On Wednesday, October 5th, my brother Rick and I drove up to the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville to see Alter Bridge. The other two bands on the bill were 3 Pill Morning and Adelita’s Way. I was very excited because I love all three acts, and I can tell you honestly that they did not disappoint. 3 Pill Morning was energetic and seemed to thrive off of audience participation, while Adelita’s Way focused more upon the music and less upon sing-alongs.
Once Adelita’s Way left the stage, anticipation became a practically tangible emotion in the air: any second now, Alter Bridge would be up there. Excited chatter filled the venue and when the lights dimmed, expectation reached its breaking point. There were several yells and delighted shrieks. Alter Bridge drummer Scott Phillips climbed behind his set, throwing his hands into the air and eliciting cheers from the eager crowd. In rapid succession, bassist Brian Marshall, guitarist Mark Tremonti, and vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy emerged from backstage. The band tore into “Come to Life” without preamble.
The set list had (almost) every track an Alter Bridge fan could want, including “Ties That Bind,” “Blackbird,” “Isolation,” “Watch Over You,” and the band’s latest song of encouragement, “My Champion.” As per usual, the set was concluded with “Open Your Eyes.”
But of course, no one moved. With chants of “Alter Bridge” echoing loudly, the quartet returned for two encores. The moment had come. It was a highlight for many as the band began the first single off their upcoming record, “Show Me a Leader.” Watching Myles Kennedy play the intro, I literally had chills.
Their second encore was the much loved “Rise Today.” Myles invited us to sing the chorus near the end, and we accepted with gusto. That will always be one of my favorite parts of an Alter Bridge concert.
The show was perfect. I have no other way to describe it. I have seen Alter Bridge three times, and this performance and set list were the best. If you love bands who get up there and play and don’t bother with props or appearances, then you need to hit an AB concert. It’s nothing fancy; just four extremely talented musicians doing what they do best.
After taking a bow and many thank-yous, the band filed off the stage. The lights came on and crew members went to work breaking everything down. The satisfied audience spilled from the venue, talking and laughing and, in some cases, lamenting the long drive home. However, my and my brother’s night was not over.
Together, Rick and I circled the venue and joined a cluster of fans by the bus. It paid off. We soon were meeting Brian Marshall. Our patience and determination kept us there for another forty-five minutes — long enough for Mark Tremonti to emerge. And this is when my review gets personal.
Rick has been a fan of Mark’s since roughly 1997. He saw Creed with Finger Eleven and Sevendust many moons ago. He accepted Myles Kennedy without question and has loved Alter Bridge from day one. But he had never met any of them until this night. (I met Mark in Birmingham last year, when Tremonti opened for Black Stone Cherry.) Rick and Mark talked guitars, then Rick told Mark that he was his idol. It was…beautiful.
Mark was quickly followed by Scott Phillips, who was good-humored and who, after Rick stated that Alter Bridge were his heroes, said we were the band’s heroes. And with that, we left, both in high spirits. The fact that we were about to spend over two hours on the road didn’t even matter.
So worth it ❤