Formed in 2004, Floridian rock and heavy metal band Alter Bridge certainly know how to put on a show. The Birmingham Genting Arena was just one stop on their 2016 UK tour as they headlined a line-up of New Zealand’s Like A Storm, France’s Gojira and Copenhagen’s Volbeat.
Like A Storm were particularly memorable, as they pulled out a didgeridoo to accompany their heavy baritone guitar riffs in a nod to their New Zealand heritage. Gojira’s activist message is intertwined with their fast drums, heavy bass guitar and psychedelic light shows; thoroughly unusual and entertaining. Volbeat were remarkable; clearly usually a headliner. At the pinnacle of an impressive 11 song playlist, the Danish band invited the audience onstage, closing on a high as their fans danced among them on the Birmingham stage. After one of the most impressive line-ups of support acts I’ve ever been witness to, the 4-piece band certainly had their work cut out for them, but definitely did not disappoint.
Birmingham’s date of the 27th November happened to fall on lead vocalist and guitarist, Myles Kennedy’s 47th birthday. The frontman stood back and smiled as the audience belted Happy Birthday; somewhat out of tune.
Alter Bridge played an impressive 17 song set; performing tracks from their four previous albums, and throwing in plenty from the newly released ‘The Last Hero’. This set included an emotional acoustic rendition of 2008 single ‘Watch Over You’ (this is where I cried, in case you’d been wondering), along with many new releases, closing on 2004 single ‘Open Your Eyes’, before they were pulled back onstage for an encore. Kennedy stepped back from his microphone, to be replaced by thousands of voices singing their lyrics back to him as he beamed out at the crowd.
Lead guitarist Mark Tremonti also stepped up to the microphone to solo on ‘Waters Rising’, adding a great voice to his irritatingly long list of talents. However, Kennedy’s voice most definitely stole the show; his impressive range and unique sound never failing to impress.
The talent and stage presence of every band, combined with mesmerising light shows, had everyone wishing that the six hour long show would go on for just a little longer.