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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slash: Meeting the Rock Legend

The Winning Air Guitar Video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=415911892033&oid=114842408563631

The Lucky Dude's Photos of that Fateful Night: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=190746&id=517362033&ref=mf

RazorTV's Video Interview of the 2 Winners (1 Real Guitar, 1 Air Guitar): http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/entertainment/51594.html

So, how many lucky asses actually get to meet that much revered guitar god? Well, here is Srivatsan, a friend of mine from college, and one such lucky ass who got to meet the legendary Slash!

How did you feel when you met Slash?

Shocked! It was like a child meeting a Pokemon or Power Ranger, something they really love but never thought they will ever meet them in person. After that, I was really just very happy, I just kept staring at him while he was signing all those guitars and posters.

So did you manage to ask him what his favourite movie is?

Nope, he was already waiting at the photo-taking area when it was my turn for my photograph with him. Just a handshake, a "Hello Slash!", and a snap. After that, he called the next person to come over. During the photo shoot, I was whispering to him "You're my God man...", that is why my mouth is open in the photo.

Then what did he say? Or... did he even hear it?

Haha, I guess he didn't hear it, 'cos he didn't say anything.

How was Slash in person when you talked to him? Was he friendly, cold, or what?

Hm, there wasn't much of an interaction between him and the people, but he seems to be quite friendly. You know that guy who won the real guitar competition? He told Slash that he was the one who won it, then Slash asked if he was the one who played with the guitar on his back. That guy said "Yeah", and Slash said that was pretty cool. Yup, so I guess he is friendly. I kept quiet 'cos I didn't wanna go tell a guitar god that I got to see him by pretending to play a guitar. Lol.

Hahaha, well, at least you got to meet him.


What thoughts were running through your mind when he was signing your guitar?

I was just looking at him autographing. To him, it was just another autograph, but it meant the world to me. After he signed it, he even wrote "2010" below the autograph. Although it was quite a small thing, I was still impressed that he even bothered to date it.

Hahaha okay, I bet 50 years from now, if you ever intend to sell that guitar, it will cost a bomb. So moving on, I know you will feel biased about this, but I will still ask it anyway. How was the Slash concert as a whole?

Hm, I will just say the order of events and then tell you how I felt.

Firstly, we were told to be there by 11:45 AM so that we can get to see Slash and the band doing their sound check at 12:15 PM. I was late, so I took a cab down, but alighted at the wrong area.
It was already around 12:10 PM by then, and I could hear the sound of drums. I thought the sound check had already begun, so I followed the sound and ended up inside the concert area. I saw the stage and all for the first time. Slash wasn't there yet, the workers there were setting up the drums, so that was where the sound came from.

I asked one of the guys where should the VIP pass holders go, and he guided me there. There, I met the LAMC people and the other VIP pass holders, and the real guitar winner as well. We were all told to wait for a while. After that, I heard the sound of a guitar, and the playing was pretty good. I was thinking "Wow, those guitar techs can play quite well", but then the LAMC gal ran back and told us that Slash had already begun his sound check.

Yup, so I went in there to see the sound check, and that was the very first time I saw Slask. Man, that feeling was fucking awesome man. We were told to keep away from the stage, like at least 10m, so we sat down on the grass patch and watched Slash and his band do their sound check. They actually performed 3 songs during the sound check, so I already had an idea of how the concert will probably sound like. The sound check ended at around 2:30 PM, and at 2:45 PM, the LAMC gal said that we were gonna meet him then.

We went to this tent at the back of the stage which had lots of guards outside, and after like 10 minutes of waiting outside, we were told to enter the tent 4 by 4. When it was my group's turn, one of the guards brought us in there. After we got into the tent, I saw Slash at the photo taking area. What happened after that, I told you already. So after getting all our stuff signed, we were given 2 posters each. Yup, that's it for the Meet-and-Greet session.

At 7 PM, the concert started. The first band was called Twenty Two Hundred, some unknown band from Australia whom Slash thought had great potential, which was why he brought them along to Singapore. They were awesome man, seriously.

After that came the main guest, Coheed & Cambria. I hated them. Their vocalist looked like an ass with all that bushy hair, and his voice was like the Dragonforce dude but more gay. Unfortunately, they played a full set that lasted 90 minutes. I was just standing there for time to pass... and oh, I have to say that I was standing in the front row, holding on to the barrier towards the right side of the stage (traditionally, where the lead guitarist always stands).
After, Coheed & Cambria finished, I was relieved and fucking excited. After setting up the stage for like 20 minutes, Slash and his band finally came out.

During the sound check and Meet-and-Greet session, he had tied his hair up and wore a cap. When the concert finally started, I was seeing him for the first time with his signature top hat and leather pants with a black hankie hanging from his back pocket. He was wearing a sleeveless tee. The first song was "Ghost" from his solo album. It was a very energetic song, the riff is pretty fast and cool-sounding. When it was time for his guitar solo, he played the famous "Godfather" theme. It was an extended solo that lasted for like 15 minutes, then right after the solo, he played "Sweet Child O' Mine" and the crowd erupted into cheers. It was the song everyone was waiting for. When the concert was coming to an end, an encore was obviously expected, and Slash and his band played "By The Sword", before ending off with the freaking great performance of "Paradise City". Yup, and the concert ended there. Throughout the concert, Myles Kennedy was speaking into the mike pretty often, something that he admitted he was not used to doing).

Sri's Slash-autographed guitar!!

Wow, that was long. Alright, last question. If Slash is coming back to Singapore next time, and there is another such competition again, will you participate once more?

Haha nope, but I will definitely go for the concert. If I am working by that time, I will pay for the VIP pass (US$500 for the 2010 Slash concert price). After hearing all those new rock bands such as MCR, A7X and Muse live, it was a really great experience to hear something classical. The sound was just totally different from the other bands I heard. It is the classical rock sound. One song I love by Guns N' Roses is "Civil War", 'cos Axl Rose's different voice ranges, combined with the meaningful lyrics and Slash's really stylish licks and riffs really just fit the song so well. When I heard that live, I started tearing. Yup, that is all I have to say about the concert. The experience as a whole was one that I will never forget.

Slash is God.

Ah yes, what exactly did you win by the way?

Haha, they gave me so many things man. The Meet-and-Greet session (S$700), guitar and hard case (S$750), MacBeth shoes (S$100) and free guitar lessons (S$200).

Close-up shot of the million-dollar autograph

So there you have it folks, don't drool over this guy's unbelievable experience now, all you guys have to do is follow in his mock-guitar-shredding awesomeness when there is another such competition available when Slash comes to perform in Singapore again next time!

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