Slash’s Serpent Festival Recap: Bonner, Montana

The S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival is a traveling blues tour launched by Slash featuring an all-star lineup at scenic venues from July 5th through August 17th. It’s a celebration of the blues with portions of the proceeds going to charity.

The inaugural show was held at the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Bonner, Montana. Joining Slash in Bonner and for the first leg of the tour are Eric Gales, Samantha Fish, and the Warren Haynes Band.

Eric Gales opened the first show taking the stage at 7 PM and he sure did bring the energy. Gales’ guitar electrified the crowd for his 30 minutes on stage with strong crowd participation.

Gales closed his set with “Voodoo Child.” The performance included a medley of “Kashmir” and “Back in Black” and a little Beethoven mixed in as well.

Samantha Fish was next and kept the crowd going for her 30-minute set. Samantha showed off her slide prowess on a fiery rendition of “Bulletproof.” The set also included R.L. Burnside’s “Wish In Was In Heaven Sitting Down” and “Black Wind Howlin” for which she received a huge ovation.

Next up was the Warren Haynes Band. Warren played 45 minutes and opened his set with “Tear Me Down” for the appreciative crowd. Warren played six songs and saved the best for last closing with fan favorite “Soulshine.”

Then it was time for the Main Event. Slash played his first full show with his Blues Ball band following the release of Orgy of the Damned which spent 6 weeks at the #1 spot on the Billboard Blues chart.

Slash played classic blues songs from the new album like “Killing Floor,” “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Crossroads,” and more. This was supercharged blues turned up to 11 as Slash’s guitar captivated the crowd. Tash Neal and Teddy Andreadis handled vocals.

The set also included a tip of the hat to Rory Gallagher with “Cradle Rock,” Slash’s original instrumental “Metal Chestnut” from Orgy of the Damned, and Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” where Slash hopped on the pedal steel.

The evening closed with Warren Haynes returning to the stage for a lively rendition of “Shake Your Money Maker” with Slash.

The S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival runs through August 17th with more top acts to join including Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Robert Randolph, Larkin Poe, ZZ Ward, Keb’ Mo’, and Jackie Venson. Slash plans to bring in different guests as well.

Slash spoke with Blues Rock Review about the festival and more in a recent interview.

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

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