Music Reviews — 21 December 2010
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review: Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge
The Gramercy Theatre, Manhattan
December 20, 2010

Blog: Alter Bridge

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To dismiss Alter Bridge because of their association with Creed would do a talented group of musicians a tremendous disservice. In fact, it is likely that that same Creed-based bias may have prevented you from even entertaining the idea of giving this band a chance. For those not in the proverbial know, Alter Bridge was formed as Creed began a hiatus, and singer Myles Kennedy was brought in to front the newly dubbed quartet. But what this band has been proving all along, is that they don’t necessarily need your approval to deliver their original sound, ridiculous odes to the since forgotten guitar solo, and keeping a tradition of metal alive in a depleted hard rock genre. And all of their tools were on display on Monday, December 20th as Alter Bridge passed through Manhattan.

The site was the sold out Gramercy Theatre on 23rd Street. With support from Taddy Porter and Like A Storm, the band promptly took the stage at 8:50pm for the all ages performance, which truly was all ages. In fact, from this writer’s perspective, the audience seemed to skew older- perhaps a mid-30′s crowd, mostly filling the small general admission area of the Gramercy, with different ages scattered amongst the stadium style seating behind us.

If you’re a reader of LocalBozo.com regularly, you’ve read about the incredible talents of Kennedy, the singer. But it must be said that until you’ve seen him perform with his band, where he is clearly his most comfortable, you’ve only seen a small percentage of what he has to offer. As you recall, Kennedy became the touring frontman for Slash’s solo project, playing a show at Terminal 5 a few months back, and tearing the house down with rousing renditions of Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, and tasked with handling the covers of multiple vocalists on Slash’s album. Watching Kennedy effortlessly croon on vocals so high pitched that your eyes squint trying to imagine having that range, was in a word- breathtaking. In a band of all-stars, his star shines brightest as perhaps the most underrated frontman in rock music today. What wasn’t as obvious on his tour with Slash was his masterful guitar work, and when given the opportunity, Kennedy delivered solo after solo, even dueling with lead guitarist Mark Tremonti during the encore. Watching this band perform live made me ask just one question: Why is this band not bigger?

The other bright spot of the evening had to be Tremonti himself. Bogged down for far too long with the baggage of being a member of the somewhat polarizing band Creed, Tremonti shadowed Metallica-esque speed with his hands, as his fingers paraded up and down his guitar frets, as if he was playing an exaggerated air guitar. Only he was playing for real. In fact, at several moments throughout the performance, I was exasperated by the fact that this band miraculously, has become the personification of hard rock. You don’t have to believe me, you just need to see them live to understand.

As for the concert itself, it was spot on. The just-under two hour, twenty song set weaved in and out of singles and heavier songs opening with the unforgiving “Slip to the Void” from the newly released AB III. Other highlights included fan favorites like “Find the Real,” “Ghost of Days Gone By,” Broken Wings,” and a punishing, if not overly rushed version of “Metalingus”. The show culminated with Kennedy playing a solo, acoustic version of “Watch Over You” into another sped up version of “Open Your Eyes,” before the encore began. The aforementioned, mind-bending dueling solos were sandwiched between the new single titled “Isolation” and the crowd pleasing closer “Rise Today,” which put smiles on faces and let the crowds leave happy.

On the band’s next visit to the area, they’re going to need a bigger boat- the theater was 100% sold out and coat check was completely full- yes, in December. But if the performance and crowd reaction was any indication, this won’t be the last time we’ll be seeing Alter Bridge perform in Manhattan. And if you have your wits about you, and you want to be blown away by a band that you’re not necessarily expecting much from, you need to come out and see Alter Bridge perform live. They’re just that good.


Alter Bridge- Live at The Gramercy Theatre, New York, NY
December 20, 2010
Setlist
(Courtesy of Setlist.fm)

  1. Slip to the Void
  2. Buried Alive
  3. Before Tomorrow Comes
  4. Find the Real
  5. Brand New Start
  6. White Knuckles
  7. All Hope is Gone
  8. Metalingus
  9. Ghost of Days Gone By
  10. Broken Wings
  11. Ties That Bind
  12. One Day Remains
  13. I Know it Hurts
  14. Come to Life
  15. Blackbird
  16. Watch Over You (Acoustic)
  17. Open Your Eyes
  18. Isolation
  19. Dueling Guitar Solos
  20. Rise Today

- Jane Van Arsdale

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(5) Readers Comments

  1. This is a fantastic article about and amazing band. I have to say make it a point to see these guys if you can. This was my third show, and they sound better every time. Can’t wait till the next show!

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  3. Bogged down? WTF Mark has said he is living a dream being in 2 bands. One that plays to small 600 people venues like this place and one that plays arenas. If people would cut the crap out with bogging the dudes down with trashing any of the work they do that would be great. Why does a person have to like one or the other or bash one or the other. I for one like them both. I also like the fact all the dudes even have more projects going on besides AB and Creed. So just get off either bands a s s and let them live the dream they are living without the bs. Creed and AB rock. PERIOD!

  4. Right on dude, great article which highlighted a great concert

  5. @Dave
    Dave my man, you hit it right on the head!! I am in total agreement in believing that they are both magnificent bands. I must say i do prefer Kennedy’s soaring vocals and the way Tremonti lets loose on AB but both are smothered in melodious passion, I mean my love for Creed is the reason I checked out AB in the first place. Great article, but yes, I think a bit of respect for band members’ other works would be nice. :)