Alter Bridge Live in London

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 @ 8:11 AM

Alter Bridge Live at the Unive

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REVIEW BY: Nick Cracknell, Courtesy of Total Guitar Magazine

If you're familiar with Creed, then you'll be familiar with Alter Bridge. When America's self-coined "biggest band" dissolved last year due to tensions between singer Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti, a collective sigh of relief blew through alt-rock's already dusty corridors. Despite selling 30 million albums in just seven years, Creed had become musically stale and critics were lambasting their every move.

Now, out of the ashes, rises the offshoot Alter Bridge, which is essentially the original Creed line-up of Tremonti, Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums, but with the addition of the remarkable former-Mayfield Four singer Myles Kennedy on vocals. Gone are the ego-bloating lyrics and the credibility-sapping presence of Stapp, and in their place are Creed's familiar fist-pumping anthems and rock-solid rhythms but with a fresh new sound and vitality boosted by Kennedy's soaring vocals and Tremonti's surprisingly intelligent lyrics. If you liked Creed's music but not their image, then you are going to love Alter Bridge.

With their debut album, One Day Remains, recently-released, the band jetted to Europe last week to perform just three shows, only one of them in England, as a warm up for their US tour which begins this week.

It was clear from the outset that Alter Bridge are all about getting back to their rock roots. Normally accustomed to huge arenas, London's ULU holds less than 500 people, and only 316 tickets were sold for this event, making for an incredibly close-knit atmosphere.

Throughout the set, consisting entirely of the 12 songs from One Day Remains, the crowd had no need to attempt to stage dive such was their closeness to the band. Tremonti commanded the stage with his awesome presence. Influenced more by ‘70s classic bands than the early grunge, to which he is commonly associated, he pulled some ripping solos out of his formidable bag of tricks, most notably on new single, the pile-driving “Open Your Eyes.”

Getting back to his metal roots, alot of the Alter Bridge songs are much heavier than anything you would have heard during the Creed days. The sound in the venue was unbelievable, and you could hear every nuance of Phillips' thundering drum fills and Marshall's bubbling bass lines.

The highlight was the anthemic “Broken Wings” and an acoustic version of “In Loving Memory,” which Tremonti write when his mother died last year. Not as cheesy as it should have been, the song charged the audience with emotion before they kicked into the brilliant closer, “Open Your Eyes.” Kennedy's voice is somewhere between Robert Plant and Chris Cornell, and was a true wonder to behold when he hit the bridge notes on “Burn It Down.” His dedication to the band was clear as backstage -- he was the last of the band members in the VIP area because he had been "warming down."

With Alter Bridge, Mark Tremonti has laid to rest the demons of Creed and Scott Stapp and has found new focus with Phillips, Marshall and Kennedy. Alter Bridge are at the beginning of what could be a remarkable journey.

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