Alter Bridge Kicks Off US Tour in Hometown of Orlando, Florida
House of Blues, Orlando, Florida USA, November 24, 2017
By Barry Nadler
Confetti reigns down on the audience as the opening night of the Alter Bridge US tour closes down. The Orlando House of Blues is filled to almost sold-out venue and so many people wearing Alter Bridge tour shirts.
About a month prior, they had played their last show on the European tour, in Lisbon, Portugal. Alter Bridge has just come off their overseas portion of the tour and starting their US tour with two shows in Florida – Orlando and Tampa.
For those that are unaware of Alter Bridge’s roots, they consist of three members from Creed (Mark Tremonti – lead guitar, Brian Marshall – bass guitar, and Scott Philips (Flip) – drums) and Myles Kennedy – lead vocals and rhythm guitar. They have been a band for about 13 years.
They are currently supporting their latest studio album, The Last Hero, which was released in 2016. This album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts.
In November of 2017, they also released their newest live album, Live at the O2 Arena. This album is a 3-CD set, with one CD being rarities.
This was a special show because Creed was essentially a local band, from Orlando. This, in turn, makes the roots of Alter Bridge local to Orlando, as well. The result is that many of the local musicians know various members of this band. While at the show, I was constantly running into people I knew from some of the local scene. I can identify at least four local bands that had members attending the show. Alter Bridge also played in the Central Florida region less than a year ago – and they were part of my reviews for both WJRR 101.1’s Earthday Birthday and the large music festival in Jacksonville, Welcome to Rockville.
Supporting acts on this tour were Sons of Texas and All That Remains.
The Sons of Texas are a newer band, formed in 2013. Their first album was released in 2015. They are currently supporting their second album, Forged By Fortitude, released in September of this year. Their current album was produced by the same producer that worked with All That Remains. This five-piece band was a nice surprise. I was not aware of them and thoroughly enjoyed their style of metal. It is a mix of blues, melodies, and metal. I would also suggest that there was a touch of southern rock in their sound as well. They performed about six songs, to complete a 30-minute set. About half their set covered songs from each of their two albums. Within days of the show, I was on Spotify checking out more of their music and will definitely be adding them to my collection.
All That Remains is fronted by Phillip Labonte, who stepped in on vocals with Five Finger Death Punch, when Ivan Moody needed to step away about a year ago. They are currently supporting their album Madness, which was released earlier this year. I was actually really looking forward to seeing them, since I had recently gotten a listen to some of their CDs and really liked what I heard.
The All That Remains set consisted of 11 songs, including their hit and cover of Garth Brooks’ The Thunder Rolls
. Interestingly, their set list only contained two other songs from their current album – Madness and Halo. They leaned more on their older catalog for the rest of the songs in their set. Their style seems to have moved from more of a metalcore band with growling vocals to a harmonic heavy metal band. This show was definitely heavier than what I expected. There was a mosh pit and many heavier songs. Outside of what I already listed, some of the songs in their setlist included “The Last Time”, “ This Probably Won’t End Well”, “Hold On, Six”, and “Two Weeks.”
Alter Bridge was the main course of this show. As I stated earlier, I had already seen them twice previously before this show, so I sort of knew what to expect. I have several of their albums in my personal collection, so I was familiar with a lot of their catalog. In regards to that, I would assume they have a pretty solid set list that doesn’t change much from show to show. After picking up Live At O2 Arena, it was clear to me that most of the songs they performed on stage at the House of Blues are the same songs on this live album. The one thing that has consistently stood out about Alter Bridge is Myles Kennedy’s voice. He has a voice that is instantly recognizable when you hear it. I am not going to claim that it is a voice everyone will like. But, if you have heard his voice, you know it when you hear it. The first time I had heard any of their music (last year, at WJRR Earthday Birthday) I instantly recognized his voice from his work with Slash, of Guns and Roses.
Their set opened with The Writing on the Wall. From there it included Come to Life, Farther Than the Sun, Ghosts of Days Gone By (a personal favorite), Cry of Achilles, Ties that Bind, and Crows on a Wire (another personal favorite).
They slowed down the show for the middle chunk of their set. This allowed a little time to enjoy a duet of acoustic songs with just Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy – Watch Over You and In Loving.
The second half of their show included the crowd favorite, Blackbird. It also contained other favorites such as Isolation and Metalingus. They closed the show out with Show Me a Leader, one of the lead tracks from The Last Hero.
The only disappointment I had was that they did not include one of my favorites in the setlist. I really enjoy the song, My Champion.
I have been completely satisfied with their show every time I have seen them, and I am lucky enough to say I have seen Alter Bridge three times in one year. I can also say that I saw Philip Labonte perform three times in a year as well, since I got to see him fill in for Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch on two of their last stops in 2016.