The Hellfest sun is high resplendent in the sky as if to match the effervescent performance of Alter Bridge star frontman Myles Kennedy. Kennedy is currently touring with his solo project, Myles Kennedy and Company, and today marks the end of a very successful string of international dates, including the staple summer festivals.
Myles Kennedy – Hellfest – 25 June 2022
Words: Dany Jones
Photography: Aggie Anthimidou
There is warm reception for this band, who are deeply loved by fans worldwide. The Kennedy back-catalogue performed today includes a set of original classy numbers drawing on bluesy tones and southern rock vibes, all sprinkled with a hint of Jazz.
And with that, a couple of cheeky ‘borrows’ from Kennedy’s other projects, such as High, from his old band The Mayfield Four, and World Of Fire, of Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. The setlist is a perfect blend of bouncy tunes and more reflective moments.
The opening is marked by Wake Me When It’s Over and followed by A Thousand Words. Those were written during the lockdowns and are part of Kennedy’s latest album, The Ides of March. They immediately set the mood for a truly enchanting experience.
It is hard to believe that this is only a trio with such a big all-encompassing sound, where Zia Udin skilfully clocks all the upbeats with the precision of a Swiss, while it all gets beautifully rounded by Tournier’s rumbling bass tone.
Devil On The Wall is from the debut album Year Of The Tiger, and this has everyone dance around and mimic the infectious double bass run down. It is at this point that Kennedy pauses to greet the crowd and says that it is great to be here, that it has been far too long, and concludes with a very tender ‘merci’.
An absolute highlight of the set is High by the Mayfield Four. This song is truly special, and one cannot help but want to sing along, harmonise and just take every ounce of it in. The breeze cooling off an otherwise perfectly sunny day, combined with the refrain of the song propagating in the air, truly makes for a magical moment.
As by tradition, Kennedy is left to his own devices mid-set, armed with his beautiful resonator guitar. The others leave the stage, and Myles will impro and vamp on an introductory solo to the iconic World On Fire, written for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. It is a highly heartfelt song, and it goes down a treat.
When the band then come back for In Stride, Myles takes to speak to the audience again, “this is the last of our tour, and we couldn’t have closed in a better way,” he then introduces the band and Get Along concludes the set on a high to loud cheers, heart signs directed at the band and people calling for more.
One cannot fault the true gent of rock, whose incredible talent, as well as his infinite class, never cease to amaze, no matter what he gets up to. He equally teams up with an extremely talented rhythm section who provide the perfect backing for an absolutely winning formula.
Certainly one of those leaving you wanting more, it is a real shame that schedules are very strictly timed. We are just going to have to wait for the headline show.