Music is oxygen – Myles Kennedy in Pretoria

An Evening with Myles Kennedy promised to be an evening filled with acoustic versions of songs reflecting the entire repertoire of the magnificent career of Myles Kennedy (The Mayfield Four, Alter Bridge and Kings of Chaos). But it was so much more.

A ‘Magnificent’ Evening with Myles Kennedy in Snortown

The Sun Arena at Times Square was filled with just over 3000 excited quality-music fans, who were looking forward to an entertaining night. Well, those meagre expectations were blown to smithereens, as this show was a hundred times better than we could ever have imaged.

With the harsh weather conditions abroad causing delays in his travels, the man ended up arriving in Saffaland safely after 72-odd hours of travel, switching planes and airports along the way. His guitars however, travelled a little longer than he did (those jetsetters), but luckily they arrived in South Africa in time for the shows.

We were really spoilt with the best timing of these South African shows, as his long-awaited debut solo album, Year of the Tiger was only just released the day before the Pretoria show. This meant getting to hear songs played for the very first time!

A very intimate setting, just a man and his guitar(s) – and for a few numbers he was joined by Tim Tournier, his manager and good friend of many years, who incidentally plays bass on the new album.

Myles told us that this is something that he has always wanted to do, as he put it – “No pyros, just a dork with a guitar” and thanked us for ‘putting up’ with him.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do, so thank you for putting up with it

Relaxed and chatting to the crowd, making a few jokes in between, Myles wowed us with raw and intimate, stripped down versions of covers, as well as his own songs and those from his bands – Alter Bridge and The Mayfield Four (which many in the crowd knew and loved, pleasantly surprising Myles).

See setlist in our Facebook pics – link below

So much variety in the way he played these songs – ranging from Spanish guitar, to Blues, Rock, Country and more. The man’s vocal range is just phenomenal, sending a flurry of goose-bumps through this rapt crowd with each new song he sang. The way he caressed each guitar – held gently in his hand – was a delight to behold, zoomed-in up on the big screen. A man in the crowd was even heard to shout “Have my babies!” such was the power of this music.

In between songs he told us how much he loves South Africa, and elephants (he even has them tattooed on his chest). Well we loved him before, but now even more so, how can you not love a man who loves elephants! 🙂

Covering such a wide range of songs from so many different genres – Elvis, Elton John, Slash, Robert Johnson, Led Zeppelin… Myles proves that ANY song can be played acoustically, and beautifully so.

Dead Letter Circus and The Butterfly Effect have had this debate…that “every song should sound good on the acoustic”. Kurt you lose this argument mate!  😉

Before playing Starlight, Myles explained how he had intended to just put his vocals to this song with Slash, and it turned into a band that toured the world. Thus delaying his original plans of completing a solo album. We are damn glad he finally managed to finish that solo album. Such a beautiful song and so hauntingly beautiful – despite the lyrics ‘Don’t you cry’ we were was close to tears with this one.

Music is oxygen

Not sticking entirely to his setlist, he ‘changed the game plan’ as he put it. Giving fair warning that is may not be perfect as “I haven’t played this song in a long time, but people keep screaming it out”. So, he gave in to their wishes, and played Hallelujah. Always such a special thing when artists do this. He may have been rusty, but it was performed phenomenally. Another tearful moment.

Kudos must be given to the lighting team on the night. With each new song the lighting changed, and it was just spectacular, adding another dimension to the already extraordinary atmosphere.

He finished off with saying how “We gotta get AB down here right, we gotta make it happen”. At first I was wondering how an American muso knew about South African cricketers, but then realised he meant Alter Bridge  😉

Some snippets of Myles interacting with the crowd


All in all an enchanting evening. This one will be remembered for a long time to come.

AMP Events –  thank you for continuing to bring us the magic.

Checkout our full set of pics on our Facebook page….


Review by The Original CC