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The Power of Rock and Light: Alter Bridge Shines in Detroit

Live shots & review by Eric DiRezze @6of6photopit exclusively for @FullMetalRock

The long-awaited reunion between Alter Bridge and their devoted fans finally arrived at The Fillmore Detroit on Feb 14th. Three years, four months, and nine days to be exact. Coincidentally, this was also the last live event I was able to cover before the pandemic took hold. Despite the passage of time, one thing remains crystal clear - Alter Bridge's ability to mesmerize a crowd and deliver an indelible performance. This was also a hometown show for AB's Mark Tremonti, which added an extra layer of significance to the event. Accompanying AB on this leg of their 2023 North American tour in support of their latest album "Pawns & Kings" are MammothWVH and RED, who kicked things off.

Prior to the show, I wasn't well-versed in RED's music, but as it turns out, I was not alone in this experience. During their set, lead vocalist Michael Barnes asked the crowd how many were seeing RED live for the first time, and a sizeable number of people cheered in agreement. This is one of the many reasons why attending live shows is so exciting - it's a chance to discover new artists who may not receive the recognition they deserve, especially in today's rock radio landscape. Despite my unfamiliarity with their music, RED's stage presence was nothing short of impressive, and the high-energy performance had the crowd completely captivated. It quickly became apparent why RED was selected to be a part of this tour, as they were the perfect opener, setting the stage for the main event to come. RED is set to release their 8th studio album, "Rated R," in the Spring of 2023, and based on the crowd's reaction and my own experience, I think it's safe to say that they will only continue to grow their fan base.

Next up on stage was MammothWVH, and they proved to be another standout performance of the night. Wolfgang Van Halen, the band's lead vocalist, guitarist, and namesake, selected the band's name as a tribute to his father's first band, Mammoth, which later transformed into the legendary Van Halen. This personal connection to one of rock's most iconic acts only added to the excitement of the evening, and the crowd eagerly awaited to see what Wolfgang and the rest of the band had up their sleeves for the night.

MammothWVH is comprised of a handful of exceptionally talented musicians who also deserve some recognition, including Frank Sidoris and Jon Jourdan on guitars, Ron Ficarro on bass, and Garrett Whitlock on drums. Sidoris, (who also plays with Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators), showcased his impressive guitar skills and added a rich layer to the band's overall sound. Jourdan's playing complemented Wolfgang's guitar playing, resulting in an explosive sound that energized the crowd. Ficarro's bass playing combined with Whitlock's powerful and precise drumming provided a strong foundation for the band.

Their 45-minute set was a true showcase of their unique modern hard rock sound, with Wolfgang's impressive vocal range and guitar playing commanding attention. They brought a contagious energy that kept the crowd thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout their set. Their performance was a real treat for fans of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, and if their set was any indication, there are brighter things ahead for these guys. I'm excited to see what MammothWVH has in store for us next, and I have no doubt they will continue to impress with their talent and musicianship.

The Fillmore Detroit was buzzing with excitement as the lights dropped and a rig of white lights from the back of the stage pulsated towards the crowd. Soon we see the silhouettes of the Myles, Mark and Brian take the stage and Scott (aka 'Flip') is already behind his kit. Tremonti rips into the "Silver Tongue" riff and the crowd was ignited with excitement. AB would go on to treat fans to a setlist that blended their 'classics' with newer tracks from their latest album, "Pawns & Kings". A perfect blend of 'old and new' showcased the band's musical consistency and growth, delivering an unforgettable live experience.

Lead singer & guitarist extraordinaire in his own right, (when he remembers where his volume knob is), Myles Kennedy showcased his powerful vocal range with unwavering conviction. My previous comment about the volume knob was delivered in jest as reference to a moment of AB's set where they were about to start playing their most recent single, "Holiday" however was met with some minor technical difficulties. "Minor technical difficulties" meaning that Myles had just forgot to turn up the volume knob on his guitar. He went to on to quip that he was available for hire for landscaping and other similar type of work. I don't think that'll be necessary Myles, we'll give you a pass on this one. He went on to reintroduce the song, and the band knocked it out of the park, but it made for a fun light-hearted moment of the night. Mark Tremonti, the band's guitar virtuoso, was equally impressive, delivering heavy riffs and incredible solos with precision and raw energy. AB's rhythm section, composed of Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums, worked seamlessly to create a tight and cohesive rhythm section that is an integral part of Alter Bridge's sound.

Fans were fully engaged, throughout the night, singing along and headbanging to the beat. Crowd-pleasers like "Broken Wings", "Addicted To Pain" and "Blackbird" were met with a roar of approval, while unique acoustic renditions of classic tunes "In Loving Memory" and "Watch Over You" had the audience in the palm of their hand. They also performed a standout rendition of "Burn It Down" which featured Mark Tremonti on vocals. As I listened to the song, it brought back memories of the band's early 'One Day Remains' demo days, (before the album had been completed with Myles' vocals), where Tremonti had already recorded a demo version of the same track. This performance was a testament to Tremonti's versatility as a vocalist, and his growth as a singer, evident not just through his work in Alter Bridge but also his eponymous project, Tremonti, and his recent work on the charity album "Tremonti Sings Sinatra", that he recorded in honor of his daughter Stella. It's worth mentioning that Alter Bridge has been performing this alternate version of 'Burn It Down' since their last tour. This highlights the band's creativity in experimenting with different arrangements and interpretations of their music, providing their fans with a unique and fresh experience at every performance.

Overall all of the bands delivered electrifying performances that showcased the raw power of rock music both sonically and visually. It often goes unmentioned, but the light show that accompanied the live show was a feast for the eyes. The combination of vibrant colors and spotlights dancing across the stage and strobes in perfect synchronization with the music was mesmerizing, creating an immersive experience that only added another layer of excitement to an already thrilling event.

Alter Bridge once again showcased why they are one of the premier hard rock acts of the past two decades. Having been around that long, it's good to see they're still attracting new fans, young and young at heart. I've personally seen them numerous times over, and this show for me ranks as one of their very best. From the opening guitar riff of "Silver Tongue" to the closing notes of their set, their performance was a testament to the raw power of rock music. The audience was swept away by the energy and passion of their playing. Whether you're discovering Alter Bridge for the first time or you're a seasoned fan, their live show is a must-see experience for anyone who truly loves the genre. Their powerful sound, captivating stage presence, undeniable talent, and stunning visuals make them a staple of the rock scene, and a truly unforgettable live event not to be missed.

ALTER BRIDGE SETLIST: Silver Tongue Addicted To Pain Ghosts of Days Gone By Broken Wings Holiday Burn It Down Cry of Achilles Watch Over You (acoustic) In Loving Memory (acoustic) Blackbird (dedicated to the victims of the MSU shooting) Pawns & Kings Waters Rising Isolation Metalingus Encore: Rise Today Open Your Eyes MAMMOTH WVH SETLIST: Mammoth Mr. Ed Epiphany Stone Think It Over Distance You're To Blame Don't Back Down RED SETLIST: Death of Me Faceless Let It Burn Already Over Feed the Machine Breathe Into Me The Pawns & Kings Tour with #AlterBridge and #MammothWVH!! Tickets and VIP Experiences are on sale now at

US TOUR: Feb 18.23 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre USA w/ Mammoth March 10.23 - Quapaw, Ok - Downstream Casino Resort March 11.23 - Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland March 14.23 - Chesterfield, MO - The Factory March 15.23 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Criterion March 17.23 - Houston, TX - 713 Music Hall March 18.23 - Dallas, TX - South Side Ballroom March 20.23 - Denver, CO - Mission Ballroom March 21.23 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Union Event Center March 23.23 - Seattle, WA - The Paramount March 25.23 - Airway Heights, WA - Northern Quest Resort & Casino - SOLD OUT March 26.23 - Airway Heights, WA - Northern Quest Resort & Casino March 28.23 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues March 29.23 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre March 31.23 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Grande Exposition Hall April 1.23 - Highland, CA - Yaamava Casino USA w/ Sevendust May 6.23 - Greensboro, NC - Piedmont hall May 7.23 - Myrtle Beach, SC - House Of Blues May 9.23 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore May 11.23 - Louisville, KY - Palace Theatre May 13.23 - Cherokee, NC - Harrah’s Cherokee May 14.23 - Chattanooga, TN - The Signal May 16.23 - Pensacola, FL - Saenger Theatre May 17.23 - New Orleans, LA - The Fillmore May 19.23 - Dothan, AL - The Plant May 20.23 - Daytona Beach, FL - Welcome To Rockville Europe w/ Mammoth June 3.23 - Holland - Tilburg - 013 June 10.23 - Sweden - Sweden Rock Festival June 13.23 - Sweden - Stockholm - Gråna Lund June 16.23 - France - Hellfest June 17.23 - Spain - Azkena Rock Festival June 20.23 - Germany - Ludwigsburg - MHP Arena June 23.23 - Italy - NATZ - Alpen Flair Festival June 26.23 - France - Lyon - Transbordeur June 28.23 - Portugal - Lisbon - Evil Live Fest June 29.23 - Spain - Resurrection Festival For more info:

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