ALTER BRIDGE have proved time and time again to be one of the most consistent bands on the planet and their critically acclaimed fifth studio album The Last Hero achieved incredible heights breaking into the top ten of multiple album charts. The last couple of years has seen the band traversing across the globe in support of their latest effort recently including two massive shows at The Royal Albert Hall in London accompanied by the 52 piece Parallax Orchestra. Before they jetted off to back to Europe they made a pit stop at the incredibly intimate capacity of Usher Hall in Edinburgh with UK based rockers AS LIONS in tow.
Austin Dickinson must be tired of the comparisons and expectations surrounding his lineage but he is certainly well equipped for the challenge encapsulating the crowd with his huge vocal power. AS LIONS initially struggled with the vocals and drums vastly overpowering the guitar work leaving some of the intricate layering to be completely lost in the mix but fortunately this was resolved as their set progressed.
In support of their debut release Selfish Age the five piece maintained a high level of energy and enthusiasm throughout but the choice of song order worked against them as they got the crowd warmed up with some great punchy riffing only to transition into songs with piano openings and ballad segments completely knocking the wind out of their own sails in the process. Despite Austin‘s unnecessary expletive ridden crowd rapport which began to wear rather thin AS LIONS showed a great stage presence and provided the crowd with some moments of raw energy to get them fired up for the main event.
The crowd had quite the air of anticipation awaiting to see what ALTER BRIDGE would have in store. Having recently played Scotland at the back end of last year in the vastly larger SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow there was intrigue as to how much of the set would be repeated but as soon as they hit the stage opening with The End Is Here from their debut album any concerns were swiftly dispelled. Myles Kennedy has the innate ability to stand there in absolute silence with his endearing boyish grin on his face and still have the crowd in the palm of his hand. For a band that have been touring relentlessly for the best part of two years and are particularly vocal intensive he showed no form of wear or lethargy whatsoever which was nothing short of awe inspiring.
As the four piece powered through what turned out to be a two hour set they treated the crowd to a varied mix of tracks spanning their discography and proved the strength of their previous work as it seamlessly slotted in amongst most recent efforts such as Show Me A Leader and Crows On A Wire. Mark Tremonti is widely regarded for his incredible virtuosity and diverse guitar work but one of the most stunning under utilised aspects of his musicianship is his incredible voice which never fails to astound and raise the hairs on your neck whenever they unleash Waters Rising in a live setting.
After a couple of teasing encores and about 20 songs deep into their performance the band returned to the stage one last time and didn’t even look like they had broken a sweat and if the crowd had it their way they would have gladly let them play forever, belting out every big chorus and cheering until their voices couldn’t physically give any more. Witnessing ALTER BRIDGE in such an intimate venue will be an opportunity that seldom presents itself and with their current career trajectory it is only a matter of time before they’re dominating headline slots at major festivals for years to come
Check out our photo gallery from the night’s action in Edinburgh from Evangeline Parkinson Photography here: