Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, April 19, 1999

Thrashing in the
snake pit


Bullet Slash and Snakepit
Bullet The venue: Gussie L'Amours
Bullet The dates: 8:30 p.m. today and tomorrow
Bullet Tickets: $13 advance; $15 night of show
Bullet Call: 836-7883

By Nadine Kam
Features Editor


WHO knows whether Guns 'N Roses is dead or alive or in waiting to be the comeback act of the year 2000? Slash sure ain't waiting around. Unlike some of his old bandmates, the guitarist has always been a musician first, rock god second, and this was evident last night at Gussie L'Amours.

Slash played clean and sweet for an appreciative crowd of about 300, keeping the star strutting to a minimum. He allowed plenty of room for his band, Snakepit, to shine.

Those familiar with Slash's last album, "It's Five O'clock Somewhere," saw a totally new Snakepit, performing straight-up rock with elements of metal, funk, soul and blues.

It was a real treat to get the advance on songs like "99 Times," "Shine" and "What Kind of Life," that "may or may not be," Slash said, on the band's album, set for a June release.

The band hit the stage at about 10:45 p.m., and from the first chords, there was a real lovefest going on between band and audience. There was a whole lotta touchin' and hand-slapping going on. Standing mere inches from the crowd, if that, Slash -- with his signature shock of frizzy hair and top hat -- seemed happy to oblige fans' whims. Hands would reach for him, sometimes touching his hands and arms, but never, ever, tapping his Les Paul.

Attention also focused on dreadlocked, pantherlike vocalist Rod Jackson, whose wail is reminiscent of AC/DC's Bon Scott, or Mountain's Leslie West. Others in the ensemble are guitarist Ryan Roxie, bassist Johnny Griparic, drummer Matt Laug, and keyboardist/harp man Teddy Andreadis.

The band delivered an extended version of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," followed by the metal-tinged "Speed Parade," before Slash got down on his knees with his slide for "Rusted Heroes."

They played for an hour before returning for an encore set that kicked off with the Guns tune "Mr. Brownstone." They also paid tribute to Alice Cooper with "Only Women Bleed," then segued into "Knocking on Heaven's Door," which had the crowd singing.

Slash was relaxed throughout and downright chatty, talking about the music biz, L.A. time and the band's upcoming tour, which he mused about ending back here. Well, if it happens, he'll certainly be welcome.

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