Slash lets the music do the talking in Tel Aviv

Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Tel Aviv Exhibition Center, July 9.

SLASH PERFORMS in Tel Aviv Tuesday night. (photo credit: LIOR KETER)
SLASH PERFORMS in Tel Aviv Tuesday night.
(photo credit: LIOR KETER)
On Tuesday night, guitar legend Slash played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center with his backing band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
The animated icon who shot to superstardom in the 1980s as the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses is showing no signs of losing anything in middle age.
He’s been to Israel a couple times, with 'Guns' in the 1990s and again a couple of years ago on their reunion tour, but this is the first time he’s been here as bandleader.
Vocalist Myles Kennedy and his band The Conspirators are decent accompaniment for Slash and helped to put on a fantastic show, but Slash is on a different stratosphere of stardom and simply sucks the audience into his area of the stage regardless of what the rest of the band are doing at any time. With his trademark top hat still atop his curly hair, he played rousing, headbanging-inducing guitar riffs and solos aplenty while strutting up and down the stage and exuding cool in a way that only very few of the biggest superstars can.
While the set list cannot possibly compare to the vast array of classics Slash has at his disposal when playing with Guns N Roses, his work with Kennedy and the Conspirators has produced some decent songs.
Opener “Call of the Wild”, “Boulevard of Broken Hearts” “Starlight” and the closing “Anastasia,” which received a particularly enthusiastic reception from the crowd, all can stand up to some of the Slash’s output with his mother ship. But a few of the other numbers will never really stand out as great songs in their own right.
But I’m not really sure that is the point. They all provide the backing track needed to enable Slash to wow us with his phenomenal musicianship on the guitar. “Wicked Stone” was a particular standout moment, which led into an electrifying guitar solo that must have lasted at least 15 minutes and left the crowd utterly breathless by the time it was over.
“Nightrain,” the one Guns N’ Roses number rolled out,  was also well executed and received lovingly by crowd.
Perhaps the only real disappointment was that Slash barely spoke a word to the adoring crowd that had come to watch him. As opposed to last week’s Disturbed concert where singer David Draiman couldn’t stop talking in Hebrew and praising Israel and the IDF, the first time Slash came to the mic was when the show was nearing its end.
It would have been nice for a little more interaction. However, Slash is not about the talk. Slash is about the sheer brilliance of his showmanship on the guitar and in that respect, he did not disappoint.