April 14, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Paul Wilkins
SOLD OUT Alter Bridge Show At The HOB
There seems to be a lack of originality and talent in today's Alternative Rock scene. There are many bands that can barely play their instruments, they're copying each other, and for some reason, the radio plays them. It's rare to find a newer popular band whose music is instantly identifiable, and whose members have actual musical ability. Alter Bridge have accomplished that, and seem to get better with every album they release. In support of their new masterpiece, Fortres, they officially started their headlining tour in Dallas and blew our minds at the sold-out show at House of Blues.
When Alter Bridge first arrived on the scene ten years ago, all of the focus was on Mark Tremonti, and rightfully so. Nobody who had heard his work with Creed knew that he had the musical abilities that he put on full display with Alter Bridge. These days, much of the focus has shifted to lead singer Myles Kennedy, who has become one of rock's fastest rising stars. His voice is powerful and unique, and has grabbed the attention of the alternative rock crowd that follows this band, as well as the classic rockers who have lauded his work with Slash. Tremonti and Kennedy both have tremendous stage presence, and seeing them on stage together reminds me of a day when real 'rock stars' ruled the music world.
As they took the stage, I found myself really excited to hear their new music, as Fortress is the heaviest record they've come out with so far. They wasted no time getting to the new music as they opened with the high-octane "Addicted to Pain," and made our heads spin. Myles Kennedy's voice was perfection from the very beginning, and the crowd went bonkers as he traded guitar solos with Tremonti. They continued the momentum with a trio of songs from 2007's Blackbird, then returned to crushing skulls with the blistering opening track from Fortress "Cry of Achilles." Soon after, they delivered a flawless version of their best song "Calm the Fire," with Kennedy channeling Ronnie James Dio in the falsetto intro, and every vocal and guitar solo nailed with precision. I've seen this band quite a few times, but this was definitely their finest moment.
They continued to please the crowd with "Ghosts of Days Gone By," "Broken Wings," and an extra heavy version of "Metalingus," and then let Kennedy show off his powerhouse ability once again during a monstrous rendition of "Blackbird." When Myles sat down with an acoustic guitar and performed the beautifully tender "Watch Over You," by himself, he proved to everyone in the room that he is, by far, the best singer in modern rock music. As they closed the show with three singles "Rise Today," "Isolation," and "Open Your Eyes," many of us just looked at each other and shook our heads in awe of what we just experienced.
I thought the combination of a highly-skilled lead guitarist and a true rock n' roll front man was a thing of the past, and would die off when the classic rock bands of the 70's and 80's were gone, but Alter Bridge have restored my faith in rock music. They have the ability to punch you in the face with heavy riffs, while still conveying the emotion in the lyrics. It feels good knowing that these guys are all fairly young, and with only ten years and four albums together, the future for this band is very exciting!