Kerrang Alter Bridge Live Review
This was typed up from the latest issue of Kerrang Magazine(the biggest rock mag in Europe)by Mick and was originally posted at alterbridgeband.net. The review was from the London show on December 2nd at the Mean Fiddler. Enjoy.
In the coolness stakes, admitting you like alter bridge comes somewhere between voting for george bush and owning a bumper stash of kiddie porn. Famously, they used to be creed - one of the most loathed bands in rock history. and even with a new singer and an incisive new sound, their efforts have so far been met with a collective middle finger from the press.
Happily, recieved critical 'wisdom' means fuck all to tonights sold out crowd, which contains precious few media twats, and many hundreds of fans of impassioned, well crafted rock n roll. given creed's legacy, you might expect the place to be full of bookish christians and well fed americans. on the contrary, this is a true metal corwd, all tattoos, denim and bloodstock tshirts. and from the moment the band hit the stage, the whole place ignites with an unalloyed - and surprisingly vocal - euphoria.
the key point here is that alter bridge sound nothing like creed. emancipated from the blistering posturing of former front man scott stapp (a man whom the rest of the band always despised, incidentally) they rock with a new sensitivity, locating an emotive midpoint between downtuned soundgarden and the guilty pleasure rush of 80's AOR acts like journey. It helps that new guy myles kennedy is blessed with an astonishing voice that cuts through the mix with diamond drill precision. when he tilts his head back and unleashes the climatic high notes on songs like Down to my Last its like watching robert plant or layne staley at the height of their powers.
moreover, whereas creed epitomised the joylessness of modern metal, alter bridge understand the power of classic showmanship. hence we get an extended guitar duel between kennedy and lead guitarist mark tremonti, followed by a covers medley that takes in kiss, deep purple, and led zeppelin. one audience member calls out for sweet child of mine so they play that too! kennedy forgets the words; the audience sing it for him. the good will generated by all this is extraordinary, and by the time they reach recent single 'open your eyes' the room is full of guys with their arms around each other, eyes screwed shut, screaming along to every word as waves of crowd surfers hurl toward the stage. its quite a spectacle.
people will say its not 'ok' to like alter bridge. but fuck 'em. this band are drawing from the same deep well as led zeppelin, van halen, pearl jam, and countless other purveyors of heartfelt, unpretentious music. its classic rock for the modern age, dispatched with a passion and conviction that puts many other 'cooler' acts to shame. forget their shameful past: alter bridge deserve a glorious future.