On this day, the last stop on the tour, we went to this show basically in shock. SMKC played a song they had not played all tour in honor of this untimely loss to our musical family. It was dedicated to a friend and fellow musician, Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins passed away in his hotel room in Bogota, Colombia Friday evening while on tour with the Foo Fighters. (The death is still under investigation). Slash said they were "...completely crushed...", he then took a seat at the front of the stage, with Myles joining him, while photos of Hawkins appeared on the two side stage screens, the band went into 'Starlight'. Just a wonderful moment during this show with the whole crowd singing and, I'm sure, a few tears here and there. I know I choked back a few.
But, of course, this was just one of the amazing moments this night. I'd say the band, even though this was the last stop, had energy to spare and as musically tight as the first stop.
The band played a long 21 song set that lasted nearly a full 2 hrs to a packed house at Hard Rock Live Orlando. The GA standing room only downstairs was packed as well as seats and tables full in the balcony area. Bartenders and merch employees were hopping busy all night with patrons.
The 'River is Rising' tour, named after the first song on their newly released album, '4', gave us 6 songs played live from the album, 'Spirit Love', 'The River is Rising', 'Whatever Gets You By', 'April Fool', 'Fill My World', and 'The Path Less Followed'. Being that this album was just released, the songs are, of course, a little lesser known, but, based on crowd reaction, I'm sure many of them will be on the set list on future tours for sure. Tonight's set list also included 3 Slash songs, 'Back From Cali', 'Nothing to Say', and, with Todd on vocals, 'Doctor Alibi'. We also had one song from Slash's Snakepit called 'Speed Parade'.Mixed in we heard 2 covers, 'Always on the Run', a Lenny Kravitz song, as well as 'Rocket Man', by Elton John.
The rest of the evening was made of so many hits from the 3 previously released albums including 'Driving Rain', 'Halo', 'Shadow Life', and the 2 last songs, being fan favorites, 'You're a Lie' and 'World on Fire'. Then, they finished the night with the biggest of hits, 'Anastasia'. Just what a phenomenal band and an exciting night of music! Slash, always being a man of few words for us on stage but communicates, through his guitar, everything we need to know. He is just the epitome of 'rock star'. He's a humble, quiet kind of guy who comes alive with his guitar in his hands, signature top hat and sunglasses on when he hits the stage.
This combination with Myles and the Conspirators has just worked musically and their chemistry is infectious. Myles has this distinctive voice that grabs you and holds you. I've loved it since the day I heard it first. They are both backed by some amazing musicians in their own right. These musicians are Frank Sidoris on guitar, who is also in rising newcomer's band, Mammoth WVH with non other than Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, Brent Fitz on drums who has worked with Alice Cooper, Theory of a Deadman, and Vince Neil to name a few, and finally we have the ever charismatic Todd "Dammit" Kerns on bass and back up vocals. This multi-talented band member sings, writes songs, as well as produces and plays multiple instruments.
Now, I really DO want to mention that often times we forget the person or people who make a show amazing both visually and acoustically. So i would like to give kudos, tonight, to the awesome Cosmo Wilson, who was behind the board wowing our senses with beautiful lights and perfect sound. And, as always, the HRL staff was friendly and helpful from the box office to security on this perfect weather night.
Although this marks the end of the tour and all have flown their separate ways, we are sure there will be another tour soon so be watching for it!
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