GIG REVIEW: An Evening With MYLES KENNEDY Live at Islington Assembly Hall, London
Myles Kennedy made his way back to London on the final sold out date of the UK tour in support of his debut album “Year Of The Tiger” on 26th March 2018. An evening we had all been waiting for- fans queued hours ahead of show time at the intimate and exclusive Islington Assembly Hall. The anticipation to hear the rock legend’s solo material was high given the quality of the tracks, and with Holiday Oscar supporting it was bound to be a blinder of a show.
London born Holiday Oscar performed a short, witty set infused with pop/folk/country mix-ups which had half the crowd engaged while others talked over it. Each song was received to a loud roar of laughter as heard in “Creative Occupation” and “I Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” kept us entertained as he sang and laughed simultaneously most probably at the lyrical content! This guy could give Ricky Gervais a run for his money with his comedy talent! Clearly, honored to be able to join Kennedy on tour, talented Oscar used this opportunity to get wide spread exposure.
It was that time as the lights dimmed the crowd roared as multi-talented Myles Kennedy appeared through the soft lighting. I wondered how the frontman can transform his heavy songs into something fun and and jivey with his one-man and acoustic guitar format… I wasn’t disappointed! He kicked things off with new bluesy single “Devil on the Wall” and effortlessly transitioned into Slash’s smash hit “Standing in the Sun.” It was a mass sing-along right from the outset for every single song.
The show was daring with a stripped back stage set up of the album banner draped behind and large flameless candles coupled with mood lighting- a perfect combination to serenade the crowd with the romantic atmosphere, his sensuous voice and charming charisma. His story-telling skills between songs together with a sprinkling of humour never broke momentum. The set was unscripted at times when his guitar wouldn’t tune correctly, which prompted him to surprise us with a knock out performance of my favourite Iron Maiden track “The Trooper.” Kennedy has one of the best voices in rock and it’s safe to say he was on top form throughout reaching the high notes perfectly as heard in ballad “Starlight” despite suffering from a sore throat.
This solo tour has enabled Kennedy to perform songs spanning his 20 year career. The humble rockstar showed immense affection for the crowd who truly appreciated all his musical projects. We were treated to the likes of the Alter Bridge anthem “Addicted to Pain,” “White Flag” (The Mayfield Four) and the cover that got pulses racing was “World on Fire” (Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators). The extensive back catalogue that he possesses was received with an earsplitting reception, singing in unison, clapping and earth shattering foot stomping.
The crowd needed little encouragement and happily took on vocal duties as he thrilled the fans with catchy riffs like in “Year of the Tiger.” This featured a duet with his good friend Tim Tournier as Kennedy filled in on vocals and rhythm section along with his electronic kick drum that added extra depth to the sensational guitars. It was a standing ovation as Kennedy left the stage to return for two encore songs with stand out performance of “Rise” (Alter Bridge) that pierced the crowd as they sang for Kennedy.
Overall, it was an emotional and unforgettable journey. Myles Kennedy, a class act blessed with unequivocal musical talent and a versatile vocal range perfect for turning heavy metal numbers into soft acoustic versions touched our hearts. His catchy riffs and impeccable guitar skills captivated the crowd throughout the set and delivered a triumphant performance with sheer perfection. Support provided by Holiday Oscar is set to cause some waves with his folk infused story-telling Bob Dylan style sound. The Year of the Tiger Tour continues through Europe before reaching the US, so it’s absolutely essential you catch Myles Kennedy in a city near you.