Review: MTV World Stage – Biffy Clyro and Slash
Date: 7 November
Venue: O2 Academy, Glasgow
It’s an urban gig myth. A mystical collaboration that fans fantasize about, all the while knowing it will most likely never happen. Two giants of alternative music: Scotland’s biggest rock export of recent years, Biffy Clyro, co-headlining with one of the most famous guitarists on the planet, the living legend that is, Slash. Even as eager fans queued outside Glasgow’s modest O2 Academy, many were convinced it was all a joke – and with tickets only costing £10 a piece when they arguably could have been sold for over £100, you can understand the speculation. However this fantasy, proved to be a reality.
The 2,500 odd lucky fans who managed to nab tickets, after causing a meltdown on Ticketweb due to the overwhelming demand, were in awe as Biffy Clyro emerge. The rock trio, hailing from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, captivate the stage with the opening chords of That Golden Rule, and deafening hysteria takes over the crowd. Mosh pits erupt and spectators are hoyed into the air to surf along the crowd as Simon Neil shreds on lead guitar and sings in his raspy Scottish tones. A spectacular firework display of pyrotechnics, strobe lights and flames accompany the exhilarating set list, including the classic crowd-pleasers: Bubbles, Who’s Got a Match, Glitter and Trauma, The Captain and Black Chandelier, and the beloved slow acoustic tracks: God and Satan and Machines. An awe-inspiring rendition of Many of Horror unites the crowd in puddle of goo and love for the band and Simon Neil takes a back seat on lead-vocals as every member of the audience sings along to the chorus in perfect awesome unison. Loveable chants of “Mon the Biff!” and “Biffy! Biffy! Biffy Fucking Clyro!” spur on the Scottish rockers to finish their fantastic performance with an incredible version of the electrifying, Mountains.
As Biffy Clyro professes their undying love for Glasgow and say goodbye, the crowd cheer, woo and whistle with all their might and volume as the band vacate the stage for the next act. Anticipation buzzes in the crowd as fans wait patiently for the guitar hero and founding member of the original Guns n’ Roses line up, Slash, featuring the talents of Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and the Conspirators.
A momentary hush descends on the crowd as the backing music played during intervals stops and the crowd go wild as Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators take to the stage. The mere sight of Slash wearing his iconic top hat, shades and leather is enough to make the crowd scream and bounce in a frenzy as the act open with a pounding and thrilling version of You’re a Lie. Highpoints of the set list include: Nighttrain, Stone Blind, Anastasia, Back from Cali and the fan favourite from Slash’s former band Velvet Revolver, Slither. The stage is submerged in a pool of red and purple light as Slash amazes the crowd with his lightning speed guitar solos. The vintage Guns n’ Roses hits that everyone is dying to hear were met with feverish cheers and screams from the audience as the sound of You Could Be Mine and the classic Sweet Child O’ Mine blew the roof off the place. Just as the crowd think their energy is beginning to waver, everyone in the audience, even those sitting in the balconies are drawn up on their feet as an adrenaline-fuelled encore of Paradise City shakes the building to its foundations, followed by an explosion of seemingly-endless confetti that rains on the audience. The crowd strain their voices and scream for a final time in gratitude and admiration for the legends playing for them as Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators bid their farewells.
Those hoping for an on-stage collaboration from both headlining acts were unfortunately left disappointed but an astounding cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s masterpiece Crazy Train by Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro and Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators can be viewed on the main MTV EMA show.
Lucky for those fans who were unable to get tickets to this remarkable, one-off event, MTV were kind enough to film the sceptical for MTV World Stage as part of the EMA celebrations taking place in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. An additional piece of good news is that both acts are returning to play in Scotland next month, so there is another chance to witness their epic performances.
It’s safe to say that those stumbling home from the O2 Academy, after being shook to their core with their faces melted off, their voices coarse and a piercing ringing in their ears, definitely had a night to remember.