Slash and Tom Morello recreate their epic Guitar Hero duels in live shred-off

Slash and Tom Morello perform live at Graspop Metal Meeting 2023
(Image credit: Mark G/YouTube)

Slash jumped up onstage with Tom Morello yesterday (June 16) to give their solo-rammed 2020 collaboration Interstate 80 its live debut.

The performance took place at Graspop Metal Meeting, where both Tom Morello and Guns N’ Roses were performing, and marked the first time the 2020 collaboration had ever been performed live by the guitar heroes.

Given Morello’s aim for the track was to bring his and Slash’s Guitar Hero avatars to life, the song contains a lot of soloing, and the pair certainly didn’t disappoint as they took their joint effort to the stage.

Donning a black Les Paul Custom, Slash quickly digs in to the track’s rhythm octaves, deploying occasional fiery fills, before launching into his first solo spot after the first chorus, all wide bends and far-reaching pentatonic excursions.

As the track steamrollers into its middle eight, it essentially becomes a shred-off between the two guitarists, as Slash continues to pull from his endless bag of vocal blues licks, while Morello is… well, hard to hear.

Frustratingly, it seems like the sound engineer missed the chance to turn Morello up for his own solo spots – guess when Slash is onstage, you sorta forget about everyone else – but you can see the Rage Against the Machine guitarist digging deep for some pentatonic runs and three-note-per-string alternate-picking workouts.

Despite the mixing snafu, the more traditional solo is bound to please his old six-string buddy Nuno Bettencourt, who recently said Morello’s “playing playing” abilities were underrated when compared with his innovative sonics, describing him as a “dangerous player” when he flexes his chops.

Morello seems to be on something of a collaborative hot streak lately. Earlier this month, he joined Bettencourt to cover Audioslave’s Cochise with Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, and that same evening picked up Buddy Guy’s trademark spotted Strat to trade licks with the blues legend.

It’s not just artist collaborations, either; last month, Neural DSP unveiled Archetype: Tom Morello, which crams the guitarist’s entire rig into a plugin.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.