There was a bit of the old and a lot of the new when Slash led celebrations for the launch of the MTV Classic channel down under.

The Guns 'N Roses great and his new band thrilled the Palace Theatre audience with a set which previewed works from the new album "Slash" (Sony Music Australia) and traced the guitarist's career with GNR, Velvet Revolver and Slash's Snakepit.

Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge took duties on vocals, and at times stepped aside while some high-profile guests took their turns on the mic. Earlier, Slash was joined by Angry Anderson, frontman of ARIA Hall of Fame-inducted rockers Rose Tattoo, for a version of the Australian band's classic "Nice Boys".

Later, Slash and Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale joined forces to perform "By the Sword," the first single from the new "Slash" album, which recently debuted at No. 3 on the ARIA albums chart.

Stockdale, who assumed vocal duties sans-guitar, stayed on stage for a rendition of the Wolfmother hit "Woman".

Predictably, the GNR tracks drew the night's biggest cheers, the likes of "Nightrain", "Civil War" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" dotted throughout the two-hour set.

The stars weren't only up there on stage. A cadre of celebrities mingled in the crowd, including INXS band member Kirk Pengilly, pop singers Vanessa Amorosi and Brian McFadden, Living End frontman Chris Cheney, Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton and retired athletes Stuart MacGill (cricket) and Wayne Carey (Australian rules football).

MTV Classic replaces the retired VH1 brand, and begins transmission May 1 on the Foxtel and Austar pay-TV platforms. Targeting the 25-40 demographic, MTV Classic will draw on the big hits and artists from the 1980s through to the 2000s.

Wednesday (April 28) night's concert in Melbourne -- which went by the name "MTV Classic: The Launch" -- effectively bumps the five-year-old MTV Australia Awards from this year's calendar.