AlterBridge + Shinedown + Halestorm
Wembley Arena, London
18th October 2013
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Michelle Murphy
The ground shook when it was announced that Alter Bridge will be taking over Wembley Arena in support of their 4th studio album Fortress. However, when it was announced that they will be accompanied by Shinedown and Halestorm, it was clear that this is aiming to be one of the best shows of 2013.
On the 18th of October 2013 Metal-Rules.com UK team had the privilege to be at Wembley Arena and experience performances by some of the greatest rock bands around.
The first band on tonight is Halestorm. They take the stage full of energy and ready to kick off the greatest rock show Wembley Arena has seen in ages. Kicking off their set with „Love Bites (So Do I)” they instantly manage to create a party atmosphere within the crowd.
When it comes to getting the crowd going, no other lady does it quite as well as Lzzy Hale. She absolutely owns the stage and fascinates everyone with her feminine yet edgy charm. Her vocal abilities are undeniable as she adds a good dose of attitude and roughness to the performance of “Mz. Hyde”.
Halestorm spread youthful energy and enthusiasm that runs through the whole set as each band member play a significant part of the performance and seem unstoppable. However, Halestorm would not be half as exciting to watch, if it wasn’t about their drummer Arejay Hale.
No matter how many great rock and metal bands are out there, it’s still quite hard to come across drummers that are not only fantastic musicians, but also great entertainers. Arejay Hale drumming style is wild, raw and fuelled with energy.
He does not simply sit behind the drum kit and play his part. In stead of doing that, he works around the drum kit and finds unusual ways to beat the hell out of it. Despite their 30 minute set, Halestorm find a way to squeeze in a rather exceptional drum solo where Arejay Hale’s performance officially makes any other drummer look lazy.
Halestorm seem to have studied the tricks of pleasing English audience, as tonight they throw in a cover version of “Dissident Aggressor” by Judas Priest off their latest covers E.P. ReAniMate 2.0.
The absolute highlight of Halestorm performance is “I Miss the Misery,” which goes down a storm and lets guitarist Joe Hottinger finally get his time to shine with laying down one of the greatest and most soulful guitar solos of the night.
After proving to be one of the hottest and promising new bands around, Halestorm finish their energetic set with the sing-along anthem that is „Here’s to Us” and gets everyone in a cheerful mood for Shinedown.
1. Love Bites (So Do I)
2. Mz. Hyde
3. Freak Like Me
4. Dissident Aggressor (Judas Priest cover)
5. I Miss the Misery
6. Here’s to Us
When it comes to Shinedown, they are no strangers to London town. After selling out two nights at Brixton Academy in 2012, the Jacksonville boys are back and appear to be in top form.
Tonight Shinedown don’t waste much time and open their set with the absolute killer track that is „Devour”. Few seconds in and they’ve already managed to raise the energy level in Wembley Arena to maximum. With an intense approach to performance, Shinedown are looking slick, sounding tight and getting everyone in the mood for an hour of great sing-along hard rock anthems.
When it comes to Shinedown signature sound, „Sound Of Madness,” the second song on tonight, describes it exceptionally well. It simply sounds immense whether you’re listening to it on your MP3 player, your stereo or live at Wembley Arena, and tonight’s performance confirms that it’s one of the most powerful songs in Shinedown back catalogue. With pounding drums, stomping rhythm and electrifying guitars „Sound Of Madness” holds more aggression and attitude than a fist fight.
Seems that no matter which song Shinedown choose to perform tonight, each and every one of them go down as an absolute classic. Even if the crowd might seem a little stiff from time to time, it does not seem to bother Shinedown lads too much, as they encourage everyone in the seats to stand up, as after all, this is a rock show.
Shinedown carry on by blasting out anthems off their latest studio album Amaryllis and giving everyone a chance to enjoy themselves singing along to larger-than-life sounding „Unity” and „I’ll Follow You”. Both songs go down exceptionally well and get Shinedown fans to sing their hearts out, as their music holds great amount of emotions, that to some of the audience members might seem like a journey through lifetime experiences and familiar feelings. What makes Shinedown music so genuine and visceral is the fact that people find it easy to relate to it.
“If You Only Knew” and „Second Chance” are both classic tunes and an exceptionally important part of any Shinedown live performance. But what better way to sum it up than with an acoustic cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s „Simple Man” and the fist pumping anthem „Bully”?
After getting the whole Wembley Arena up on their feet and delivering an emotionally uplifting set, Shinedown give way to the headliners. Their musically spectacular and engaging show tonight leaves AlterBridge with a lot to live up to.
2. Sound of Madness
5. I’ll Follow You
6. Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
7. If You Only Knew
8. Second Chance
9. Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
On October the 25th world saw the release of 4th studio album by Alter Bridge called Fortress and what better way to celebrate it than returning to Wembley Arena and playing a sold out show for their 12’500 closest friends?
With the opening riffs of “Addicted to Pain,” Alter Bridge make a loud entrance and take the stage in high spirits.
Dedicating the first part of their set to classic material off the 2nd studio album Blackbird and new material off Fortress, the band kick things off in a way that would not disappoint any Alter Bridge fan. The band hammer through tracks like “White Knuckles,” “Come to Life” and “Before Tomorrow Comes” and introduce some of the most powerful material off Fortress, like “Farther Than the Sun” and “Cry of Achilles” making the start of tonight’s performance dynamic and ambitious.
Aside from the fact that Fortress has been out for less than one month, most people in the audience seem to have done their homework and recognize each song by singing along. “Cry of Achilles” is looking to go down in history as one of the greatest tracks Alter Bridge have ever composed and tonight’s overwhelming response to it leaves the band truly thankful and blushing.
It’s no secret that Alter Bridge live shows are always a great experience musically and emotionally and tonight the band sound as tight as always. Each musician in Alter Bridge is a professional and such fact could not be disputed even when the band faces some technical difficulties during their set.
What makes Alter Bridge sound as tight and magnificent are the four band members who together make one hell of a heavy metal machinery. The main drive behind Alter Bridge, that sometimes seems to be left behind and without much recognition, is the exceptional teamwork between the drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall. Both musicians deliver some of the heaviest and most complex rhythm parts in today’s rock music and Alter Bridge would not be half as great without them.
Mark Tremonti’s guitar playing is a real treat for fans of technically polished guitar solos, however, what makes Alter Bridge music so appealing is the heaviness and groove of his riffs. As, hands down, one of the greatest modern rock guitarists around, Tremonti delivers a spectacular performance either live and on the record.
…And then there’s Myles Kennedy – the heart and soul, and, most importantly, the voice of Alter Bridge. Tonight he once again proves himself to be one of the greatest frontman in the business.
It is a lot more than just his ability to lead the band and play the guitar. What makes Myles Kennedy the key member of the band is his charisma and stage presence together with his ‘out of space’ vocal range and abilities that have the power to reach out and speak to each and every member of the audience directly.
Tonight’s show proves that Alter Bridge know exactly how to please their crowd and deliver a killer set where each song stands out as an important part of the performance. Although tonight is the night for Alter Bridge to present most of their new material, they’ve decided to stick to the classics. After performing “The Uninvited,” they go straight back to anthems, like “Ties That Bind,” “Broken Wings,” “Metalingus” and “Blackbird” that are all excellent choices for tonight’s set. These are all heavy, yet beyond melodic songs that mark significant success in the band’s career and have great effect on the audience.
After a good dose of intense and high-energy songs, it’s time for Myles to cool things down with an acoustic performance of “Watch Over You,” which marks one of the most memorable moments of tonight, as the whole arena join in to sing along leaving Mr. Kennedy a little speechless and overwhelmed.
Alter Bridge finish their set with two of their possibly most commercially successful hits “Rise Today” and “Open Your Eyes,” just to return for an encore of “Slip To the Void” and “Isolation” sounding huge with its ‘hands-in-the-air- like’ chorus and making a great ending of tonight’s show.
As for a band that’s been going for nearly a decade, selling out Wembley Arena as a part of their UK tour is an astonishing achievement. It is clear that Alter Bridge, as a band, can only keep growing and developing and will always be welcome back to UK by their strong and dedicated fan base.
1. Addicted to Pain
2. White Knuckles
3. Come to Life
4. Before Tomorrow Comes
5. Farther Than the Sun
6. Brand New Start
7. Cry of Achilles
8. Ghost of Days Gone By
9. The Uninvited
10. Ties That Bind
11. Broken Wings
14. Watch Over You (Acoustic)
15. Rise Today
16. Open Your Eyes
17. Slip to the Void