Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Duff McKagan @ Trabendo, Paris - September 2nd, 2019

Duff McKagan's new record Tenderness, his first foray into Americana and country-tinged roots rock, is one of this year's best releases and that's why the Trabendo is sold out. It's quite a privilege to see such a big star in such an intimate setting: ever since the core trio of Guns N'Roses reunited over three years ago, he has mostly been playing enormodomes. But this isn't stadium rock: this is something much more delicate, and much more emotive.

Backed by Shooter Jennings and his band, Duff played most of Tenderness as well as a few Guns tracks from the Illusion albums, and some choice covers including a heartbreaking rendition of Mad Season's River of Deceit and Greg Dulli's Deepest Shade, which closed the show. A cover of the Clash's Clampdown betrayed his punk rock roots, but this was mostly a stripped down, quasi-country affair. The other indication that Duff remains a punk at heart is in his demeanour. Always affable, keeping it real. No rock star-size ego. Just a musician playing his songs.

Hopefully this album and tour cycle isn't just a one-off. Forty years after his punk beginnings in Seattle, thirty years after Guns N' Roses became the biggest rock band on the planet, twenty five years after it all imploded, years after getting sober and putting on various successful projects like Loaded and Velvet Revolver, and almost four years after bringing it all full circle by reuniting with Axl and Slash, it seems that Duff, now in his mid-fifties, has found his real voice.

Check out other Duff related articles HERE

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