Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy – Zippo Encore Stage (Second Stage) – Friday 21:00 – 22:10

There’s a certain buzz in the air at Download whilst The Prodigy prepare for their main stage headline slot, but for those who like their music more classic rock than alternative, it’s over to the 2nd Stage for Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators.

Despite the extra couple of pounds since, well since 1988 so let’s not judge the man, you cannot fault Slash’s playing and from the moment opener ‘One Last Thrill’ from new album “Apocalyptic Love,” booms from the speakers the audience is with him. Those who fear that with 2 solo albums behind him Slash might be looking to forget his past are soon feeling much more comfortable as the familiar intro to ‘Nightrain‘ starts, Myles Kennedy doing a very competent job on the vocals (#TeamKennedy) and smiles and singing across the entire audience. The set then focuses a little more on the solo albums songs and the band turn out ‘Back For Cali’ and (my personal favourite) ‘Ghost,’ before Myles takes some time to introduce the next song, the ironically titled ‘Standing in the Sun.’

The rest of the set is a good mix of Guns N Roses songs and selections from Slash’s solo records, each one joyfully received by the crowd, although the time limitations sadly prohibited the inclusion of any Slash’s Snakepit tunes, perhaps it may have been better to play one of those rather than turning ‘Rocket Queen’ into an extended guitar solo that felt longer than a Linkin Park album.

The end of the night (and indeed the first day of the festival) comes after the lone Velvet Revolver nod in the set of ‘Slither,’ before the cries of “more!” brings the band back to the stage for the final hurrah of ‘Paradise City.’ A fine way to end a fine night at the end of a fine day – and it was probably a lot better than if you watched Axl do it…

Slash Download 2012 setlist:

One Last Thrill
Nightrain
Back From Cali
Ghost
Standing in the Sun
Rocket Queen
Halo
Starlight
Mr. Brownstone
Anastasia
You’re a Lie
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Slither
Paradise City

Photograph by Danny North Photography