Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators launched their River Is Rising tour Tuesday night at the Roseland Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The set mixed songs from their new LP 4 along with selections from their previous albums, Slash’s Snakepit catalog, and Slash’s 2010 solo album. There were no Guns N’ Roses covers, but they did tackle the 1991 Lenny Kravitz song “Always on the Run” that Slash co-wrote.
Near the end of the main set, they also covered Elton John’s “Rocket Man” for the first time live setting. “We did it for a movie some years ago,” Slash told the crowd. “The movie came out during Covid. It was called Stunt Man. We did this version of the song for this movie for this friend of mine [Eddie Braun] who jumped over Snake River Canyon. We’re going to do it live tonight since we’ve been dying to play it.”
On the new Elton John song “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” Dua Lipa sings the hook from “Rocket Man” as a part of a broader mashup of vintage John songs that also incorporates bits of “Sacrifice,” “Kiss the Bride,” and “Where’s the Shoorah?” It’s become one of the most unlikely hit songs of the past year, entering the Top Ten of the Hot 100. It is, by far, John’s most successful single since “Candle in the Wind 1997.”
Slash, meanwhile, is on the road with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators through March 26th when they wrap things up at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida. He resumes Guns N’ Roses duty on May 21st when the band headlines Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, Florida. They have dates all over the planet through the end of 2022, but that is their single show in the States.
Guns N’ Roses have never covered a full Elton John song, but Axl Rose is an enormous fan of his work. He duetted with him at the 1992 Freddie Mercury tribute show at Wembley Stadium, jammed with him at the MTV Video Music Awards that same year, and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. It’s very hard to imagine “November Rain” existing without Elton John’s influence on Rose’s songwriting. If you doubt that, just take a listen to “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.”