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Opening Slash

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Slash is using his celebrity to raise awareness of bands that are flying under the radar.
Slash’s Tour Rolls Into Celebrity Theater With An Opening-Act Not Only Riding On His Infamous Coattails, But Competing For Gear

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Sept. 5, 2012 — When Slash and Guns N’ Roses burst onto the scene, little was known about the man with a moppy afro scowling from under a top hat.

But over the 26 years since he burst onto the scene, he has proven to be not just a notable guitar player, but he has morphed beyond that.

Slash is a certifiable public icon.

The man born Saul Hudson is noted as one of the top rock guitarists of all time, yet his career has taken a trajectory few could have predicted.  Yes, he has had success with several bands — which by itself elevates him above many others — but his impact has extended beyond music.

He has been in movies, parodied all over the world and remains edgy, hip and relevant more than quarter century after his debut.

Now that is one helluva testament to his celebrity.

But as he rolls into the Valley today for a one-night engagement at Celebrity Theatre — the second stop on his fall headlining tour with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — it is clear that none of the notoriety has gone to his head. Slash is no diva. He is a grateful star who wants nothing but to play and help others reach for the top.

“I’m a strong believer that the best way to get your music heard is to get out there and play shows,” said Slash. “There are tons of talented bands that simply don’t have the resources to go on tour, so I’m glad to be able to host them on my tour and at the same time introduce my fans to great, undiscovered artists.”

He is backing up that statement with a contest — a international spotlight on his opening acts.

Slash has personally selected the 20 bands that will open for him on this tour and the band he judges as the top performer when the tour ends in November will take home $10,000 in guitars from Gibson and Epiphone, plus a $5,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center.

For the Phoenix appearance, Foxy Shazam will open the show, and keyboardist Sky White said it is sort of surreal to be on the same stage as a living legend.

“It’s really an honor just to play with him,” said White. “The legends of rock really dig our sound."

When Foxy Shazam last visited Phoenix they blew the lid off of the Celebrity Theatre opening for The Darkness, and now are coming back for seconds and with an even bigger headliner than before.

Foxy Shazam has toured with The Strokes, Hole, The Dear Hunter and Portugal the Man and was also the spotlight band on 2011 Vans Warped Tour.

“We work really hard and we put a lot into the music,” said White. “We found the right balance of feel good music and melt your face off.”

Their “melt your face off style,” has garnered Foxy Shazam the praises of Spin Magazine who named them to their “10 bands you need to know” list in 2010.

If that style has impressed Slash, perhaps they just might win the big tamale.

Regardless, it might be a good idea to make sure you show up early to see not only Slash but Foxy Shazam, too.

After all, if Slash likes them...

Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, OccupyUprising.org and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.
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