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Chicago Showed Its Love for Rockers Alter Bridge and Opener Monster Truck at the House of Blues

Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge

By Jordan Young

A cold, rainy Tuesday marked the second night in a row for Alter Bridge and their support at the House of Blues in Chicago. Though it had been over a year since they last played HoB, singer and guitarist Myles Kennedy shared that, “It’s like playing in our basement,” and that the venue feels like their Chicago home. The previous evening was played to a sold-out crowd and this night the room was at near capacity, too, proving that a dose of Alter Bridge’s music was the  escape of choice from Chicago’s seemingly never-ending Chicago winter.

Monster Truck’s Steve Kiely, photo by Vladislav Grach Photography, special mention to UDRUM (Underground Drum Company) and D'Addario

Monster Truck’s Steve Kiely, photo by Vladislav Grach Photography, special mention to UDRUM (Underground Drum Company) and D’Addario

Opening band Monster Truck pulled their weight on this tour by offering up the fantastic, bluesy rock sound that you would expect from a band with their name. Playing catchy songs “Sweet Mountain River” and “Old Train” off their album Fusion, the band ~ Jon Harvey, bass, Jeremy Widerman, guitar, Brandon Bliss, organ, Steve Kiely, drums ~ featured all members contributing vocal harmonies and quickly had the crowd rocking out. Monster Truck were a great act for getting the audience in the mood for some more feel-good rock and roll, which Alter Bridge always deliver in spades.

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Alter Bridge

Unlike most acts at the House of Blues, Alter Bridge did not use the stage curtain, which created for the audience the sense of being included in the band rather than being separating from them. The crowd roared as the screen playing advertisements for upcoming shows lifted to a dark stage. Myles was the first to walk on ~ with his usual magnetic presence ~ and take his place center stage to the strains of guitar and bass notes leading into AB’s classic opening song, the irresistible but slightly eerie “Slip to the Void.” In dim red lighting, he sang the intro as guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips arrived to cheers, at which point they all launched into the song full-throttle, complete with flashing stage lights.

Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge

While they switched up the setlist a little bit from the night before, they decided to keep “Fortress” (the title track of their new album) in the set because, Myles shared, “…everyone loved it so much yesterday.” They also kept new track “Waters Rising,” which featured Myles and Mark switching roles ~ Mark took over the main vocals with Myles backing in falsetto.

Fans would have been disappointed if Alter Bridge didn’t play the epic track “Blackbird” ~ the nearly eight-minute tribute to Mark Morse, the man who sold Myles his first guitar and became a close friend ~ and the band’s performance of this moving lament did not let them down. “Blackbird” clearly evoked powerful feelings in many audience members; more than one person in the room was moved to tears and many sang along to the entire song. This piece showcased some of Alter Bridge’s best guitar work, highlighting at different moments both Myles’ melodic style and Mark’s shredding, a combination of styles ~ the more melodic/emotional and the metal/heavy ~ that has helped define the band’s overall style and win over a very broad fanbase.

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Alter Bridge

One of my favorite parts of the show came when the band returned to the stage for their encore and dueling guitars took over. Myles, in a particularly goofy mood that evening, pretended to fumble his playing while starting the guitar-off. Mark initially mimicked the falter, but then took his turn in a more serious direction. Next, Myles tore into his guitar and went all in, bending and writhing around and really showing off his mastery of the instrument. Mark followed and offered up his signature awe-inspiringly fast finger work. Brian and Scott then joined their bandmates on stage and the group broke into the last song of the night, “Rise Today.” Myles took the opportunity to show off his latest trick ~ using his mic stand as a slide for his guitar ~ which both sounded and looked pretty damn cool. As the members of Alter Bridge united for a bow, they left us all with the chorus stuck in our heads…and feeling somewhat more prepared to face the chilly gray world outside.

Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge

 

Alter Bridge Official Facebook

Monster Truck Official Facebook

Alter Bridge & Monster Truck backstage (photo via Monster Truck)  with Mark Tremonti, Monster Truck and Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge and Monster Truck backstage (photo via and courtesy of Monster Truck) with Mark Tremonti, Monster Truck and Alter Bridge


Purchase Alter Bridge’s new Fortress through links listed
here.

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Alter Bridge HoB photos by Jordan Young

Jordan has 14+ years of music industry experience and enjoys freelance writing and photography. Jordan co-founded and was Publisher and Web Director of Boxx Magazine from May 2012-December 2013. She has written for Runway Magazine, Venus Zine, and Illinois Meetings + Events.  She can be reached at jordan@thejordanyoung.com.

One Comment

  1. Hi

    Like review and all but you actually missed the opening band for both nights Man The Mighty They Kicked ass Monster was Direct support

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