Tonight’s show at The Vogel in Red Bank, New Jersey, is just one of 15 dates on Myles Kennedy‘s U.S. solo tour. He is touring in support of his critically acclaimed album, “The Ides of March,“ released in May 2021. It’s a collection of stories told with raw emotion and captivating vocals, reflecting what is going on in the world yet provides a glimmer of hope.
Myles‘s longtime friends and band members, Zia Uddin [drums]and Tim Tournier [bass], were first to step on stage amid a flurry of blue lights. For a few seconds, a spot was conspicuously vacant behind the main microphone stand. The crowd immediately knew who it was for!
As soon as Myles stepped on stage, the crowd at The Vogel erupted. You could tell by the look on his face that this was going to be a fun-filled performance as he came out smiling, waving, and pointing to fans he recognized. It was a very warm and personable way to greet this overjoyed New Jersey crowd. Once he had everyone’s attention, the guitarist and lead singer, donning a blue and white striped flannel shirt, kicked into his first song, “Wake Me When It’s Over,” off the aforementioned record. It’s been a little over two years since fans have seen him touring, and they were eager to delve into his 90-minute set.
The band’s on-stage set-up was lower-tech compared to his performances with Alter Bridge or Slash and the Conspirators. There were no lasers, video screens, or backdrops, only Myles, his two band-mates, and a few amps rigs. With the songs Myles selected for the show, it was clear that the focus would be on his voice and lyrical message of hope. During an interview, I asked Myles how important it is for his lyrical stories to be heard and not overlooked by multilayered? He replied, “That’s an interesting point because it is a singer who is putting out a solo record. Elvis Baskette mixed it in a way that was for a singer’s solo record, so why wouldn’t you do that rather than sticking it back in the mix with a wall of guitars? If you are going to put the vocals out front, you want to make sure the performance is at certain levels, and the narrative of the lyrics is going to touch people in a way rather than just words that rhythm with no meaning.” With songs like “A Thousand Words,” “Turning Stones,” and “Year of the Tiger,” his objective for the evening became immediately evident. Reflecting on the clarity and strength of his voice, the lower volume electric guitars, and the minimalist of the stage, the beauty of his show was its simplicity and making an emotional connection with his fans.
The crowd instinctively sang every word to all his songs, creating a symphony of backing vocals. Myles was viable humbled by the outpouring of love from this Jersey Strong crowd. He told the crowd, “I hope you missed me as much as I have missed you?” and immediately followed up with “You complete me!” The crowd burst into laughter, and that’s when Myles turned up the charm with joking and storytelling. He explained that all the dancing he was doing on stage was to navigate his effects pedals. He went on to say he needed to turn up the “Flux- Capacitor” as it wasn’t working properly in making his three-piece band sound like a five-piece!
Myles then pulled out his Resonator guitar to perform “Blind Faith,” and a Gibson acoustic for a heartfelt version of Alter Bridge‘s “All Ends Well.” He’s a powerfully expressive vocalist and gifted songwriter. That came sharply into focus in the night’s final stretch of songs which included “The Great Beyond” and “Moonshot,” while performed; you could hear a pin drop in The Vogel.
Myles‘ show was a reminder of just how much great music he has created in his career and how much fun a live show can be. He is one of the few acts that manages to come across as both timely and timeless. Make sure to catch him during the current tour for this uniquely entertaining show!
MYLES KENNEDY Setlist:
Wake Me When It’s Over / A Thousand Words / Devil on the Wall / Turning Stones / Haunted by Design / Mars Hotel (The Mayfield Four song) / All Ends Well (Alter Bridge song) / Blind Faith / The Great Beyond / Year of the Tiger / Tell It Like It Is / Moonshot / Love Can Only Heal / Get Along / World on Fire (Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators song) / In Stride