Velvet Revolver - March 13, 2008 - The Ambassador Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
By: Ken McGrath
It’s been a few years since Velvet Revolver last played in Ireland, so there’s quite a buzz about the boys finally coming back. Having played here last night and reports from that show were all positive, so expectations are quite high for VR's second night of their two show residency in Dublin. Introduced as the band who need no introduction but who get one anyway, this potential car crash of a Guns ‘n’ Roses/Stone Temple Pilots amalgamation are in fine form. Veterans of the stage one and all, it’s easy to find yourself getting caught up in the rocking, rolling riffs, as the three big guys, Scott Weiland, Duff McKagan and the always shit-cool Slash move around the front of the stage, sharing the spotlight.
Weiland, who’s sporting a beard, is of course a born showman, sliding and gyrating his way around the stage in various stages of undress, he’s almost entirely flawless tonight. Who says white men can’t dance? Any recent problems relating to his DUI case have clearly been left at the side of the stage. It’s as if he’s been possessed by the ghost of Mick Jagger past and you can see why everyone from Coby Dick to that guy who used to sing for Eighteen Visions have been trying to nick his style as of late. He’s pure entertainment gold and he’s got a voice to match. He’s also got a megaphone that he’s not afraid to use either.
The old Guns ‘n’ Roses stuff gets the best reaction of the night, especially for “Patience,” which sees Duff whip out an acoustic and a stool for a quick sit down, while Slash works his way around a double-necked guitar. Weiland almost finds himself drowned out by the delighted Dublin crowd, most of whom are trying to capture the moment on either phone or camera, and it’s only towards the end that he really lets rip. “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brownstone” also result in a mass sing-a-long, which is probably only matched by a stunning “Fall To Pieces.” The Pilots stuff which gets aired receives less of an enthusiastic response, probably because STP were nowhere near as popular as G’N’R over this side during the heyday, but for those in the know “Vaseline” and “Sex Type Thing” especially sound stunning, all crunch and big, ballsy delivery.
Rumours that an STP reunion and poor sales of the last Velvet Revolver album Libertad, are resulting in tensions in the band seem unfounded tonight, as from the audience looking up, it seems like they’re really enjoying themselves. The absolutely magnificent “Big Machine” is belted out, Duff thumping his way though it and Weiland especially giving a great performance putting it all into the soaring “got money in the baaaa-nk."
Tracks off the new album, like “She Builds Quick Machines,” come across much better in the live setting, having found that spark which they lacked on disc. But it's set close “Slither” with its grooving, sexy riff that ends the night on an absolute high and drives home the point that this is a rock show. Weiland is all hips, shoulders and hat as he poses and preens his way across the stage, Slash hunched down chasing his own tail as he unleashes that fantastic riff over and over again. Great stuff.
However long these guys do decide to stay together, it’s worth going to check them out. This is the reason the members of Velvet Revolver are held in such high regard. Quite simply put, they rock.