As Alter Bridge’s The Last Hero tour nears the end, they make a welcome return to the Chicago area.

It may have been a snowy Monday night, but nothing deters Alter Bridge’s loyal fanbase from showing up. Joe’s Live was impressively filling up as the first band of the night, Man The Mighty, took to the stage. Hailing from Chicago, these guys are no stranger to the increasing crowd, having previously shared the same stage. Their 30-minute set included the majority of their 2016 EP, Paper Crown, whilst also including favorites such as “Ghosts.” Guitarist, Tim Tournier, blasted out some pretty heavy yet melodic riffs, while singer, Derek Smith, sang his heart out. The four-piece more than warmed up the crowd on such a blustery night.

As the anticipation of the evening rose, All That Remains burst out on the stage and kicked the energy levels up another notch. This was a hard-hitting set which had everyone’s attention fixed on the stage. This was an energetic performance from the very beginning, and it was clear these guys knew how to put on a show. Phil Labonte’s voice effortlessly transitioned from melodic singing to a powerful growl. This is a band who blur the lines between rock and heavy metal. One minute they would be performing a typically rock sounding song, and then thrashing out heavy, punchy number the next. The transformation of Labonte’s voice from one to the other was so astounding, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a completely different singer. 

When you think of ATR, the last person you would associate them with is Garth Brooks. However, their cover of his song, “The Thunder Rolls” strangely worked. 

By the time Alter Bridge took to the stage, you could barely move through the ample crowd. They last performed in Chicago in January this year, so what better way to round out the year. The smiles on their faces throughout their set reflected the emotions of the crowd. With Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti both concentrating on their upcoming solo albums in 2018, the fans were out in force to take in every second of Alter Bridge while they can.

With five albums now under their belts, the material from which they have to choose has grown considerably. Kennedy asked the crowd who had heard their latest album, The Last Hero, as he didn’t want to just presume. It was clear that this crowd were more than familiar with all of their work, as they sang along wholeheartedly to every song, whilst pumping their fists in the air.

Their set included everything you could want from an Alter Bridge show. They performed the favorites – “Blackbird” (complete with the Beatles intro), “Metalingus” and “Rise Today.” They also stripped things back with Kennedy performing an acoustic “Watch Over You” before being joined on stage with Tremonti for “In Loving Memory.” The audience were captivated, some even had lighters in the air as they swayed back and forth.

This was an impassioned performance from all four members of the band. Kennedy’s voice was as strong as ever, with such incredible range. Not only does he have the voice, but he yet again proved he has impeccable guitar skills and each tour he seems to play more and more. Tremonti also had his time in the spotlight on lead vocals for “Waters Rising” before returning to banging out the heavy riffs once again. The two went head-to-head trading guitar licks during the encore, which is always an impressive show of talent.

Whilst the fans are eager to hear Kennedy’s and Tremonti’s solo material, there is still the hope that the Alter Bridge hiatus won’t be too long and they will be back on our stages, together, before we know it. For now, we will just have to enjoy the fact that we got to see them twice in the same year.  

Alter Bridge
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All That Remains
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Man The Mighty
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Joe’s Live
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Event Date: 11-DEC-2017

About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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