Concert Review: Alter Bridge at The Tabernacle (Jan. 22, 2017)

Alter Bridge’s The Last Hero tour made a stop in Atlanta, Georgia, this past Sunday. Coincidentally, this was the same night as the NFC Championship game. The Atlanta Falcons rose up in the Georgia Dome; Alter Bridge brought down The Tabernacle.

With an audience that consisted of many exhilarated Falcons fans, the atmosphere was electric. Monster Truck, who opened for Alter Bridge the last time they played The Tabernacle, was definitely on point. Energetic and insanely talented, these Canada natives set the bar high. They exited the stage and the room was literally buzzing with adrenaline and excitement.

When the lights dimmed, the roar of the crowd was astounding. Tension mounted with each passing second and then, Alter Bridge stepped into view: vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy, drummer Scott Phillips, bassist Brian Marshall, and guitarist Mark Tremonti. Before the noise had even begun to die down, the band ripped into the second track from The Last Hero, “Writing on the Wall.”

Each song was met with enthusiasm from a mass of fans who clearly adored Alter Bridge. The setlist included such songs as “Come to Life,” “Addicted to Pain,” “Blackbird,” and “Isolation.” They played my personal favorites, “Waters Rising” and “Watch Over You.” As an added bonus, they performed “The Last Hero” for the first time stateside.

The set ended with “Open Your Eyes” and the accompanying sing-along. This was followed by a marriage proposal (she said yes), and after congratulating the happy couple, Myles picked out the intro to “Show Me a Leader.” The final song of the evening was none other than “Rise Today.”

I have now seen Alter Bridge four times, and I can honestly say they get better with each show. Maybe it was the fans sharing the experience with me, maybe it was the fact that the music was so wonderful and my heart was filled with total joy, but this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended.

Of course, I close this review with my own personal story from the show. My brother and I once again circled the venue and waited by the buses. I can’t explain it; however, I knew this was the night I would finally meet Myles Kennedy.

And I did.

Myles was the first member of Alter Bridge to emerge from The Tabernacle. He came straight over to where I was standing, signed the band itinerary a security guard had given me, and posed for a picture. He hugged me and thanked us for being there before moving away to talk to the others gathered around us.

Mark was the next one out. I introduced myself this time, which made him chuckle. We then spoke to Brian and last, but certainly not least, Scott (who brought up college football in response to my Alabama Crimson Tide jacket).

I cannot stress enough how exceptional these four men are. Not only are they brilliant musicians, they are kind and sweet and appreciate their fans. I will never stop encouraging others to listen to them and, if possible, to go to an Alter Bridge concert. There is no way you will be disappointed.

Here are two of my favorite pictures from the night. The rest can be found HERE.

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Alter Bridge in Atlanta (Photos)

Concert Review: An Amazing Night With Alter Bridge

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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 ❤

 

 

Concert Review: We Spent the Night With Alice Cooper

As much as I want this to be strictly a review, I can’t leave out the personal angle. See, my dad has been a fan of Alice Cooper since he was eighteen-ish. He actually saw them in ’75 on the Welcome to My Nightmare tour. When I heard that Alice Cooper was coming to Huntsville, my first thought was that my dad had to go, but I knew he wouldn’t buy a ticket for himself. He would have to have some kind of incentive. So I asked him to take me for my birthday–and he did.

Dad and I arrived at the Von Braun Center at 7:30 p.m. We found our seats and sat there, staring at the blue-lit backdrop (featuring Alice Cooper’s eyes) in anticipation. Nearly half an hour later, the arena darkened and a roar came from the crowd as the backdrop glowed red. We were off.

And this is where I switch to review mode…

Alice Cooper opened the set with “The Black Widow,” straight into “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” The band played for a solid hour and a half with barely a pause. They did all of the songs one would expect, including “I’m Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “School’s Out.” Alice himself stepped back a few times to permit his band to show off their talents. The moments that really stood out were the solos from guitarist Nita Strauss and drummer Glen Sobel.

It’s no surprise the stage show was incredible! A dancing nurse, a broken windup doll, and the monster stomping around growling the chorus of “Feed My Frankenstein” were only the beginning. I mean, how often do you see a rock star get beheaded in the middle of his set?

Roughly halfway through, there was a tribute to other artists we have lost. Alice Cooper covered songs from The Who (in honor of Keith Moon), Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Motorhead (in honor of Lemmy Kilmister). In case anyone reading is going to be at a show during this tour, I will not list which tracks they played. I was pleasantly surprised, and I wouldn’t want to take that away from you.

Following “School’s Out,” the band left the stage. They returned within seconds to loud cheers and closed the show with “Elected.” Alice thanked his audience and after a few bows and showering the fans with picks and drumsticks, he and his mates exited for the final time.

I am very glad I convinced my dad to attend this concert. My only complaint would be that the show wasn’t long enough. Otherwise, it was perfect. Alice Cooper is a true entertainer. The Godfather of Shock Rock’s reign continues.

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Night Out

This is more or less a review of Shallow Side’s show in Madison last Friday, but it is also a personal post. I’ve been absent from the local music scene for a while and it was absolutely wonderful being back.

Unfortunately, I missed most of the opening act, a band called By All Means. What I did see, however, was really good. If you like hard rock/heavy metal, you might want to check them out.

I have been to four or five Shallow Side shows previously. I always enjoy them. An energetic performance coupled with amazing originals–and some odd but very fun covers–makes for one hell of a night. Shallow Side is better than anyone at getting an audience on its feet, except perhaps Almost Kings.

Friday was no different. The band’s set included originals such as “Stand Up,” “Out of Reach,” and “My Addiction.” I have to admit, though, that one of my favorite parts was their version of Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk,” with which they concluded their show. Front man Eric Boatright definitely did the track justice. It was just…magnificent. 🙂

20fyio0From left to right: drummer Heath Fields, vocalist Eric Boatright, guitarist Seth Trimble, and bassist Cody Hampton.

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2rr49l3Seth got me twice. Lol.

153ogv62zgge3nLooks like Seth tried to get me three times.

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Concert Review: Black Jacket Symphony Does Pink Floyd

Last Saturday night, I went to see The Black Jacket Symphony perform Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with my parents and cousin. The BJS has made a name for itself by recreating entire albums as exact as possible. Their past performances include Prince’s Purple Rain and Led Zeppelin’s IV.

The musicians in The Black Jacket Symphony rotate; that is to say, the band is not always made up of the same group of artists. For this performance, the band included Huntsville’s own Dave Anderson (guitar/vocals), as well as Aaron Branson on bass, Allen Barlow on guitar, Blair Breitreiter handling both keyboards and saxophone, Brad Wolfe on guitar, Mark Lanter on drums, Jackie Roche on vocals, and Peyton Grant on keys and backing vocals.

The Black Jacket Symphony did not disappoint. Pink Floyd is one of my all-time favorite bands, so believe me when I say I held them to a high standard. The musicians were superb, but it was the vocal talent on that stage that blew me away. Jackie Roche absolutely nailed “The Great Gig in the Sky” (see below). She received a much deserved standing ovation.

After the conclusion of Dark Side of the Moon, there was an intermission then the band returned to play a few of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits. They started with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and ended with “Comfortably Numb.” There were the obvious ones, such as “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II” and “Wish You Were Here.” I was surprised and very pleased when they included both “Empty Spaces” and “Young Lust.”

It was a spectacular night, filled with so much talent and an enthusiastic audience who clearly appreciated that talent. I would highly recommend attending a Black Jacket Symphony show if the chance ever presents itself.

“The Great Gig in the Sky”

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Me with Dave Anderson and Jackie Roche

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A Couple of Tour Announcements

I’ve already mentioned the Davey Suicide/Deadstar Assembly tour on one of my weekly focus posts, but there are a few other tours kicking off soon that you might be interested in.

Before hitting the road with Deadstar Assembly, Davey Suicide is playing in April and May alongside Twiztid.

Juggalo Invasion Tour 2016

April 09 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA

April 10 – Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR

April 12 – Revolution Hall – Garden City, ID

April 13 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT

April 14 – Mesa Theater – Grand Junction, CO

April 15 – The Roxy – Denver, CO

April 16 – The Roxy – Denver, CO

April 17 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO

April 18 – Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL **DS Only**

April 20 – Crofoot – Ponrtiac, MI

April 22 – Magic City – Binghampton, NY

April 23 – Reverb – Reading, PA

April 24 – Fete – Providence, RI

Immediately following is the aforementioned tour with DSA and The Funeral Portrait.

Anti-System Revolution Tour 2016

April 25 – Studio at Webster – New York, NY

April 26 – The Cove – Worcester, MA

April 27 – The Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, OH

April 28 – The Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY

April 29 – Fishhead Cantina – Baltimore, MD

May 02 – 89th St. Collective – Oklahoma City, OK

May 03 – Scout Bar – Houston, TX

May 04 – Rail Club – Fort Worth, TX

May 06 – Dirty Dog – Austin, TX

May 07 – Korova – San Antonio, TX

May 09 – Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO

May 11 – TBA, Tucson, AZ

May 12 – Pub Rock – Phoenix, AZ

May 13 – Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA

May 14 – Bar Sinister – Hollywood, CA **DS Only**

Also trekking the US this year is Dope!!! They have finally reunited and are coming to a city near you, starting in September!

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Lynam, Labor Day, and the Tiny Human

I saw Lynam this past Friday and I couldn’t have been happier. It had been about six months since my last show. They were awesome, as always, and after the show David let me listen to three songs–the final mixes–from the upcoming album, Bombshell. I am now even more excited for October than I already was.

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Some things never change…

Moving on…

My Labor Day was great, to be honest. I got to spend it with almost all of my favorite people: my brother Rick, my BFF Tiffany, her husband Jerimy, and my adorable niece Ivy. We had a cookout and Rick made grilled chicken that had been marinated in 151, lime, and sriracha sauce, as well as hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, etc. The best part of the night had to be dancing around the living room with the tiny human…or watching her amusement when all of the adults started playing on an exercise ball. Lol.

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Ivy gave us those ducks so that we could dance with them ❤

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Hope everyone else had a great holiday weekend!

Shaman’s Harvest, Tremonti, and Black Stone Cherry — A Night to Remember

Last Thursday, I went to see Shaman’s Harvest, Tremonti, and Black Stone Cherry in Birmingham. I’m not even going to try to explain how amazing the show was. Just…if you ever get the chance to see any of these bands, GO!!!!!!!!

After their set, Tremonti did a meet & greet at their merch table. Unfortunately, they were supposed to be out when Black Stone Cherry took the stage. They didn’t leave at the appointed time; however, we were ONE person away from them when security told them they had to go to the bus. No lie, I almost burst into tears. I love Mark Tremonti and I’ve wanted to meet him for a while and I was SO close…

While I was still struggling not to cry, a guy we’d been talking to before the show walked up. His name was Wade and he had tweeted Mark earlier in the week, asking if he would play his PRS at the show–and Mark said yes. He played the guy’s guitar for one song and announced to the crowd that it was Wade’s. (Legit, right?????) So Wade looks at me and asks if I got to meet Mark. I replied no and explained what happened. “Well,” Wade says, “you’d probably have luck if you went to the buses. They’re right around the corner. If Mark sees you out there, he’ll definitely talk to you. He’s a really cool guy.”

Second chances, for the win!!!!!!!!

My brother decided to stay inside and watch Black Stone Cherry because A) he’d never seen them before, and B) he didn’t believe that I’d have any luck outside.

I went out there. I found the buses. I froze my ass off for about twenty minutes, jumping every time a door opened. Finally, finally, the door to the venue opens and I glance up and I see him. Mark fucking Tremonti, carrying a guitar and looking like the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I very softly called “Mark?” He looked straight at me and I waved and he waved back and I said “Can I…? Can I climb over the barrier?” And he said “Yeah. Come on.”

*DEAD*

I trampled some flowers to get to him. Lol. He tried to shake my hand and I threw my arms around his middle and hugged him and it was so glorious. I lamented the fact that there was no one there to take a picture and he goes “It’s okay. We can selfie it.”

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Sorry it’s so blurry, but the only lighting back there were the streetlamps.

We talked for about twenty minutes, then I asked for another picture, closer to the light this time. Instead, we grabbed some guy who was beside Black Stone Cherry’s bus and we got these.

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I joked we were going to have about twenty pictures together and he assured me it was fine and waited for me to make sure I was happy with them. ❤

My brother came outside after that, because I texted him and told him that Mark Tremonti said hello (which he did), but Mark was already on the bus and he never came back off. We did meet three members of Black Stone Cherry and two more members of Tremonti, though.

Black Stone Cherry

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Eric [Tremonti]

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Tanner [Tremonti]

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These Self-Proclaimed Princes

Last Thursday, I went to see Almost Kings in Madison. Insert everything I’ve ever said about them into this post and you will be able to almost imagine how epic my night was.

I will never get over this band. I’m impressed by the fact that these four men give 200% at every show, both on and off the stage. They are the kindest, most wonderful and talented people, and I hope they know how much happiness they have brought to my life. Seriously, I can’t say it enough: if you ever have a chance to see them, take it! You won’t regret it!

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