Alter Bridge — “Clear Horizon”
Alter Bridge — “Forever Falling”
Alter Bridge — “Pay No Mind”
Alter Bridge — “White Knuckles”
Alter Bridge — “Godspeed”
Band: Alter Bridge
Album: Walk the Sky
Release Date: October 18, 2019
Standout Tracks: “Godspeed,” “Indoctrination,” “Forever Falling,” and “Walking on the Sky”
Alter Bridge is back with their sixth studio album, Walk the Sky.
Staying true to form, Alter Bridge has again created a unique collection of fourteen tracks that don’t sound quite like anything they’ve done before. There are touches from past records evident — the heaviness of The Last Hero, the deeper lyrical content of AB III, even a tip of the hat to Tremonti’s latest solo effort, A Dying Machine — and yet, Walk the Sky stands strong on its own merits.
The album opens with “One Life,” a soft and melodic intro clocking in at 1:23, then immediately hits the listener with the blistering “Wouldn’t You Rather,” an offering of sage advice. “There is no gain worth the commerce of self,” front man Myles Kennedy warns, before asking “Wouldn’t you rather live from the heart?”
“Godspeed” is a beautiful ode to a lost loved one (and the song that made me cry; there is always at least one). With the opening piano setting the mood, Myles delivers a heartfelt goodbye that touches the soul.
“Native Son” and “Take the Crown” are two of the harder tracks, followed by the raw, gritty, dark “Indoctrination” (a personal favorite). “Pay No Mind,” which was the second single, has grown on me exponentially with each listen.
Guitarist Mark Tremonti takes lead vocals on “Forever Falling,” a change that always goes over well with the Alter Bridge fanbase. The chorus serves up the absolute magic that is Mark and Myles’ intertwined voices, a combination I’ve loved from day one.
“Walking on the Sky” struck me with my very first listen of the album. I can’t even explain it. Perhaps it’s the aforementioned Myles/Mark harmonies; perhaps it’s the flawless shifting between the softness of the verses and the heavier chorus; or it could just be these words — “And if you fall, at least you tried/As you tremble on the wire/Walking on the sky.”
The record ends with “Dying Light.” Alter Bridge gifts their listeners with catharsis, assuring all who hear that “In the dying light, we can learn to live again/When we wake up to eternal life.”
I definitely encourage everyone to check out Walk the Sky. Alter Bridge has granted us an eclectic mix of the elements that make them one of the best bands in the business (the best, in my opinion). This record will surely be on repeat for months to come. 4/5 stars.
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!!!
All photos taken by me 🙂
Alter BridgeDirty HoneySkillet
Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators — “Slow Grind,” from the album Living the Dream (2018).
Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators — “Mind Your Manners,” from the album Living the Dream (2018).