OVO Arena Wembley / Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

The OVO Arena, sat in the shadow of the next-door stadium, exudes its own sense of occasion, and when packed with twelve and a half thousand eager Metalheads, it fairly crackles with electricity. Such were things felt during this visit by Slash and his rocking cohorts, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Robert Sutton

The Guns N’ Roses guitarist brought along not only his own high-voltage brand of mayhem but also Wolfgang Van Halen. Mammoth WVH were a tough act to follow, certainly, but the place is packed with people here for the cat in the hat, Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Slash.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

It’s been a long road from his birth in England to conquering the world not once but twice with the most dangerous band in music, Guns N’ fuckin’ Roses, via Velvet Revolver and this, his on-off solo project. But with the extraordinary Myles Kennedy by his side and the rest of the ferocious Conspirators, he’s made more than his mark in the history books.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Effortlessly cool and exuding a swagger that could topple governments, this has always been an outfit built for speed and mayhem, the blend of talent onstage the envy of most on this spinning blue planet we call home.

With guitarist Frank Sidoris doing double duty, having played with Mammoth WVH earlier on, and the watertight rhythms of drummer Brent Fitz and Todd Kerns on bass completing the outfit, here was a band to take on all comers, and there was absolutely no holding back.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Over the next two hours, the quintet made it their mission to tear the place apart, a relentless machine solely designed to thrill the masses. With the thrilling rush of The River Is Rising opening the show, the soaring vocals of Myles Kennedy and punchy riffing of Slash and Sidoris ignited the touchpaper, and all that was left was to hold on for dear life and enjoy the rocket ride.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

With the anthemic Driving Rain and the dirty, menacing switchblade of Halo, the net was cast widely, and the range of the outfit truly exploited in an entertaining welter of punishing and visceral adrenaline-soaked numbers.

The heavy, blues-soaked Back From Cali showed a delicate balance between lightness and driving, and a snake-hipped Whatever Gets You By saw Myles Kennedy hitting some extraordinary notes as Slash pulled another eviscerating solo from his axe.

Throwing in the psychedelic-tinged groove of C’est La Vie and the writhing rhythms of Actions Speak Louder Than Words gave a little oasis of relative calm to proceedings.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

But things were then ramped up as Myles Kennedy stepped away from the mic, handing over lead vocals to Kerns on a vigorous and gritty take of the Slash co-penned Lenny Kravitz number Always On The Run.

For those who had not heard the bass player take centre stage before, this must have been a wake-up call, his pitch-perfect delivery adding a dirty edge and attitude to proceedings that emphasised the song’s raw power.

Later taking the lead once more on an ecstatically received Don’t Damn Me, Kerns nailed the punky snarl and fight that Axl Rose had so imbued with the Guns N’ Roses original with its greatness, Doctor Alibi similarly benefitting from his raw tones.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Alongside the wrecking crew ethos, a grandly cinematic Bent To Fly swept across in majestic style and a beautiful and delicate Starlight backed its wonder with weight, Kennedy emoting in only the way a world class singer like himself truly can.

Letting loose in no uncertain style, Slash took things to another level in the turbo-charged Wicked Stone, unleashing a long and death-defying solo that fully showed that there is a lot more in his armoury than some of the best hard rock riffs of the past forty years.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Behind him, the sight of Kennedy, Sidoris, Kerns and Fitz pumping out the locomotive base was a heady one, the whole encapsulating a high bigger than a thousand books on music could ever describe.

The set concluded with You’re A Lie, prompting chaos to ensue and a frantic World On Fire seeing a call and response section that meant that twelve thousand voices almost drowned out the PA, such was the response.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Returning to encore with a touching cover of Elton John’s Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time) that saw Slash playing a delightful bit of pedal steel and Fitz on keys before closing the night with the explosive Anastasia that wrung every last reserve of energy from the willing disciples to this deity we call rock ‘n’ roll.

KISS’s Gene Simmons may have been saying that rock is dead for years now, but with nights as vital and compelling as this, his claim could not be wider off the mark.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

More than just another gig, this was an event and one that will stay in the memories of all those there for a very long time to come.

This is rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll, baby.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators - OVO Arena Wembley - 5 April 2024
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – OVO Arena Wembley – 5 April 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Sleeve Notes

Sign up for the MetalTalk Newsletter, an occasional roundup of the best Heavy Metal News, features and pictures curated by our global MetalTalk team.

More in Heavy Metal

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Search MetalTalk

MetalTalk Venues

MetalTalk Venues - The Devil's Dog Digbeth
MetalTalk Venues – The Green Rooms Live Music and Rehearsal
The Patriot, Crumlin - The Home Of Rock
Interview: Christian Kimmett, the man responsible for getting the bands in at Bannerman's Bar
Cart & Horses, London. Birthplace Of Iron Maiden
The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

New Metal News