Words & Photos by Marco Denzer
Now that the cold grip of winter has finally broken and cleared the way for more pleasant spring weather, Time Square is abuzz with thousands of tourists from around the globe, other states, and a sprinkling of local New Yorkers who cross this busy midtown intersection as they go about their daily routines. Here, amongst the canyons of enormous neon signs, amidst the organized urban chaos of traffic, pedestrians, street vendors, and NYPD on horseback, the hard-hitting rock band Alter Bridge brought their “Fortress Tour” to the Best Buy Theater.
The mood of the public in attendance tonight was one of excitement, and as people walked about the spacious lobby of the theater, its ample hallways, as they gathered at the cozy lounge seating areas, or purchased their drinks at one of the full bars on the premises. It was obvious that AB fans had waited long enough for the band to arrive and perform their repertoire live on stage. The positive energy was palpable.
Inside the concert hall, a very well designed room that slopes with a gentle angle from the back of the room toward the stage, acoustic treatment on the walls for sound optimization, elegant modern lighting fixtures for ambiance, and comfortable seating ensure a great viewing and listening experience for the audience, Alter Bridge fans are ready to rock I thought… and no matter where people sit or stand in the hall, they will enjoy the show on stage to the fullest.
Monster Truck, the supporting band from Ontario, Canada currently touring with Alter Bridge, started the show promptly at 8:00 p.m. and immediately set the right mood with a strong dose of Rock & Roll. Their list of songs, based on contagious guitar riffs layered over the rich sounds and tones of a classic Rhodes keyboard and a solid rhythm section, was very good and well played by the band. As a result, the public received the Canadians with lots of enthusiasm, and obviously that set the concert off in the right direction. The excitement in the room was very high after their performance.
Alter Bridge hit the stage at 9:00 p.m. and they came on full speed ahead with “Addicted To Pain”, the powerhouse single from their most recent production, Fortress, immediately laying down a rock-hard foundation for the rest of the show. The crowd that had waited patiently welcomed them with an enthusiastic roar and loudly sang the chorus of the song with the band. Their opening onslaught continued fast and heavy with “White Knuckles” and “Come to Life”, songs from the band’s second release “Blackbird”, and “Cry of Achilles”, also from Fortress.
The tempo slowed down briefly with the fourth song, but it was already too late, by now the place was ablaze with their heart-pounding music. Adrenaline was running high at this point, and there was more to come. The rest of the set-list was a compilation of songs from of all their previous productions, but it was arranged in a manner that kept it agile and very engaging, there was never a lull in the action and the audience cheerfully sang the choruses of several songs. They kept the momentum rolling by keeping the pauses between songs very brief, and Kennedy’s interactions with the public were lighthearted and succinct, except when he invited the audience to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Brian Marshall, and obviously everyone did.
With Scott Phillips on percussion, Brian Marshall on bass, Mark Tremonti on guitar and vocals, and Myles Kennedy on guitar and lead vocals, Alter Bridge delivered an impeccable performance to their fans. The rhythm section of Phillips and Marshall is an absolutely perfect platform for the masterful guitar work of Tremonti and Kennedy, it is extremely dynamic and locked-in tempo to the nuances of their songs. Kennedy and Tremonti on the other hand provide a prodigious touch of harmonious guitar playing that fluctuates from aggressive, fast and heavy to subtle, gentle and very melodic riffs and leads. Watching and hearing this quartet play is undoubtedly a great pleasure for anyone that appreciates good music.
Myles’ voice was in great form, he was able to sing in lower registers, then easily ramp up as needed to the higher registers without straining or missing a single note. Adding Mark’s singing skills to the mix, both as a lead on some songs and a backup vocalist on the others, completed a very strong vocal performance by the band.
Taking all the elements listed above and combining them with a strong dose of professionalism, experienced, and development forged by Alter Bridge over the last ten years resulted in an excellent presentation. One the crowd at Best Buy Theater will not soon forget given the amount of rocking, singing and fist pumping they did during the show.
Addicted to Pain
Come to Life
Cry of Achilles
Brand New Start
Ghosts of Days Gone By
Ties That Bind
Farther Than The Sun
Before Tomorrow Comes
Open Your Eyes
Find The Real
TheWaster.com | NYC