I guess I should add a subtitle to this one – Alter Bridge Adventures 2019 part one.
After a very early start, three trains and nine long hours after I left the house, I finally arrived by taxi at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham- unchaperoned.
had purchased the meet and greet VIP package but thanks to the various rail delays that plagued the journey, I miss the soundcheck and the meet and greet photo opportunity. C’est la vie….
Thanks to the lovely Helen and Samantha I managed to get my laminated pass that secured my early entry for the show itself. I could’ve hugged those lovely ladies! Thank you!!!
I’ve done the meet and greet before so I happily whiled away the hours til showtime in the company of some of the warmest, friendliest people you could hope to meet,
Shortly after 6pm the doors opened and I took up my rail spot for the show. Excited didn’t begin to cover it!
Illness in the Sevendust camp had led to a change of opening support band for the evening.
The Raven Age, a five-piece band from London, had been the opening act for the mainland Europe shows on this leg of the Alter Bridge tour and they had stepped in at short notice to play the 6 UK shows.
They opened their seven-song set with Betrayal of the Mind and from the off delivered a solid performance. This was my first time seeing these boys live so I was keen to see and hear what they had in store. Highlights for me were The Day The World Stood Still and The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships. If I had to offer up one minor criticism, it is that their set loses a little continuity and momentum by front man, Matt James’ frequent disappearances behind the screen to the side. No idea what he was doing back there!
Shinedown were up next. Now, I love Shinedown – older Shinedown up to say Amaryllis. The last two albums have left me a little cold if I’m honest. I’ve seen these guys several times before and, as it had been a couple of years, I was keen to see them again. They didn’t disappoint.
With almost an hour at their disposal, Shinedown played what can only be described as a mini- headline set. They exploded onto the stage with an opening duo of Devil and Diamond Eyes (Boom Lay Boom Lay Boom). Awesome start! Resplendent in black and yellow, the band were playing like a well-oiled machine. Yes, their show is choreographed to the last step and scripted but it’s done to perfection.
Love it or hate it, front man Brent Smith loves to talk….and talk. Personally, I feel the time he wastes running through the crowd could be better invested in giving the fans an extra song. Merely my humble opinion and others may strongly disagree with me.
Shinedown squeezed ten songs into their allotted time and highlights for me were Second Chance, Simple Man (I love that one) and the Sound of Madness. As I declared, I love the older stuff.
They ended their set with Brilliant.
Brilliant it was!
Finally, the time had come- It was Alter Bridge’s turn to return to the UK stage. Their intro tape on this tour is the haunting One Life that opens their current album Walk The Sky. Before the fans realised, the band were all on stage and opening their two-hour set with Wouldn’t You Rather from the current record.
This was followed by two firm fan favourites, Isolation and Come To Life. Before they began Come To Life, front man Myles Kennedy introduced Mark Tremonti as “Santa Tremonti” and explained that they would be giving away the guitar played by Mark on Come To Life at the end of the song. A few short minutes later, a young fan thought all his Christmases had come at once!
I could watch these guys play all night every night. Yes, I am rather biased in their favour and most definitely in Myles’ favour.
It was great to see the guys looking as though they were enjoying being back in the UK but the expanse of the stage did make it feel a little as though there were quite far apart. It would have been great to see more of Brian, Myles and Mark playing together centre stage…. merely an observation.
As always one of my favourite songs Ghost Of Days Gone By was one of the highlights of the seventeen-song set.
This was followed by a rare treat- Burn It Down with Mark Tremonti taking over on vocals. Awesome rendition. Loved it.
Rise Today, usually found at the end of the set on previous tours, has found a new niche mid set, flanked by Native Son and Take The Crown, both from Walk The Sky.
Mark stepped up to the mic for a second time to sing the surging Waters Rising. The video screens at the rear of the stage showed swirling stormy waters. Enough to make a rock fan seasick!
There was one acoustic moment and this followed Waters Rising as Myles stepped out on stage alone to play Watch Over You. More accurately, it’s semi-acoustic as the rest of Alter Bridge stepped back out on stage to join him for the final verse and chorus. A new arrangement of an old favourite that freshens the ballad up beautifully.
There really only was one song that could follow that – Blackbird. Soaring, emotional, performed to perfection, breathtaking solos – need I say more?
Open Your Eyes has also moved to a new home on the set and hearing it perhaps caught a few stalwart fans off guard. No need to panic…there was more to come!
The mighty Metalingus followed to close out the main set. This is also time for the ultimate audience participation as the on the signal from Myles, the entire crowd crouch down. He held us down there a long time! Right on cue though, thousands of ecstatic fans jumped up to be greeted by smiling Alter Bridge faces. Fun way to end the set.
After a few brief moments off stage, Alter Bridge returned to close the show with Godspeed and Addicted To Pain.
I think I’m addicted to Alter Bridge.
Till next time…not too long to wait…merely 24hrs.