I was granted the opportunity to attend Alter Bridge’s Walk the Sky Tour twice this week, and of course I gratefully took it. Who in their right mind would turn down the chance to see Deepfall, Clint Lowery, and Alter Bridge?
Round one was in Nashville, Tennessee, at the War Memorial Auditorium. I saw Alter Bridge there back in 2016. (You can read about it here.)
The show on Saturday was absolutely phenomenal! The audience — a sold out crowd — was fired up and beyond ready for a rock show…and the bands more than delivered.
From the instant the lights went down and the first note was struck, the atmosphere was filled with electricity. The Michigan-based Deepfall established the tone for the night, kicking off with the original “I’m Sick.” Their brand of melodic metal won the room over quickly, carried by a modern take on Journey’s “Separate Ways” and solidified by the heartfelt “Cancer.”
Next up was Clint Lowery. This was only their second show as a band, but one would never have known: they performed together as if it had been years. With a set that included the singles “God Bless the Renegades,” “Alive,” and “Kings,” they had more than enough to offer, and Nashville willingly accepted it.
Finally, it was time for the headliners. The lights dimmed and “One Life” filled the venue, along with the roar of the fans. Vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy, lead guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips walked onto the stage, the intro faded out, and the quartet ripped into “Wouldn’t You Rather?” We were off.
Alter Bridge played many fan favorites, including “Isolation,” “Ghost of Days Gone By,” and the always well-received “Rise Today” and “Open Your Eyes.” Much to my excitement, they had brought back “Broken Wings,” from their debut album One Day Remains.
When Myles was handed his acoustic guitar, an audience of over 2000 cheered so enthusiastically that he had to simply stop and take it all in. After a speech in which he thanked us for lifting his mood, he plucked out the familiar beginning to “Watch Over You,” receiving yet another storm of applause. I could hear him perfectly, of course, but it warmed my heart to hear an entire room singing every word, even before he urged us to. (Watch.)
The band’s encore was comprised of their latest single, “Godspeed,” and the heavy-hitter “Addicted to Pain.” It was my seventh Alter Bridge show, and I would swear they’re only getting better.
After they left the stage, my friend and I headed back to the buses, as per usual. We met Mark, who is always gracious, and I told him about my Alter Bridge tattoo. (It was much too cold to show him.) We stayed long enough to say hello to Brian, then we bailed out: it was a long drive back to Huntsville. Besides, we would be seeing them again in a few days.
It is unnecessary to write a novel about round two in Huntsville, Alabama, though I certainly could. In the three days since I’d witnessed the amazing spectacle that was the Walk the Sky Tour, the trio of bands seemed to have stepped up their game.
The venue — Mars Music Hall — was smaller and less packed out, but the fans who were there made up for that with their endless energy. And man, it was loud in there!
Deepfall was again responsible for setting the bar ridiculously high, and Clint Lowery threw it up a few more notches. As I told Clint on Twitter after the show, I fell more and more in love with each song. Alter Bridge’s work was certainly cut out for them, and they easily soared to even greater heights.
There were noticeable setlist changes. I was thrilled when Mark’s lead vocal talents were used on “Forever Falling,” and the blistering “Native Son” was a welcome addition.
For the acoustic portion of the set, Myles was joined by Mark. They played “In Loving Memory,” which the fans belted out with gusto. (See it here.) My mom cried for the entire song, and its successor, “Blackbird.”
I have never doubted that Alter Bridge is the best band in the world, and yet they keep establishing that fact over and over. They may not be filling arenas in the U.S., but they have a growing fanbase that is loyal in a way I’ve rarely seen. With two more spectacular performances branded in my memory, I fully encourage anyone reading this to go to the Walk the Sky Tour if you can. This is not one you want to miss!
A few pictures from Huntsville