Thursday, February 29, 2024

Alter Bridge, Halestorm and Mammoth WVH deliver an all star show in Manchester

Having played there several times over the past decade, hard Rock legends Alter Bridge return to the Arena in Manchester along with long time touring partners, Halestorm, and the latest project from Wolfgang Van Halen, Mammoth WVH.

Mammoth WVH

Despite only releasing one record under the Mammoth banner, everyone in the band is a consummate professional and displays serious proficiency with their instrument as well as songwriting. Mammoth is an incredibly apt name for this project as everything sounds absolutely huge and the stomping drums and soaring vocals fit an arena setting fantastically, tracks like ‘Mr Ed’ and ‘Don’t Back Down’ blend the catchy sensibilities Wolfgang may have picked up from his time with Van Halen with the heavier aspects he would have favoured with the time he spent with Mark Tremonti.

Mammoth WVH

As a die-hard Van Halen fan, I was excited beyond words to see Mammoth WVH once I learned they were on the bill and they exceeded expectations in almost every way. This is Mammoth WVH’s first time touring the UK and they will be welcomed back with open arms the second they announce further dates.

Mammoth WVH

Next up was Halestorm who quickly made their presence noticed with the earth-shattering vocals of Lzzy Hale as she began to bellow the opening to ‘Steeple’ as the band took to the stage armed with guitars. Halestorm’s set was made up of all the classics including the sensual yet life affirming ‘I Get Off’ and the pounding fan favourite, ‘Love Bites (And So Do I)’.

Halestorm

RJ Hale managed to steal the limelight with a drum solo that featured a lot of power and groove without becoming boring or repetitive like so many other drum solos are. In the interest of transparency, this review was written by a guitarist.

Halestorm

The absolute highlight of the sets was the final song which contained a Rob Halford-tier vocal performance of Lzzy Hale before the band played ‘I Miss the Misery’, a song that is already demanding from a vocal standpoint, Lzzy let out a powerful scream that was likely heard from the car park. There were so many moments throughout their set that left every member of the audience asking “does she even need a microphone?” and she seemed to do that every time effortlessly, truly a frontperson to be respected.

Halestorm

Finally, Alter Bridge took to the stage opening with the immensely heavy rager, ‘Silver Tongue’, and within moments everyone was ready for a rock show. Myles’ vocals still sound absolutely on point and it would be easy for him to go on autopilot and just let the incredibly dedicated audience sing the higher choruses but he gave it his all at every opportunity he could.

Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge are a much more eclectic band than predicted, they’re ability to craft more melodic ballads is fantastic and the blending of Myles Kennedy’s emotive vocals and Mark Tremonti’s phenomenal guitar work make for a glorious spectacle to behold in an arena setting. ‘Ghosts of Days Gone By’ is a beautiful track on the album but seeing it live adds an extra element that any record would never be able to capture.

Alter Bridge

Myles Kennedy is a unique frontman, he has this unique ability to embody the rockstar model of being larger than life with soaring vocals and impeccable guitar work but still seeming down to earth and humble when he needs to be and he shows this best in the moments before playing fan favourite, ‘Shed my Skin’.

Alter Bridge

Guitarist Mark Tremonti took over the vocals for ‘Burn it Down’ and while he doesn’t have the range that Myles does, he still has an engaging voice and the slower almost Southern rock vibe brings a welcome change of pace as so far the show has either been extremely fast and heavy tracks or emotional ballads.

Alter Bridge

Myles and Mark brought the energy down to perform a deeply emotional acoustic version of ‘In Loving Memory’, a tribute to Mark’s mother who passed away many years ago. The emotional weight and resonance of this song was felt by so many in the audience and it was a common sight to see grown men weeping, such is the power of music.

The absolute highlight of the night was ‘Blackbird’, a progressive masterpiece with such immense scope and grandeur that it feels like a disservice to hear anywhere but through a professional sound setup in a massive arena surrounded by 10,000 people. The bendy riff alone is enough to give you chills but the song just keeps going and going and building and building until it climaxes in a colossal fashion that so many bands have worked their entire career to replicate.

Alter Bridge

The sound mixing on this show was phenomenal and everything felt impactful, particularly these stomping monolithic tracks that are constructed with the intention of being heard in the biggest venues possible and the best example of this is ‘Metalingus’. This song is the perfect Alter Bridge song, it balances grand vocals with powerful riffing and grandiose solo work all without feeling excessive or self-indulgent.

Absolutely everyone on this bill is worth your time as a headliner and to still see a bill with this many amazing bands playing in one night is a wonderful occurrence that is becoming more rare as time goes on. Alter Bridge are already an amazing band and always bring the best bands with them and it’s not only great value for the customer, it’s an essential experience for a music fan.

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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