Live Review: Alter Bridge at The Sunset Strip House of Blues
Wed, 05 Jan 2011 10:52:03
Alter Bridge is the best kept secret in rock music.
Guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips make up the musical engine behind one of the biggest genre hit-makers of all time—Creed. Meanwhile, singer Myles Kennedy has a rich history of his own with The Mayfield Four and now as the voice of Slash's solo band. Given that pedigree, when these four brothers-in-arms unite, the result is timeless, earth-shattering hard rock.
However, they deserve to be at the top of the modern zeitgeist just as much as anyone else, and it feels like now is there time…
Watching Alter Bridge's sold out show at the Sunset Strip House of Blues last night illuminated that in an age of here-today, gone-tomorrow pop acts, singles deals, and soulless art, a band can shake a building. Essentially, Alter Bridge heralded the second coming of real rock music from the stage yesterday evening.
An ethereal hum during the intro of "Slip to the Void" from the band's latest masterpiece, AB III, set the tone for the entire show. Otherworldly sounds circulated through the air as Kennedy approached the mic. He sang the song's haunting opening and forewarned the storm brewing behind the bridge. His voice careened from ominous to sensitive, elucidating a mind-blowing range that few possess. Tremonti began flawlessly firing off a guitar lead, as Kennedy locked in sync on the rhythm chords. The two soared to transcendent heights of musical immortality all within the tumultuous and vibrant space of the first song.
Tremonti kicked off "Buried Alive" with a wah pedal-driven lead, and the arena-ready rhythmic stomp of Marshall and Phillips rose up with the guitarist's pummeling playing. Tremonti's the rare guitar god who can bludgeon at light-speed without missing a note and then effortlessly tear through a tear-jerking solo. He set the fret board ablaze again on "Before Tomorrow Comes" as the heavy steamroll continued. Overwhelming applause enveloped the chorus, as Kennedy channeled Robert Plant during a segue a la Led Zeppelin.
"Find The Real" saw Kennedy all smiles as the audience became like a choir mirroring his words. Tremonti's six-string wizardry dazzled further, as Marshall's bass rumbled in tandem seamlessly. Meanwhile, during the heavier than heaven "White Knuckles," Phillips pounded out a beat that could stop a tank, hitting with every inch of his heart.
The cuts from AB III exuded arena rock bombast and a soulful vulnerability, showing just how dynamic this outfit can be. An ornate guitar intro complete with weirdly entrancing feedback swells lit the fuse behind "All Hope Is Gone."In the middle of the song, the explosion of guitars, drums, and bass conjured Metallica and Alice in Chains, while distinctly announcing Alter Bridge's arrival as a premier contender for hard rock supremacy.
"Ghosts of Days Gone By" was equally poetic. On the bridge, Kennedy poignantly crooned, "I don't wanna die," before roaring alongside Tremonti's riffing. His voice sounded just as riveting on "I Know It Hurts," bringing AB III to life brilliantly.
For "One Day Remains," Wolfgang Van Halen stepped behind Phillips' kit while Creed touring guitarist, virtuoso Eric Friedman, ripped an impenetrable solo with Tremonti.
Before a gorgeously elegiac, "Watch Over You," Kennedy simply stated, "This song is for a friend."
Standing alone with his acoustic guitar, the singer elegantly delivered this goodbye heartbreakingly. The encore matched that moment in terms of intensity as the band tore through their current hit, "Isolation." However, the show climaxed on "Rise Today" complete with incendiary lead work from another guitar god—Slash. There's nothing quite like watching Tremonti and Slash play side by side as Kennedy belts out the chorus.
The secret is out, and Alter Bridge is the future…
Check out our two interviews with Alter Bridge main man Myles Kennedy here and here!
Check out our interview with Mark Tremonti here!
Check out our review of AB III here!
If you haven't yet, enter our Linkin Park ticket giveaway here!