Sound — 9
*Note*-I know the DVD for this concert has already received a review but I'm here to review the CD. Anyways, when Slash formed his solo band, he selected Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy to sing for him. In July of last year, Slash took his solo band to England to perform a special concert in Stoke, the town Slash was born in. The concert was filmed and recorded for live release. The lineup for the concert was Myles Kennedy (vocals), Slash (guitar), Brent Schneck (Guitar, backing vocals), Todd "Damnit" Kerns (bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Doctor Alibi"), and Brent Fitz (drums). The set list and tracklisting for the 2 CDs is as follows: Disc 1: 01. Been There Lately 02. Nightrain 03. Ghost 04. Mean Bone 05. Back From Cali 06. Rocket Queen 07. Civil War 08. Nothing To Say 09. Starlight 10. Promise Disc 2: 01. Doctor Alibi 02. Speed Parade 03. Watch This 04. Beggars & Hangers On 05. Patience 06. Godfather Solo 07. Sweet Child O' Mine 08. Slither 09. By The Sword 10. Mr. Brownstone 11. Paradise City First off, I'll just say that the CD sounds GREAT. Unlike some live recordings, where the sound can be distorted and fuzzy, "Made In Stoke" sounds crystal clear. Props to those who mixed it, every instrument can heard clearly. The band themselves sound on top of their game, with Fitz's drums and Kern's bass driving the songs but not overpowering the guitars and vocals. Schneck provides solid riffing and laying down a bed for Slash to solo over. Slash of course plays with reckless abandon and delivers those signature solos with deadly accuracy.
Lyrics — 9
However, the star of "Made In Stoke" is undoubtedly Myles Kennedy. His four-octave (!) range is on full display here, belting every song with velvet smoothness. The stunning thing is that when Kennedy sings those old GN'R classics, they actually sound better than when Axl Rose sings them. Kennedy's performance on "Civil War" in particular is spine-tingling, as his tone in the verses sounds extremely similar to Axl's studio performance of the song. Overall, Myles Kennedy sounds like the singer Slash has been searching for since the original GN'R self-imploded in the mid-'90s. Bassist Todd Kerns provides the backing vocals that add weight to each song, and even does his best Lemmy impression as the lead singer on "Doctor Alibi". As for the lyrics, since all the songs performed have been previously released, there's no new lyrics to be poured over.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I'm in love with this live 2 CD set. It might just be my favorite live recording ever. I don't have the DVD yet (working on it) but the live CD suits me just fine for now. Again, the sound is crystal clear and the recording is very well-mixed. The rhythm section is solid and Slash's guitar solos are sure to please die-hard fans. Myles Kennedy belts each song accurately and in a few songs outdoes Axl Rose himself. I will be seeing Slash with Myles Kennedy live next month and I will post a live concert review of the concert afterwards. Judging from "Made In Stoke", my review will be very positive! I can't wait :)