After releasing five studio albums, Alter Bridge released their first live album with 2017’s “Live at the O2 Arena”. In a surprising twist, they are following up their live album debut with…another live album? Fans may question this decision, especially with the follow-up being released within a year after the “O2” album. Well, the answer to that question is the true differentiator: “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” makes use of a full 52 piece orchestra.
While the setlists are certainly different, the orchestra is what elevates this collection of songs this time around. While Alter Bridge can bring the heaviness, fans know that Miles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti’s vocals/lyrics are emotion-packed, which compliments the orchestra very well, adding a layer of moodiness at times, and intensity when appropriate.
The setlist is a very strong one and pulls from their studio releases very evenly. The track list contains four songs from each studio album, with the exception of Blackbird and Fortress providing 5 tracks to the setlist, just barely beating out the remaining three albums.
Kennedy’s vocals are as strong as ever, once again proving he is not merely a “studio talent”, and that his live performances are a strong suit of his. Additionally, the harmonies the band provides, particularly from Tremonti are spot-on, leaving fans who attend live shows thinking realizing how little “touch-ups” must go into their studio work.
Standout tracks include “Blackbird” which teases the Beatles track of the same name, making use of the orchestra as well. The opening track “Slip Into the Void” also stands out as a track that benefits from the orchestra. That said, all songs really benefit from the added layer not found on their studio work in this capacity.
Live at the Royal Albert Hall was recorded in London in October of 2017, and features the Parallax orchestra. Live at the Royal Albert Hall was released September 7, 2018 with “The End is Here” being their first official single from the live release.
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