‘’Hi, my name is Paul Chesworth. Its been two weeks since my last Alter Bridge gig. I am an Alter-holic.’’
Two days earlier I also saw the mighty Alter Bridge at the Apollo in Manchester. However due to an Airbourne gig 24hrs earlier which put me in A&E with total hearing loss, I just had to see (and hear them again). Alter Bridge have been on heavy rotation in my home for the last three years. In which time this turns out to be the sixth time I have seen them doing what they do best, perform live.
Over these three years I have seen Alter Bridge grow and develop into one of the best bands I have ever witnessed in the last 30 years of listening to rock music. Not a comment I use lightly, or often.
Alter Bridge have developed into a band in their own right. The have long shaken the C-word tag that was often used in the past. With their latest offering, their second album ’Blackbird’ has seen Alter Bridge move fast, and now up a level in their audience size. I must admit I doubted if they could fill the likes of the Apollo, but man was I wrong (and pleased). This progression has been no fluke. In recruiting Myles Kennedy, the C-word boys have a guy who has given them an extra edge over their peers. He complements Mark Tremonti perfectly, by now being a twin guitar outfit, and also being able to match Tremonti in the guitar stakes. The guy has ‘Rock Star’ written all over him, the voice, the swagger, and also if my daughter is anything to go by, the looks!
Its not the Kennedy show by any stretch. Alter Bridge are as tight as a nut, from Tremonti’s great punching riffs and writing skills, to the twin rhythm assault of Phillips and Marshall.
From the opening riffs of ‘Come to Life’ Alter Bridge have the audience in the palm of their hands. The set list is weighted in favour of the ‘Blackbird’ album, but considering the strength of songs something has to give. ‘Find The Real’, ‘Before Tomorrow Comes’ and ‘Brand New Start’ follow, before one of the nights highlights include Myles’ guitar tech joining them on stage for the excellent ‘One Day Remains’, class!!
Myles takes centre stage for the solo rendition of the mesmerising and hypnotic ‘Watch Over You’ showing the class and vocal prowess he possesses. Definite highlight of the set is the title track, ‘Blackbird’, the best song written by Alter Bridge to date.
‘In Loving Memory’ was dedicated to a fan who recently passed away, apologies for not getting the name. The set picked up pace with the last couple of songs, ‘Metalingus’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’. The encore included ‘Broken Wings’ and then a now trademark piece for Kennedy, the blues ‘Mudbone’ carried out with a certain capability few vocalists can match, period. The final song ’Rise Today’
All in all it was another excellent nights performance for 4 guys at the top of their game. I'm hoping they return again soon as the band have been very loyal to their UK fan base. However a certain C-word reunion may be on the cards, as well as a possible Led Zep gig being touted for Kennedy.