Guns N' Roses' former lead guitarist Slash is smiling. He turns to the crowd and tells them how happy he is to be here in Edinburgh. And why shouldn't he be? The Picturehouse is jammed to capacity, and the crowd is literally eating out of his palm, hooked on every word he has to say.
Just a few years ago, Slash had been involved in a messy divorce when lead vocalist Scott Weiland departed Velvet Revolver. Many felt that, despite reclaiming some of the prominence that they had with Guns N' Roses, the members of Velvet Revolver were doomed to be a lull in their shadow. Slash vowed Velvet Revolver would continue, albeit currently without a vocalist, and he decided the time was right for another solo album.
Touring, for Slash, is like a holiday after work. You've put in the hours and created this incredible document for others to see, now it's time to go and have a laugh for a few weeks. Selling on word of mouth alone, Slash's tickets went on sale with virtually no publicity and were snapped up for a low price within minutes.
Tonight's set list features performances from a who's who of Classic Rock; Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and Slash's Snakepit songs all get airing. If there is a blip, it's that compared to these classics, Slash's newer material doesn't stand a chance. Vocalist Myles Kennedy, a brilliant choice, delivers a soulful and majestic performance worthy of an Oscar Nomination (or should that be a Grammy?) and whilst the Alter Bridges' frontman's performance is more then average, it's Slash who is the real star of the show.
At one point, Slash creates a buzz by performing the solo from the 'Godfather' to the young audience. 'Civil War' closely follows, with the crowd hooked on every beat, after which Slash retreats into 'safer' territory with a rendition of Jimi Hendrix's 'Voodoo Child'; had he played 'Fire' tonight, there may have been an accident!
As the fans shuffle home from the glorious surroundings of the arena, most retreating in fact to the late night Edinburgh clubs, many cannot help but think they may have witnessed the greatest performance in their lives. Slash might not be in Guns N' Roses any more, but nobody seems to care!