Myles Kennedy, Cape Town Concert Review 6.03.2018

The Rock Riff: Facebook

The Rock Riff: Twitter

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.

20180306_17360020180306_17353420180306_173525

 

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

 

 

 

5 Rock Songs To Get Your Week Off To A Good Start

Like The Rock Riff on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

Blog Image

We all know that Mondays’ are generally not a good day for a lot of people, so The Rock Riff has decided to be the silver lining to your Monday blues. Here are 5 rock songs to headbang to on your drive to work or on your drive home from work depending on where you live. Get rid off all that pent-up frustration!

1. Alter Bridge – Cry A River

This song never fails to get my blood pumping, its one of my favourite tracks to come from “Fortress”, Alter Bridge’s fourth studio album. Myles Kennedy puts in some stellar vocals as usual and the band pulls the song together effortlessly.

2. The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows

Combine Taylor Momsen at her best, an interesting concept for a music video, a great band and an infectious chorus, the result will be “Heaven Knows”. The video has already accumulated 1,235,903 views within only 5 days, you can see why by clicking below.

3. Skillet – Sick Of It

I feel this song describes my state of mind on some days perfectly and what is better than a band smack in the middle of a mosh pit? Nothing, is my answer. Whenever you had a bad day listen to this song and it will make you feel better instantly!

4. Korn – Spike In My Veins

I’ve only recently started listening to Korn (believe it or not!) and I love their recent singles that they have released off of their latest album “The Paradigm Shift”. I particularly found their music video for “Spike in My Veins” interesting, I found the video quite creepy. It depicts the messages that we are exposed to by the mass media on a day-to-day basis. The chorus is amazing and the slow-motion shots in-between the TV footage is fantastic.

5. Pop Evil – Deal With The Devil

A music video that might make your skin crawl, but will have you cranking up the volume at the same time. A fist-pumping chorus combined with some killer guitars and bad-ass drumming. This will give you an adrenaline injection to make you survive the rest of your week.

I hope you have a rocking week and before you can blink its the weekend, baby!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – The Mayfield Four

Like The Rock Riff on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

In the build-up to the release of Alter Bridge‘s new record, I thought I would pay tribute to Myles Kennedy‘s earlier band The Mayfield Four. I read  a few comments from Alter Bridge fans about how much they love The Mayfield Four, but I never really paid any attention until I saw Myles Kennedy live with the Kings of Chaos. I wanted to know more about this amazing frontman. So I started listening to a few of their songs on Youtube and I discovered the official video for “Sick and Wrong”. After watching the video I knew I had to hear more. I added their albums to my wish list for my birthday. My sister who lives in America managed to get both of the albums for me, at a steep cost I might add. It got shipped to South Africa and I’m actually listening to Second Skin while I’m writing this.

Their music really surprised me. Fallout arrived here first and it has a completely different sound compared to all the other rock bands I listen to. The blues-rock combination is something I like, it adds some soul to the music and the lyrics. The first few songs are quite dark and it sounds like it has been inspired by the grunge rock sound, just with more intelligent lyrics. One of my favourite songs is Suckerpunch, because of the attitude with which the song is delivered and the great name of the song ;). I love Inner city Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) originally sung by Marvin Gaye which the Mayfield Four decided to give a rock makeover. Myles brings his own brand of soul to the song.

The album received critical acclaim with the Seattle paper The Rocket calling it “a modern rock album done with intelligence and grace.” The band took their inspiration from Motown and bands like Police, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Fallout was recorded in late 1997 in Seattle and San Francisco, it was produced by Jerry Harrison and recorded by Karl Derfler. Brendan O’Brien, who has worked with Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine & Soundgarden, mixed Fallout at his own studio in Atlanta. Drummer Zia Uddin stated that the basic approach they took was to be as honest as possible. Myles Kennedy agreed with Zia saying that there is no BS, they laid it all out on the table which was risky and scary , but that was ultimately what they wanted to record. Myles Kennedy was the lyricist and primary songwriter, and he exposed his demons, scars and fears on this album. The songs on the album dig through the emotional rubble of broken relationships, self-doubt, anguish, surrender and redemption. Myles Kennedy was  quoted as saying that he saved a lot in counselling bills writing this album. He learned to sing by listening to Stevie Wonder, Motown and other St. ax artists.

The members of The Mayfield four are all long time musicians and friends from their early school years. They formed as a band in 1996. From their first rehearsal the band knew they had something special, drummer Zia says its more like a brotherhood than anything else. All four members graduated from the same high school and went on to study music at various colleges in the region. It was the band’s demo called Thirty Two Point Five Hours recorded in 30 hours that got the attention of Epic Records.

The Mayfield Four’s debut album was supported by a 15-month long tour with bands like Creed, Big Wreck and Stabbing Westward. The album was praised by critics, but failed to chart and it became the only album to feature Craig Johnson as the rhythm guitarist, who was fired from the band for undisclosed reasons.

Second Skin was released in June of 2001 and the album has a distinctly different sound to that of Fallout. It’s a slightly heavier guitar-driven rock record. The tour went great, but there was a lot behind-the-scenes changes going on both personally and professionally. This was when Craig Johnson left and business partnerships changed. After the tour Myles decided to set up a studio in his basement and Zia and Marty moved in. They spent months in the studio writing and playing music, whilst venting all their frustrations through their music. Second Skin was produced by Peter Collins and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge.

“Sonically, the album combines the feral (“Sick and Wrong,” “Loose Cannon”) with
the grandiose (“Summer Girl,” “Believe”) while exploring themes of lost love
(“Eden”) and liberation (“Lyla”) and the emotional carnage in-between. “I try to
use the songs as a form of catharsis without coming across like a whiner,”
laughs Kennedy. “That’s the great thing about music-it helps you to hash through
some issues.” –  excerpt from The Mayfield Four’s Official Website: http://www.themayfieldfour.net/2ndskin-biov2.html

The performances on the album are astounding, Zia impressed everyone working on the album, because every drum part on the record is from his first or second take. Myles never ceases to amaze with the ability to encompass resonant bottom notes and  powerful sky-high top notes. On tender songs like “Summer Girl” and “Believe” Myles’ upper register glides with ethereal ease lending purity to the melodies of the songs.

My favourite song from Second Skin is Sick and Wrong, because of the brash unapologetic nature of the song.

In 2002 the band went on hiatus and ultimately disbanded.

In an interview with Myles-Kennedy.com( http://myles-kennedy.com/index_files/interview2010part2.htm) Myles was asked about the likelihood of a Mayfield Four reunion. His answer was that he has been given so many wonderful opportunities lately that he really can’t see where he would get the time to fit it in. He said that Second Skin was a very special album to him and he was grateful that he got to make those two records. The records weren’t widely released and Epic Records only printed a few thousand of them. The records are actually more popular now than they were when The Mayfield Four were still together. Myles was quoted as saying that he could never sell his house because Second Skin was recorded there. His favourite Mayfield Four song is White Flag and Sick and Wrong.

Myles performing White Flag at Bofest:

As we are all waiting with bated breath for the new Alter Bridge album Fortress, here is a taste of their first single “Addicted To Pain”:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K