Monday’s are historically the worst days of the week for most. However this was not the standard typical Monday in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pageant on Delmar Boulevard welcomes Dirty Honey, Alter Bridge and Skillet to start the week off on a thrilling note. If you aren’t familiar with any of these bands, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with all three of them. Dirty Honey is making history right now as they are the first band ever in history in mainstream rock charts to have a number 1 song without being signed to a record label! Let that sink in, Dirty Honey has done something no one has done since 1981 when Mainstream Rock was invented. Mainstream is also not what a lot of kids these days mean when they say “that’s too mainstream”. This is a chart on the Billboard list. It’s a very impressive feat and one that will launch them into the stratosphere! To make the deal even sweeter, the band is currently only out supporting an EP record. When these guys have the support of a label to record a full length album, look out! That’s not to say their EP isn’t great because it is fantastically written and very well produced. Dirty Honey is a band that I very much looked forward to seeing live, and see how this energy translated to a live show! Jumping to our next band on this tour, Alter Bridge is a band that needs very little introduction. Having just released their sixth studio album on Napalm Records, “Walk The Sky”, this one is a triumphant release filled with anthems, ballads, filthy riffs, solos, and vocals that elevate their newest efforts to new heights. I previously caught a show of theirs here at The Pageant just two years ago, thinking I knew what expect, I was very surprised to find out that I was dead wrong. If there is one thing that should ring true about Alter Bridge, it’s this, they never repeat themselves. Be that a new record or their next live performance. Alter Bridge seems to always find a way to captivate you all over again. I was certainly ready for this show! Headlining this show with Alter Bridge is a band that has been hard at work promoting their newest record “Victorious” on Atlantic Records, Skillet. The band have been waiting for this show for some weeks, maybe even months after first announcing this tour, knowing how much they respect their tour mates in Alter Bridge. Skillet began promoting this tour early on with so much hype, that you knew it would be a spectacle of rock proportions! As I arrived at the beautiful venue, I was greeted with many fans sporting their favorite bands t-shirt and other assorted merchandise, eager to enter the Pageant. It was at the doors that my inner music nerds heart began to beat out of my chest. This one was going to be special!
First up on the stage was Dirty Honey. You know, the band already breaking through that glass ceiling that no one else ever has in mainstream history. Yeah, those guys. The air was thick with the buzz of what kind of show we were about to receive. The Los Angeles rockers Marc Labelle, Corey Coverstone, Justin Smolian and John Notto took their respective positions on stage and blasted the entire front row back to the 70's, 80’s and 90’s when they started playing their song “Scars”. Not a single one of us were mentally prepared for what we had just witnessed. Labelle sporting a top hat as if he was the Mad Hatter, lead the charge into the abyss as we began to spiral out of control grooving and rocking to the music. There wasn’t a fan or photographer not tapping their feet or banging their heads the entire time. We were treated to Notto and Smolian rocking back and forth together, feeling the St. Louis crowds energy, giving it back and building a radical fusion of electricity that reverberated all across the venue. We were even gifted the bands number one hit, “When I’m Gone”, a pure testament to what these four men were doing in the music industry, this one was so much fun to watch live! The band would close out there set with a personal favorite of mine, “Rolling 7’s”. A true funhouse of smoke and mirrors, Corey Coverstone was laying it down thick on drums, blasting each one as if it was their last show. These Los Angeles rockers are a force to be reckoned with and they made sure to leave a statement here at The Pageant and we hope to see them again soon!
Up next to the stage was Alter Bridge. My pulse again began to exceed the norm, eyes widened as the stage crew removed and added the pieces of Alter Bridge’s to get it all ready for the next step in our musical evolution. The lights dropped into darkness as the intro “One Life” began, Myles Kennedy, Brian Marshall, Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips took to the stage, music stopped and “Wouldn’t You Rather” from their newest record Walk The Sky would be their first song of the night. Searing guitars, thumping bass from Marshall and that killer intro hit, as Myles Kennedy stepped into the vocal frey, each note was met with a fire and fury unlike anything I had personally seen from the band before. This show was extra special as it is the beginning of album release week for Alter Bridge, Walk The Sky releases Friday and the guys were elated to let us all know just how special this one was, treating us all to three singles off their upcoming release. Tremonti and Kennedy laid into their single “In The Deep” with soaring riffs and that patented Alter Bridge sound as they melted away all of our faces, but not without some extremely meaningful lyrical content that we all know from the songwriting. This show was easily my favorite one thus far by the band and it was far from over. What Alter Bridge song would be complete without the sensational “Blackbird”? I’ll answer that for you, it wouldn’t be a complete Alter Bridge show without it! The haunting beginning to the most beautiful song ever written in their history began and so did the chills. Gorgeous vocals followed by a nasty pre chorus riff took us all on a trip back to the first time we heard it, for those who hadn’t (shame on you), welcome to the show! Tremonti and Kennedy dueling guitars, soloing into oblivion as Scott Phillips hits every beat with precision, “Blackbird” was what we all needed and some who didn’t know they needed it. The band would close their massively daunting set with their hit “Open Your Eyes” in true AB form. The fans all sang their parts as the band played on into the night, sending off their part of the show in glorious fashion!
The time had come to be legendary. Skillet was set to take the stage next! Fresh off the heels of releasing their 10th studio album Victorious, Skillet was ready to close out the night with a BANG! Opening their show with “Invincible”, John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Seth Morrison and Jen Ledger packed a punch with a little something extra. Fans pumping their fists in the air and singing along to Cooper as he led them into the tag “I feel, I feel it,'' Morrison carried out the tasty riffs along with Korey Cooper, followed by the gut busting drumming by the sweet but not to be overlooked talents of Ledger on the drums, we all felt “Invincible” and the show had only just begun. “We have an off day tomorrow so we are all going to lose our voices tonight” exclaimed John Cooper, that’s what I had planned on doing too! We were all “Awake And Alive” and so was Skillet, which would be another hit song they played, not one person was seen having a bad time. As the night progressed Skillet spun the hits back to back to back, never a dull moment in their set, which lead them to a personal favorite of mine “Back From The Dead”, a sure fire way to keep the fans engaged into every moment, chants of “Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Back” echoed The Pageant as we all came back from the dead tonight. Cooper would again engage the crowd telling us all a story of a fan they had met earlier that day who had gone through tremendous trials and hard roads, and dedicated their song “Hero” to this very special person. A really touching a true to form move of Skillet as this was no slow song, it was a victory cry to all the heroes in our lives. Jen Ledger had her wonderful moments away from the drums as well, as she does. With a voice like an angelic rocker, Ledger and John Cooper’s voices combine to create a fury of power. Korey Cooper was also someone who is honestly one of the most entertaining guitarists alive, so versatile in her playing style and how she moves on stage. Skillet was the complete package for a fast-paced, high octane show, giving us nothing less, the band carried us all along until the very end closing their monstrous set with “The Resistance”, a delectable and sensational final piece to the show. Morrison, John and Korey Cooper and Jen Ledger played with so much intensity that we didn’t want it to end and just when you thought it was over, you were greeted with 43 seconds of a pure in-your-face brain melting drumming and guitar solo finish to the best Monday night of the year!
If you ever question going to a concert of any of the aforementioned bands, DON’T. Look for them all in a city near you, buy that VIP, buy their meet and greet, buy a general admission ticket. Just go! Music has a way of bringing us all together for that time and taking us all to a place beyond the walls of any venue. We can put aside our differences and get lost in the music. Be sure to catch Dirty Honey, Alter Bridge and Skillet before the Victorious Sky Tour is over and Walk The Sky to a Victorious day! Check out our full gallery from the show below!