Alter Bridge stake their claim to greatness

Posted on 17 December 2019
By Frank Ralph
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The Raven Age suffered a double blow of having to play to a fairly small crowd and an awful sound mix but still played a great energetic set. They look and sound like they have a lot going for them, but maybe people who had been looking forward to seeing Sevendust (who had to cancel due to illness) had decided to stay in the pub for an extra pint or two.

It wasn’t until Shinedown took the stage that the venue had started to fill up properly.

Those guys know how to put on a show. A mashup of intro clips and flashing lights introduced them to the stage, Brent shook hands with the photographers and fired t-shirts into the crowd before joining them himself to get them all jumping around all within the first three songs.

Unlike when many other bands say they love this city, it genuinely feels like they love their visits to Manchester and the musical history it has created. Yet again we get a singalong through Don’t Look Back in Anger, as we have on the last few visits, but it would be nice to hear them delve deeper and maybe give us their take on a Joy Division or New Order track.

Their whole set felt like a headliner show, with bags of energy, a great light show and some absolute beasts filling the space.

As far as Alter Bridge go, they have absolutely everything in their arsenal to stake a valid claim for a Download headline slot in the future. A back catalogue that is as strong as it could possibly be, a frontman and a guitarist that are both show stealers in their own rights and most importantly an adoring audience.

The show at the Manchester Arena in support of their latest album Walk the Sky gave us a big chunk of new material which was all welcomed like old favourites. The claustrophobic Wouldn’t you Rather opening the set makes great use of the humungous lighting rig they have behind and above them. It’s as epic as their music is.

Their blend of metal and classic rock certainly packs a punch, but it’s the other moments littered throughout the set that make it magical. The acoustic In Loving Memory with a constellation of mobile phones held aloft, the 8-minute epic that is Blackbird is introduced with The Beatles track of the same name or My Champion being added to the set at the behest of a fan. Tremonti also gives away his guitar as an early Christmas present to a lucky fan.

This band are truly on the top of their game at the moment and are truly capable of taking that next step on the journey.

For a full set of photos from the show click here