Success isn’t always measured in the money you make or the clothes you wear. Success in the case for Alter Bridge is the troves of fans that show up to your show and sell it out because they want to sing along to your music with you. This was exactly the case in Nashville at War Memorial Auditorium. Fans began lining up as early as 10am to secure a spot to see their favorite band Alter Bridge in downtown Nashville. Mark Tremonti, Myles Kennedy, Scott Phillips and Brian Marshall have been touring now for over 15 years together and show no signs of stopping. With the recent release of their newest record Walk The Sky, Alter Bridge look to continue performing new songs from the record live as their tour progresses. So until they do, you’re stuck listening to the same bad-ass songs you have known over the last decade. I know bummer right (sarcasm). The best thing about this band is how they perfect a song and play it until they can do it with their eyes closed and invite us all in to the moment. Each song still holds weight, still feels new to the listener and will transcend into each new album cycle. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what the band is all about. Having the knowledge we do about the band it’s time to experience it firsthand.
Leading up to the show I blasted my own playlist of Alter Bridge tunes which consisted of every single album they’ve made. That’s right. With an almost two hour drive to the venue, I had time to go through their discography and get my fill. It was a cold day in Nashville but I knew that when the doors opened it wouldn’t be the thermostat keeping me warm. It would be the fire lit be the fans themselves, jumping, screaming, singing along to every word and creating that fusion of energy between themselves and the band that does it. Spoiler alert: it was like ten thousand degrees in the venue after the show was over, that’s how much each and every fan brought it, not to mention the band as they always bring it to the fans. This was a night of electricity. The first show of the tour for 2020 and they brought friends to kick it off with a bang!
Joining Alter Bridge this year is Michigan’s own Deepfall. Consisting of drummer Nick Gray, Rich Hopkins, Max Carrillo, Anthony Battista, Taylor Brandt, and Time King. This band had something to say and it wasn’t long before we heard what that was. Direct support for Alter Bridge is someone we are all familiar with, except it’s in the form of a new look. Clint Lowery, guitarist from Sevendust has just released his debut solo album. I for one am extremely excited about it. The album is titled God Bless The Renegades, and is definitely a kick ass way to begin a solo project. Clint Lowery has even brought in some help with his new tour supporting the guys in AB. Drummer for Tremonti, Ryan Bennett Oxendine, To Whom It May front man Jonathan Jourdan, and Flyleaf bassist Pat Seals. If you need more of a reason to be excited for Clint Lowery’s solo show, you have it now! As the doors opened the air was filled with fans elated to be inside and rush to buy merch and get their spot at the front of the barricade.
Deepfall's Rich Hopkins
Up first is Deepfall! The band wasted no time in declaring who they were, engaged and just as excited as we all were to see this band live for the first time. Lead singer Rich Hopkins greeted us all, welcoming everyone to the show. The bands drummer Nick Gray thrashed and trashed the skins, a monster at his craft. With a really cool piece to add to this band, keyboardist Tim King, tickled and mashed the ivories, infusing am interesting, yet perfect fit for this band. Deepfall is one of those bands that MUST be seen live, for anyone coming to the Walk The Sky tour this year, grab your merch and get to the front, these guys are sure to have you talking afterwards!
Taking the stage second, Clint Lowery. This was a treat from beginning to end, Lowery and his band stepped on stage and immediately threw down the gauntlet, letting Nashville know what is up. Kicking off his set with God Bless The Renegades, Lowery led the charge and got the fans screaming as we all knew we were in for a show. I’m a frenzy, guitarist Jon Jourdan paced around and shredded his own riffs in the intro to the song. Seemingly, this band felt like they had been touring for years together. The chemistry was organic and pure, bassist Pat Seals was all over the stage, bending and rocking out as only he can, while drummer Ryan Bennett Oxendine played all out with gut busting intensity with his intricate and technical style. This song was the perfect way to introduce the band and newly released record. Special moment of the night during Clint’s set, he spoke on the song She’s Free and how he wrote it for his daughter. A very touching part, as his daughter was in attendance side stage to watch her dad perform. As a father myself I know how special it is to have my daughter involved in what I do. Lowery ended the monstrous set with single Kings, a powerhouse song jammed with all the tasty riffs and lyrics that are equally meaningful and electric. One thing is for sure, Clint Lowery made a powerful stand to kick off his solo run!
Clint Lowery in Nashville
The night had finally carried us across the skies from dawn to dusk, the time had come for Alter Bridge to take the night into overdrive. One Life echoed throughout the halls of War Memorial Auditorium, fans screamed, shouted and jumped in excitement as their favorite band stepped on the stage and began their staggering performance. The first song, Wouldn’t You Rather opened everyone’s mouths and then they hit the floor. Everyone expected the band to be on their A-game, they weren’t expecting this! Kennedy, Tremonti, Phillips and Marshall, in their opening song, played with such ferocity that there was an immense amount of static in the air. Hairs stood up on end, eyes dilated we were on the course for absolute bedlam. This show had just kicked off and we were already in awe of how crazy the band was in tune and perfect it felt. The band made their way through an all-out-assault-on-the-senses trip though three album cycles in just the first three songs with Walk The Sky, Fortress, and Blackbird. The guys commanded the stage as one unit, one band and one sound, taking us all on a ride from past to present jams that was a rollercoaster of emotion and thrilling experiences. Myles Kennedy addressed the fans and opened up about his day saying how he didn’t quite feel like he was in a good mood, “you ever just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and just put on your poopy-pants? That’s what I call it.” Said Kennedy, laughing as he spoke. “Well I did and Nashville as I look out and see all this, you put me in the best mood ever”. We’re all glad we could change your day Myles, you had changed ours. Fans were elated to hear the mesmerizing song Waters Rising, a song that truly highlights and compliments the writing and teamwork of members Tremonti and Kennedy, that puts Mark in the forefront of this badass song and Myles with the chorus and bridge. A real treat for AB fans! The band rounded out the night with Blackbird, a song in which Kennedy’s voice soars and seared through everyone from the front to the back of the venue, and new favorite Godspeed, a tribute of momentous proportions.
Alter Bridge at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville
If you have money to buy gas, you must buy tickets to see this tour! Walk The Sky is out now on Napalm Records and features a very diverse and clear statement of what this hard working quartet is trying to say with their new record. Everyone shines on this powerful sixth studio album. Grab your tickets to the tour and all things Alter Bridge here
Alter Bridge Photo Gallery - All Photos By: Brandon Scott Hanks
Clint Lowery Photo Gallery - All Photos By: Brandon Scott Hanks
Deepfall Photo Gallery - All Photos By: Brandon Scott Hanks