@ Newcastle O2 Academy, October 15 2012

When there are queues snaking around the Academy from 5pm it’s obvious something significant is about to happen. Hours later and the venue was busy for Ginger, busier for Tremonti and bursting at the seams for the headline act.

Four hours after hundreds of fans had pitched up outside Slash delivered the opening riffs of Halo and it was game on. One of the outstanding tunes from Apocalyptic Love got things off to a flier and the pace was relentless after that.

Nightrain immediately sated the thirst of Guns N Roses devotees and a heady mix of old and new showcased Slash as both national treasure and man of the moment. Even the silhouette on the front of the Marshall amps wore a top hat in respect. 

Standing In The Sun allowed both Slash and the timeless Myles Kennedy to share the spotlight. There may be conspiracy theories about who has the final say in this quartet but having a band of Conspirators behind you can only improve a blossoming relationship.

Kennedy is one top-notch singer and although he has a different tone in his voice to Slash’s ex, his cover of Civil War was breathtaking. A six-minute guitar shredding lesson may have been a little long for some but this was probably the nearest you will get to watching a guitar legend close up and personal.

In his recent RUSHONROCK interview Slash said that he could play the stadiums whenever he wanted but he liked the intimacy and rapport of a smaller venue. An emotive show reflected that connection with the crowd.

No More Heroes, You’re A Lie and Anastacia saw Kennedy grow in confidence – perhaps feeling safer in the company of songs written for/by him rather than trying to adopt his style to timeless classics.

Having said that, Todd Kerns took centre stage to sing a much stronger paced mini-set including a bombastic Doctor Alibi. A classy touch on a night of quality entertainment.

You’re A Lie, Sweet Child Of Mine and Slither brought the set to a pulsating finale. Slash even managed to finish with a verse of God Save the Queen. Arise King Slash.

An encore brought Mark Tremonti back onto stage for a stellar front four of Slash, Kennedy, Kerns and Tremonti to play Rise Today before closing the night with Paradise City. And this city was clearly in rock n roll paradise after a full two-hour set.