DVD Review: Slash – Live at the Roxy 25.9.14

DVD Review: Slash  –- Live at the Roxy 25.9.14
Eagle Rock Entertainment
All Access Rating: B+

Slash and Myles Kennedy
and the Conspirators - Live
at The Roxy 25.9.14
While plundering and pillaging the Sunset Strip in the '80s, the hurricane of debauchery and gritty rock 'n' roll that was Guns 'N Roses had occasion to roll through the famed Roxy Theatre, just as it had torn through places like the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go.

They say you can never go home again, but Slash and his band, The Conspirators, featuring Myles Kennedy, did just that last fall, slamming into the Roxy again like a Category-5 storm five years after the cozy, intimate club played host to their first-ever gig together. A powder keg of a concert DVD, "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" – coupling rich, robust sound with dramatic camera work that puts viewers right in the middle of the crowd and shoots the action from well-chosen angles – captures them in all their blazing glory, just inches away from fans hanging on every nasty, dirty riff and searing lead.

Trading the thrilling unpredictability and reckless danger of Guns 'N Roses' salad days for tidy professionalism and sobriety, Slash whips his charges through a sweaty, rip-roaring set of old favorites and new material that spans the legendary guitarist's entire career. Ballsy, swaggering, full-throttle rockers like "Rocket Queen," highlighted by Slash's dynamic, smoldering soloing, and "Nightrain" get a vigorous workout, as do "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City," an exhilarating encore that shakes the rafters. Frenzied and full of piss and vinegar, "You're Crazy," where bassist Todd Kerns admirably takes over singing duties, stands out among the four bonus tracks on "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" – which includes an electrifying take on "Stone Blind" from Slash's latest LP – but it's Kennedy who shines on the vicious kiss-off "You're a Lie" and a swinging "Back From Cali," his clarion voice cutting through the raucous din.

And for Slash, for this performance, the opportunity to show off his acoustic Spanish guitar licks during a rousing "Anastasia" is one he couldn't possibly turn down, and it's a beautiful moment, as its mix of infectious riffs and classical elements soar in this environment. Available in multiple formats from Eagle Rock Entertainment, including an innovative Bit Torrent bundle, a three-LP set and a two-CD version, as well as a DVD, "Live at the Roxy 25.9.14" catches Slash and company on a celebratory night, their cohesion, skilled chops and energy making up for the nagging feeling that maybe this particular collection of musicians is growing too comfortable, too complacent, too satisfied with itself and what it's already achieved. Maybe the next album will push the envelope a bit. If not, at least Slash and the boys seem capable of producing good rock 'n roll, and these days, that's nothing to take for granted.
– Peter Lindblad

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