Review: Alter Bridge on the ABIII UK Tour

By Celeste Carrigan

It was a night of Roadrunner bands with Canadian rockers Theory of a Deadman opening the show for Alter Bridge on their ABIII UK arena tour. For an arena tour they lacked stage presence and drive to get the audience going.

They struggled to grab the audience and really bring the atmosphere up. They had a small set but gave as much as they could, but with any support act they are not playing for their own audience. Their more well-known tracks such as Lowlife and Bad Girlfriend where well received but they really struggled to warm up the audience. Maybe they are still finding their feet with the UK and the arena was just too over whelming, all we can do is wait and see.

The rest of the night was all about the power voices, with fellow label mates Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson and Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, bringing their powerful whaling vocals to the SECC in Glasgow.

Celebrating their 10th Anniversary BSC get on stage ready to play, blasting fan favourites off their new record like In My Blood and the ever so popular White Trash Millionaire. Blame it on the Boom Boom is the song that really brought the crowd to life, singing in unison with fists held high and the crowd screaming at top of their lungs.

They brought it down to a softer note with their beautiful and emotional song Things My Father Said, where the crowd was invited to sing the chorus of which they accepted with no hesitation. They even pleased the crowd with a little snippet of Lynyrd Skynyrd classic Sweet Home Alabama, to go straight into one of their own biggest, more well-known tracks, Lonely Train. 

Robertson’s vocals were strong. You could tell the hard-core fans that had clearly turned up solely to see them, they were noticeable from their bouncing and the clapping at will. The set really got the crowd warmed up, even though it felt short despite being a support act; everyone wanted them to carry on playing.

With three records themselves under their belts they unleashed a rocking set on Glasgow. American rock band Alter bridge are no strangers to playing Scotland but this time they embarked on their first UK area tour. Glasgow saw that Myles Kennedy’s power house vocals where made for arena tours, like his scene from the film Rockstar he commanded the stage from every inch.

The show was not only about the band, but the audience – with Kennedy encouraging the crowd to belt out the lyrics to almost every song they could. The show was made from a whole range of songs from their latest album ABIII as well as tracks from their first two albums, 2004’s One Day Remains and 2007’s Blackbird, making their performance powerful and compelling.

Kennedy strutted around the stage and got everyone clapping, moving and screaming along. Not only was it a special evening for fans to hear a whole range of songs from their back catalogue it was also Kennedy’s Birthday. The whole show stopped between songs to sing Happy Birthday to a humbled Kennedy and it was fun to watch him being entertained.

The song Slip to the Void saw Kennedy take to the stage to begin. Its soft intro with the raw emotions in his voice soon builds to break into pure rock with full on guitar thrashing. It set up the night perfectly; the crowd was up and ready to tear the place apart. They made a real effort tonight to reach out the crowd, this is maybe because they have become more accustomed to smaller venues, where the audience is right in your face and tonight they may have felt distant.

During White Knuckles, Kennedy did the now clichéd split-the-crowd-down-the-middle routine. I Know It Hurts really conveyed the emotion in Kennedy’s amazing voice. A song many wanted to hear off their back catalogue was Broken Wings, the whole crowd sang perfectly in time with the band.

Kennedy played Watch Over You and Wonderful Life (for many this would become the song of the night) during an amazing powerful acoustic performance. They chose to really break down the songs, making them more intimate and emotional and the SECC lit up with the number of mobile phones and lighters held in the air.

After finishing their set with Isolation, they came back to the stage for a two-song encore for something that would make any guitar player or lover melt. Made up of the much loved songs Open Your Eyes and Rise Today. But it was the guitar duel between Kennedy himself and lead guitarist Mark Tremonti that made the real impression.

Alter Bridge came to rock and they surely did.

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