Manchester Arena found itself gripped by a large clique of metal fans last week when Alter Bridge descended upon the city. The band have a strong following of very dedicated fans who love all things loud, solid, and fast. The group have been a solid fixture in the world of metal music for over a decade now, so it’s justified they get the arena slot.
The band’s fame has been on a steady but certain increase over the past ten years, helped by their ever popular hit ‘Metalingus’, which featured as WWE superstar Edge’s theme for over 6 years. They only formed in 2004, so this rise is quite spectacular considering the ever fluctuating popularity of metal music.
Gojira were a somewhat questionable choice for a support band, their heavy and rhythmic riffs are quite a distance away from Alter Bridges more straightforward approach, and the crowd noticed. The reaction was rather melancholy. They could have taken the easy route and stuck to the formula of the evening, but chose to shred some very heavy classic tracks, which is admirable, but did not exactly go down with the Alter Bridge audience. They were essentially playing music that is the exact opposite to the band that are headlining, making the crowd mild if anything. I am a fan of Gojira, don’t get me wrong, but their placement here was odd. They are a great band, and deserve their own show, rather than a support slot.
Alter Bridge certainly have charisma when it comes to their music and its evident throughout their performance. Their interaction with the audience is admirable and they have them in the palm of their hand. The vocals by Myles Kennedy are pitch perfect, he truly is one of the unsung heroes of rock music and is dangerously over-looked. Mark Termonti’s shredding guitar rifts win over the crowd majorly and he shows off his capability when it comes to rock music. His fingers slide across the strings with ease as he plays increasingly difficult rifts. They smash out classic tracks such as ‘Ghost of Days Gone By’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Watch Over You’, ‘Waters Rising’ and ‘Farther Than The Sun’.
It’s often been questioned if Alter Bridge actually have a strong following, when compared to the likes of Metallica and Led Zeppelin, its hard to see someone being a die hard Alter Bridge fan. But there certainly are enough present to show that they have a strong following. Admittedly, they don’t really experiment with their music, it grows somewhat mauve over time, blending all into one, anyone who is not a fan may struggle to realise they have changed songs sometimes. Alter Bridge always deliver, that can’t be denied, and their live shows are a great experience.