singing, onto which he approvingly shouted "Fuck you!", getting loud cheering in response. If anyone else says "fuck you" I guess he would be getting a brisk slap in the face, but when you get the "fuckyou" from Slash or his mates, you are just happy.
Crowd loudly cheered once again when heard intro tones of the Spanish guitar for "Anastasia". Too bad Slash performed a shorter version of the song, the long one is awesome. Talking about madness - "Sweet Child O' Mine" was it. Utterly and completely. I think crowd barely breathe after "Child".
Dangerously mental and cool intro into Velvet Revolver's "Slither" was the time for presenting the band, Myles did the honors and Slash did for him. Then they throw a bunch of plectrums into the audience and off the stage they went.
Šalata roared, so they came back with the usual closer "Paradise City". Madness no. 2. Then a cloud of confetti for the big ending. It was sort of nice touch - their long goodbye, some more plectrums throwing, waving... and Slash's words: "...Will be back next summer!" Everybody says the same lame line. But somehow - to Slash, we believed.
Slash, Myles, Todd, Brent and Frank - r.e.s.p.e.c.t.! I haven't mentioned it before, but rhythm section (Todd, Brent) is one of the best I have ever heard.
I want to know who is the next to top this gig in Zagreb?
For those that weren't at Salata on Friday night (where were you?), or wanted to be but couldn't ... take a look at the videos off our iPhones:
Welcome to the Jungle
Sweet Child Of Mine