On Thursday, October 17th, Alter Bridge brought the Victorious Sky Tour to Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama. The other two bands on the bill were Dirty Honey and Skillet. As an added bonus, my dad accompanied me.
Dirty Honey opened the show. The Los Angeles-based quartet pumped up an already enthusiastic crowd with their brand of rock, which is heavily influenced by such bands as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. With their talent and obvious love of what they were doing, Dirty Honey held the fans in thrall and set the atmosphere for a great night of music.
Skillet was next. I had never seen them before and I was suitably impressed. Once on the stage, the members of Skillet were a nonstop ball of energy. Front man John Cooper was quite charismatic, constantly moving and encouraging the audience’s participation. The band did all of their biggest hits: “Hero,” “Monster,” “Awake and Alive,” “Whispers in the Dark,” and “Legendary,” just to name a few. By the time they concluded with “The Resistance,” the crowd was practically vibrating from adrenaline and well and truly primed for Alter Bridge.
When the lights dimmed again, the fans erupted. “One Life,” the opening track from Alter Bridge’s latest album, Walk the Sky, played over the PA and fog filled the air. Renewed screams rose as each member of the band — vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips — walked into view. The intro music faded out, and Alter Bridge ripped into “Wouldn’t You Rather.”
Unlike the Alter Bridge concerts I’ve attended in the past, this one focused on the band’s heavier side. “Wouldn’t You Rather” was followed by “Isolation” and “Come to Life.” Two more songs from Walk the Sky were included (“Pay No Mind” and “In the Deep”), and there was no acoustic interlude. However, Alter Bridge did play “Blackbird,” always a huge crowd pleaser.
The band’s performance was amazing, as usual. Myles serenaded his fans while Brian and Mark pulled faces at the audience and tossed out several picks. The sing-along portions of “Rise Today” and “Open Your Eyes” were absolutely magical. Perhaps my favorite moment, though, was when Myles joked that he might mess up the beginning of “Cry of Achilles” because his hands were so cold. It was cute.
I have now seen Alter Bridge six times and I have never left a show disappointed. They continue to prove over and over that they are the best rock band in the business.
I will end this review with a personal anecdote. I met Mark for the fifth consecutive show, and he made my night.
Now, let me preface this story. The last time Alter Bridge came to Birmingham, I asked Mark for a pick after we had taken pictures. He told me that he doesn’t keep any on him, apologized, and promised to give me one next time. So, Thursday evening, I tweeted him prior to their set and let him know I was in the front and was hoping for a pick. The official Alter Bridge page retweeted me. However, Mark didn’t see it and he did not throw me one.
When Mark emerged from the bus, he approached me first. I let him read the tweet and joked that he had let me down. He chuckled and said he was sorry; simultaneously, he was checking his pockets. “Oh. Wait,” he said, then he held up a pick. It was the best moment ever…along with Mark letting me put a Snapchat filter on him for a selfie.
This may have claimed the top spot for my favorite interaction with a rock star. Have I mentioned how happy Alter Bridge makes me?
Be sure to check out my photo gallery!!!