Alter Bridge Sell Out Best Buy Theater, NYC 4-24-14

It was a fairly chilly spring evening on Thursday April 24th in New York City, but this spring 2014, every evening has been chilly in the Northeastern region of the US. While the temperature was dropping outside, inside Best Buy Theater a sold out crowd made it feel about thirty degrees warmer with fans packed in to see hard rock band Alter Bridge.  This 2,100 capacity theater was packed from the front floor, to the stadium seating, to the balconies on each side of the stage. Unquestionably, this show has been anticipated for months and became one of the hottest tickets in town!

The night started off with the four men of Monster Truck, in from Hamilton, Ontario–Canada. They came out starting their set with “The Lion” from their 2013 release, Furiosity.  If there were fans in the audience who had not heard of them prior to this show, these guys from the north definitely caught their attention in grand fashion. Monster Truck provided such a fantastic opening that you could not have asked for a better band to start things off, or more importantly support this tour. About 95% percent of their half-hour set-list was from Furiosity, ending with the album opener, “Old Train,” where bassist and singer, Jon Harvey and guitarist/singer, Jeremy Widerman traded off lead vocals in each verse.  Monster Truck brings their own brand of southern rock-n-roll blues from north of the border across the U.S., and it is welcomed from those who just want solid rock-n-roll with no frills. These guys justified what their motto states so straightforwardly, “Don’t Fuck with the truck!”.  Be sure to arrive early and check them out, or catch them when they open for Alice in Chains in May.

During the half-hour intermission of stage changes and last minute sound-checks to prepare Alter Bridge, the fans began to chant the band name, “ALTER BRIDGE! ALTER BRIDGE!” combining that with chants of a WWE reference, “YES!”, which was a good chuckle to hear wrestling terms at a rock show, proving this crowd was in good spirits and ready to rock hard.

A little after 9 P.M., the band gave their fans exactly what they had been waiting for. Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips, and Brian Marshall along with one of the best voices in rock-r-roll today, Myles Kennedy, burst onto the stage as only they can. They started off the show with the song “Addicted to Pain” from their 2013 release, Fortress.  The rest of the set to follow was a mixture of tunes from their entire discography from their debut, One Day Remains, released amazingly a decade ago, to their critically acclaimed new album.

The last time Alter Bridge played New York City was in 2011 at this very same venue.  Three years later, this capacity crowd showed how much the band was missed, remembered by the die-hard fans who did not turn their backs on them in their absence from the Big Apple.  Everyone in the audience loved every moment of the show, fists pumping, singing along to the songs.  This was a sight to see, and if you ask any musician what energizes them while on stage, it is watching the fans sing the songs right back to them.   A very special moment for one band member in particular, was when it was announced that bassist Brian Marshall was celebrating his birthday at the show. The entire audience sang him a Happy Birthday so loud and overwhelming, without loud guitars or pounding drums, just the fans’ voices singing to one guy on his special day. It was so loud, it would blow anyone’s mind.

The already exciting performance saved a variety of highlights for the closing segment of the show.  One such moment was when Kenndey appeared on stage all by himself singing the Beatles tune “Blackbird”, before transiting into their original tune by the same name.  Providing for a exhilarating climax, during the encore an ear candy guitar battle between Kennedy and Tremonti erupted.  Many have always been gazed by Tremonti’s ability on guitar, but Kennedy astounded the audience with amazing guitar work as well.  It is always a fun and entertaining moment for music fans to watch dueling guitar players match one another’s guitar skills on stage. These incredibly dramatic moments during a rock show, often are more interesting and attention grabbing than a standard guitar solo.  Bidding farewell to the audience the praise rained down on Alter Bridge as everyone was completely satisfied with the performance.  While the Fortress Spring Tour 2014 concludes in mere days, it packed a punch Alter Bridge fans will soon not forget and are eagerly asking when the next string of dates will be announced.  


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