Alter Bridge being Alter Bridge
So then on to tonight's headliners and the ever growing phenomenon that is Alter Bridge. It was a bold move for them to take on the O2 Arena as part of their UK run this year (one that appears to have defeated them slightly with the whole upper tier closed), but this is band armed with plenty of arena ready tracks and from the word go they had the whole place singing back every word and every riff, as to be expected. What we didn't expect was them to fall quite as short as they did in the wake of the bands that came before them. Now we ripped on Volbeat slightly in our Gojira review, but there is no denying that from the little we saw they got the crowd going in a way Alter Bridge were just unable to achieve. Before them was the best live band in heavy music at the moment, so instantly it was a bit of a tall order which for the most part they weren't able to overcome.
The thing with Alter Bridge live is the fact that they've got the songs, they've got the riffs, but they're stunningly boring as performers. Just because they're playing Classic Rock geared mainly towards an older demographic doesn't mean they have to wander around the stage with such low energy. The backdrop looked like something thrown together on a Windows 98 PC, and the lack of any other kind of stage show was disappointing. As noted though, they DO have the tracks for this, the opening trio of The Writing On The Wall, Come To Life and Addicted To Pain did brilliantly well in getting the crowd engaged but from there and up until some of the final few tracks there was just a bit of a lull. When Mark Tremonti took over vocal duty for Waters Rising, half the place really did seem to check out a bit. Things picked up again towards the end but by this point they'd lost quite a bit of interest. The row in front of us was filled with 50+ year old men trying and failing to take selfies of themselves for over thirty minutes, if that doesn't say it all then what does?
Overall then, Alter Bridge are almost certainly a band flowing with Arena style tracks which boast some rather impressive sing-alongs, but generally as performers, as good as Myles sounds vocally and as good as some of Tremonti's riffs sound, they just don't have that final piece which would tip towards being a really 'great' live band. An enjoyable watch, but one that was ultimately quite forgettable.