Myles Kennedy, Cape Town Concert Review 6.03.2018

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MK

 

The event that I have been patiently waiting for, for the past 3 months had finally arrived. I was going to have the opportunity to meet and watch my favourite musician in the world launch his solo album tour here in my hometown. I honestly never thought this moment would come around.

I arrived at the venue four hours prior to the start of the show and went to check-in with the organisers of the meet and greet packages. On my way to the merchandise stand I saw some of  the fans that were going to join me in meeting Myles. While I was waiting at the merch stand, deciding how I was going to avoid spending all my money I met two other Myles’ fans and it was wonderful to meet like-minded people who adored the man as much as I did. We spent the rest of our time at the concert together and I really enjoyed their company.

Later on we got ushered into the venue, where we were allowed to watch Myles do a sound check. He seemed at ease and even joked around a little bit. He played “Haunted By Design” with Tim Tournier accompanying him on the acoustic guitar. A real treat was watching Myles tune and play the steel resonator guitar in a lap slide guitar style. Myles didn’t need to spend much time doing a sound check, as he would have if he was performing with his band. He seemed eager to wrap up sound check in order to meet us. Being even more eager, the fans started to line up for their chance to briefly chat to Myles.

I was feeling excited, but not nervous up until I stood face-to-face with him. I just thanked him for launching his solo album tour here in Cape Town and I told him that he was the only reason I went to watch “Kings of Chaos” in 2013. He seemed surprised that I held him in such high regard. What an honour…I will never forget that moment.

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There were two hours left before the show would start, which meant that we had a chance to absorb the experience we just had.

I made my way to my seat, which was perfectly positioned in the second row, right in line of the mic stand. Andy Mac introduced Myles to the audience, I felt quite emotional as he was speaking and had goosebumps the whole time.

Myles opened up the show with “Devil On The Wall”, the third song that has been released from his solo album “Year of the Tiger”. He entered with the haunting intro being played in the background, before he launched into the first verse of the song. I find the lyrics of this song very poignant and the guitar work is exceptional.

“Standing In The Sun” was a pleasant surprise, a song that comes off the first album with Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators’ “Apocalyptic Love”. The song suited the acoustic set, with Myles belting out the chorus, true to form.

“Before Tomorrow Comes” was a hit with the audience and a welcome addition to the set. A song with lyrics that have the ability to make you wonder what a difference you can make to the world around you. This song was originally released as part of Alter Bridge’s second album “Blackbird”.

“All Ends Well” has never been performed live by Alter Bridge, so this is the first time that this song has been played live by any of the band members. I love the fact that Myles played this song and I think that was part of the vision for this tour, for him to get the opportunity to play songs he wouldn’t get the chance to perform with Alter Bridge. This song comes from the band’s fourth studio album “Fortress”.

“Addicted To Pain” is one of my favourite “heavy” songs from Alter Bridge’s catalogue and its rare that a song like that translates to acoustic so well. The power and intensity of the song is still evident, even through the acoustic version. This song also appears on “Fortress”.

“Life Must Go On” a track off of ABIII, has only been performed by Alter Bridge twice. It is an inspirational track that has meant a lot to fans, but is one of the lesser known songs that hide in the shadow of the monster that is “Blackbird”, among others. You know you are being spoiled when the artist performs a rare track and it sweetens the experience.

“Starlight” on the other hand was not a surprising addition to the set list, because it has been a staple when Myles and Slash do their acoustic sets together, wherever they perform. Fans will know that Myles’ vocal abilities shine on this track and last night was no exception.

“Open Your Eyes” was a killer sing along song for the crowd and Myles gave the audience a chance to harmonize which went well up until those high notes, much to Myles’s delight. He threw his head back and laughed at our feeble vocals.

I was so happy when Myles started playing “Traveling Riverside Blues”, he is so adept at performing that Robert Johnson song and he has a creative way of playing it that suits the style of the song perfectly. I’m sorry to report that I was jamming so hard to this song, I neglected to film it, but I’m not sure if I should be apologising for that.

There were a few gems from the Mayfield Four era that Myles treated us to, namely “Eden”, “Mars Hotel”, “Lyla”. I have to say that I really enjoyed his performance of “Lyla”, the entire song has a great melody to it and it still manages to lyrically convey the story to the audience. “Mars Hotel” is another popular acoustic track that Myles has been known to perform on occassion.

Myles Kennedy even performed two cover songs for the crowd. He performed “Levon”, an Elton John cover and the highlight of the two was when he performed a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” which showcased his technical ability on the guitar.

“Haunted By Design” is one of the songs from Myles upcoming solo album, that will be released on the 9th of March 2018. The song was performed with guitarist Tim Tournier accompanying Myles to perform the song that sounds like it was meant to be performed acoustically.

The stellar “Year of the Tiger” met all of my expectations. I have loved the song from the moment I heard it and the crowd really got into it. Tim Tournier joined the performance once again, which added another dimension to the song.

The popular and highly regarded “Watch Over You” inevitably featured on the set list. Myles actually received a well-deserved standing ovation for that one. The song comes from Alter Bridge’s second studio album, “Blackbird”.

Myles left the stage and to my sheer delight returned for an encore which ended the night with “Rise Today”. An absolute Alter Bridge staple, that originated from their “Blackbird” album.

The entire night you could see that Myles was having fun, he became more and more at ease as the night went on with plenty of jokes and charisma to mesmerize the audience even further.

I want to thank Andy Mac and the team at AMP events that they made my dreams come true. I honestly thought I was lucky to see him when he came down with “Kings of Chaos” in 2013 , but I never knew I would have the honour to witness my idol playing solo on stage let alone being able to meet him.

Myles has been an inspiration to me and many others, he remains a humble human being despite his success and he keeps pursuing what he loves.

Thank you.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

 

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Band of the Month: Nickelback – In defense of the Dark Horse

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Nickelback

Nickelback in concert
Source:http://www.nickelback.com/media/photos/21721/650491
Photo credit: Barry Brecheisen Photography

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this blog post has been years in the making. I’ve been a Nickelback fan since about 2006 and I have always had a strong opinion about their position in the rock/ music industry. Over the past few years I have read countless reviews and articles concerning Nickelback which are almost always negative or are written from a positive point of view, but still cops out towards the end of the article by saying something nasty or negative about the band. Just in case that writer gets some heat from so-called haters. I’m here to comment on what I have witnessed on social media and to give my opinion on the band.

Nickelback has proven time and time again that they don’t take themselves too seriously for example in the video they made in response to the Detroit petition that was started as an attempt to have Nickelback replaced as the halftime act for the Thanksgiving game. Many interviews of the band support this statement, because they are always joking around.

You can view Nickelback’s response to the petition here: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5166240802/nickelback-responds-to-NFL-petition

I will be honest, musically I can’t really comment on the structure of their songs, because I don’t have the necessary knowledge (music-related qualification) to form an objective opinion.

Being labelled mainstream in the rock music industry is like admitting that you have swine flu at a party. Everyone tries to stay away from you and you will eventually be teased/taunted about it. I support Nickelback as a mainstream rock band, because they are the only rock band that have managed to top the charts on a regular basis. Do rock fans rather want pop/tween acts topping the charts? Through their efforts they are almost single-handedly waving the flag for rock music. Even David Draiman from Disturbed admits to this fact:

Nickelback and David Draiman on Twitter

Nickelback and David Draiman on Twitter
Source: http://celebjuicer.com/DAVIDMDRAIMAN/and/Nickelback

As for those who have said that “How You Remind Me” and “Leader of Men” was pretty decent, but they haven’t made good music since then. I beg to differ, obviously these people forgot to listen to The Long Road Nickelback’s fourth album released September 23, 2003. Its one of my all-time favourite albums, because it covers a wide variety of topics and included on the album is their awesome cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting featuring Kid Rock and Dimebag Darrell. My favourites off of that album are “Should’ve Listened” which is a pleasant surprise when you listen to the album for the first time and “Yanking Out My Heart” is another fave with its angry lyrics and fantastic chorus. Listen to “Should’ve Listened” here:

I just want to make clear that I’m not a Nickelback fan who only like the tracks that they release as singles. I love their whole discography and I especially like the tracks that aren’t released as singles. I believe there are two types of Nickelback fans those who like them for the ballads/popular singles and then there are the rock music fans that love all of their songs.

There are some rare jewels to be discovered when you listen to their entire music catalogue, for example “Worthy To Say“, “Woke Up This Morning”, “Midnight Queen”, “Just To Get High”, “Fly”, “Follow You Home” and “Next Contestant” to name just a few. Then there are some hard rock tracks which I always look forward to with every album they release like “Side of a Bullet” dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell from Pantera which just proves what Nickelback are capable of.The song includes a guitar solo by Dimebag from his Pantera days, and was used with the blessing and cooperation of Dimebag’s brother and Pantera/Damageplan drummer, Vinnie Paul. “This Means War” is another crowd pleaser and its best played extremely loud, the same goes for “Burn It To The Ground”. “Figure You Out” is another solid rocker with slightly different subject matter and I think its just one of those songs that will never get old. In my opinion their most meaningful ballads on one album was from All The Right Reasons. Those songs might have entered the U.S. Hot 100 top 20 singles, but they still carried so much meaning especially “If Everyone Cared” and “Savin’ Me” which was rumoured to be about a childhood friend of Chad’s who was incarcerated and died in prison. I heard about this rumour a few years ago, but I’m not sure if its true.

Nickelback have never been subtle in their choices for supporting acts such as Seether (from South Africa!), Bush, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, Daughtry and Shinedown. You have to be pretty famous and confident to take these massively successful bands on tour with you. Nickelback have always managed to cultivate friendships with the bands they tour with, so as people they are pretty likeable if you ask me. On numerous occasions I have witnessed (on the internet) their tour mates only having nice things to say about them. It takes a lot of confidence in your own abilities as a band to keep such famous company.

Aside from all the success that Nickelback has had, Chad Kroeger started his own record label 604 Records in 2002 and holds the position of Executive Producer. Here are the list of artists signed to the label: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/604_Records

Official website of 604 Records: http://www.604records.com/604/home/

Nickelback was discovered by Roadrunner’s Artists and repertoire (A&R) Ron Burman who travelled to Vancouver to see the band perform live, the then unknown venue was packed. It took Ron Burman three months to convince his label bosses’ to approve the signing that would mark Roadrunner’s first move into mainstream rock. They have never looked back since, even though Roadrunner fans are constantly complaining about the fact that Nickelback are included in their list of signed artists.

Many a rock band has covered Metallica at some point in their career, but no one has done it quite like Nickelback. I just wish I could hear the song in its entirety. Nickelback started out as a Led Zeppelin and Metallica cover band called “Village Idiots”.

Watch it here:

At the start of their career Nickelback’s sound was a little ruff around the edges and gritty, but I suppose that is what made them so appealing back in 1995 and since then their sound has become more polished and controlled. I believe this change occured due to years of experience and adapting to what the fans wanted. The earlier Nickelback albums are more acceptable to rock music lovers, because it wasn’t as polished and that was the appeal. In my opinion The Long Road was the best combination of both worlds and after that album was when Nickelback departed from the minds of hard rock lovers and entered the mainstream music industry. I listen to and support both sides of the coin(/nickel) and I will always remain grateful to Nickelback for introducing me to rock music. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t know who most of the modern rock bands are, my love for rock music started with Nickelback and branched out to the bands that supported them on tour. I looked up bands like Shinedown on the internet just because they started touring with Nickelback.

The band has sometimes been critiscised over their use of themes such as strippers, sex, prostitutes, drugs and drinking. People will drink, regardless of the fact that Nickelback is singing about it and the same goes for the rest of the content for their songs. Most rock bands cover these subjects at one point or another in their career, I also believe that its Nickelback’s way of being risque and not remaining safe in their subject matter.

Here are some great photos of each band member:

Source: http://www.nickelback.com

Daniel Adair

Daniel Adair
Source:Marcus Chacona Photography

Mike Kroeger

Mike Kroeger

Ryan Peake

Ryan Peake

Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger

Nickelback in concert

Nickelback in concert
Source:http://www.guardian.co.uk/music

Follow Nickelback on Twitter here:https://twitter.com/Nickelback

If you would like to connect with fellow Nickelback fans you can follow Nickelbackers here: https://twitter.com/Nickelbackers

Nickelback just finished the European leg of their Here & Now tour with Daughtry. You can check out the rest of their tour dates here: http://www.nickelback.com/events

Thank you for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K