Even though they were part of rock’s biggest tours last year with Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, that is no way to enjoy an Alter Bridge show. During that run, which did travel through various cities across New York State, Alter Bridge only played a small handful of songs during their opening slot. If you really want a display of heaviness and fun and REALLY get your money’s worth of Alter Bridge, then seeing them headline is the best route to go. Those who were lucky enough to catch them on The Last Hero Tour with Nonpoint and Weapons Of Anew at Niagara Falls’ Rapids Theatre were blessed with a kick ass night of music.
Unfortunately for me, I was unable to catch Weapons Of Anew due to the travel conditions, but I came in just as Nonpoint was performing “What A Day,”one of their trademark songs. Nonpoint must have been a part of the tour because Mark Tremonti is a fan, and I believe they were an appropriate choice. The urban flavor they bring to metal and hard rock makes them a standout, not to mention that this is their 20th anniversary tour (which is hard to believe at this point). They had a very loud and energetic set; the crowd was really into it. Some of the stand outs were their new songs such as “Divide and Conquer” as well as their cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.” They ended their set with their anthem, “Bullet With a Name.” It’s great to see that the band is twenty years strong and still bring a lot of energy into a show.
Alter Bridge graced the stage by opening with “Writing On The Wall” which is off their newest album The Last Hero. Alter Bridge is a very rare and unique talent. Not since Judas Priest has a band had two lead guitarists/soloists that share the stage, alternate solos and really feed off each other. Vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy and guitarist/vocalist Mark Tremonti are the perfect complement to each other and are a powerhouse force on stage with the most wicked one-two punch that most metal and hard rock bands are lacking. Alter Bridge made a wise decision by playing not only a hefty amount of songs off of The Last Hero, but also from their previous album Fortress which came out in 2013. But they didn’t really tour behind it much because Myles was busy with Slash’s band and Mark had his hands full with his band Tremonti. So it was awesome to hear songs like “Cry Of Achilles” and “Addicted To Pain,” but the real stand out was “Water Rising,” which gave Mark Tremonti to display his lead vocal.
If there is any complaint about the show, you could say the bass was too loud. Now that isn’t a fault of bassist Brian Marshall, it’s on the venue’s sound crew. It just sounded muffled. But luckily, Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti’s guitar playing is so clean and they shred so much that the muffled bass sound coming off the venue’s sound didn’t interfere with the guitars or drums for that matter.
The best part of the show was hearing the bands best song, “Blackbird.” It’s their masterpiece. It’s their “Free Bird” (no pun intended) and afterwards they closed their set by finally playing material off their debut album One Day Remains with “Metalingus” and “Open Your Eyes.” I was surprised they didn’t play much from that album, however, material from the last two albums had to be heard, not to mention that with five albums in, you only can play so many songs. Those who stayed for the encore were in for a treat as they came out and played “Show Me A Leader” which was the lead single off The Last Hero. Afterwards, the crowd was treated to a guitar battle between Kennedy and Tremonti, which was a great way to really see their talents on display and was fun to see. This is something I wish bands did more. Finally, the band left the crowd wanting more in closing with Blackbird’s “Rise Today” which is band’s trademark closing song. Overall, it was a great set from Alter Bridge who definitely deserve more recognition in the music industry and need to headline more shows. I would recommend this band to almost anyone. And I will definitely catch more shows at Rapids Theatre.