Slash bringing top hat and new music to Park City
Unlike the unholy cadre of hair metal and sleaze rock veterans feverishly milking the nostalgia circuit, Slash is not trying to convince modern concertgoers that it's still 1987.
So put away the Spandex pants and Aqua Net hairspray. When the guitarist best known for his time with the volatile, incendiary hard rock outfit Guns N' Roses takes the stage Wednesday in Park City, he'll be wielding a setlist more expansive than his contemporaries' greatest-hits compilations not updated in two decades.
His Apocalyptic Love Tour is named for his second "solo" album, which debuted in May 2012 at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and has yielded four radio hits. Where other acts avoid playing new material for fear of initiating a mass exodus to the concession stands, Slash doesn't limit himself to songs penned for GN'R with the infamous Axl Rose.
Still, while he appreciates that his new music has resonated with fans, even he wasn't necessarily banking on the proposition.
"I've never been one to expect anything. I made what I thought was a good record, put it out and figured we'd see how it goes," he said in a recent phone interview. "I feel really blessed and humbled at everything that's happened."
It's all relative, of course. "Apocalyptic Love" won't reach the heights of "Appetite for Destruction." The current recording partners were originally intended to be only a touring band in support of his eponymous first solo album, which was recorded with session musicians and an all-star cast of singers. Which is why Slash is all the more excited about how it's turned out.
Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, who sang two of the tracks on "Slash," was recruited to handle the vocal chores. Drummer Brent Fitz and bass player Todd Kerns followed, and rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck was also added. Midway through that first tour, Slash recognized he had the makings of something more than a temporary lineup.
"We started touring together, and I realized what a great unit we'd put together," he said. "So we decided to start writing; Myles and I got started out on the road. After the tour was over, we had really established a chemistry. It's really been very seamless."
Many fans clamor for his former supergroup, Velvet Revolver, to reload with a new lead singer, or even more improbable for the original GN'R lineup to agree to the mother of all reunions. But Slash is content to stick with his current bandmates (Frank Sidoris has replaced Schneck for this tour) and release another album.
"We're actually working up the next one as we speak," he said. "Myles has a new album coming out and then a tour, so it'll be after that. But I'm working on material, I'll send it to him, and he'll come in and record. It'll be out early next year."
Right now, though, he's enjoying every stop on this second North American leg of his world tour and looking forward to providing some guitar pyrotechnics for his Pioneer Day show.
"It's gonna be a blast," he said. "It'll be the first time this band has played Park City. And just knowing what Utah fans are like, it's gonna be awesome."
Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators
With special guest Hillbilly Herald
When • Wednesday, July 24, 8 p.m.
Where • Park City Live, 427 Main St., Park City
Tickets • $75-$100 at parkcitylive.net