Words and Photos by Robert Cavuoto
Alter Bridge ignited Playstation Theater in NYC on Tuesday with an electrifying display of musicianship as they kick off the fourth show of their Walk The Sky Tour US tour. The show was initially scheduled at Terminal 5, but due to a fire in a surrounding building, it was moved to the Playstation Theater at the last minute. Their tour started in Raleigh, NC on September 19th and will take them across the US until the end of October before leaving for Europe in November.
It’s in support of their forthcoming sixth CD; Walk the Sky due out on October 18th. Opening for Alter Bridge tonight was Skillet and Dirty Honey.
If there were doubts that it might take the band a few shows to find their groove, rest assured it was not the case tonight. Myles Kennedy [vocals/guitars], Mark Tremonti [guitars/vocals], Brian Marshall [bass], and Scott Phillips [drums] are consummate professionals who delivered a flawless show to the sold-out capacity crowd.
As the minutes ticked away after Skillets’ performance, you could feel the anticipation mount. At 9:30 pm sharp, it became clear by the roar of the 2,100 screaming fans that the moment arrived as the foursome appeared on stage.
The band kicked off the night with “Wouldn’t You Rather” with its thunderous chords then dove into “Isolation” and “Buried Alive.” The band clearly has undeniable chemistry with the fans as their songs are real stories that they can relate to and that’s what Rock & Roll is all about.
The show consisted of a 13-song setlist full of classics and some new songs. The band didn’t ignore fan favorites that help put them on the map like “Blackbird,” “Addicted to Pain,” and “Cry of Achilles.” They performed four songs from their upcoming CD, Walk the Sky; “Pay No Mind,” “Take the Crown,” ” Wouldn’t You Rather,” and “In the Deep.”
I asked Myles about how they determined which new songs they will play prior to the new CD’s release and he responded, “You generally just play the songs that have been released up until that point. You don’t want to play deep-cuts from the new CD as they might not work well in a live setting.”
They kept the 60-minute show moving at a fast pace from start to finish. All songs were tight, fast-driven, and neatly filled with all the band’s trademark riffs and chunky guitar tones.
Myles was the focal point with his compelling vocals and guitar showmanship. There is spirituality and self-assurance in his singing as well as his guitar playing that makes him the great frontman. His soulful voice enhanced the ballads and drove the rock songs home with an edgy bite. Dressed in a black t-shirt shirt, jeans, and a pair of checkered Vans, Mark showcased his ability to not only be an outstanding guitarist but an excellent singer; as he took lead vocals on “Waters Rising.” His rhythm guitar is always exciting and aggressive while his intricate solos drove the band’s churning tracks home.
Keeping up with Mark’s gallop guitar playing and Myles’s soaring vocals was Brian’s bass playing with his lightning-fast fingers. It was almost like he was beating out drum rhythms on his bass strings. His style of bass playing marries nicely with Scott’s powerful drumming where every hit was a full wind-up swing like he was pounding nails.
Fans have been starved for a good hard rock band and Alter Bridger fits the bill. Their rabid New York fans continuously showered them with gratitude and heartfelt applause. In return, Alter Bridge gave them an unforgettable concert.