Alter Bridge // Halestorm // Mammoth WVH // Live Review // Resorts World Arena // Birmingham
After an incredibly long weekend, it was time for my biggest show of the year (and career as a photographer) as I headed to the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham for a night of good old Hard Rock as Alter Bridgefinish up their UK tour with support from Halestorm and Mammoth WVH. This was a big night for a lot of people, as I saw wave after wave of fans all rushing in to find a good space in the crowd, and it was a big night for me as it was my first time photographing an arena show.
After getting lost trying to find the venue (I don’t know how it’s absolutely massive), I collected my pass, said hello to some old friends and headed in to shoot the first act, Mammoth WVH. It didn’t take long for the audience to become absorbed by the set, as great riffs, vocals and most importantly atmosphere as Wolfgang managed to get the audience under his thumb instantly. Don’t Back Down was definitely the highlight of the set for me, an absolute mammoth of a track that shows all the strengths of the band. Mammoth’s debut album dropped back in 2021 and set the internet alight, not long after the passing of his father and one of the world’s greatest guitarists, and more importantly greatest influences in the world of modern rock via Van Halen, Wolfgang’s arrival on the scene as a debut solo artist was greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed as he delivered one of the finest albums of the year, so to have him on the bill this evening was something pretty special and in some fine company
With the crowd warmed up, it was almost time for the nights’ main support.
It wasn’t long at all until Halestorm rushed the stage to an incredible reaction. With the audience in a frenzy, it was easy for Lzzy Hale to take them under control whilst the band delivered an absolutely belting set that spanned most of their discography. From the stage presence to sound, there was truly nothing to fault. The highlight was definitely Love Bites for me, as it was a song I had on repeat for a good chunk of my teenage years. A band with boundless energy, presence, fused with Lzzy’s vocals which are powerful enough to knock you off your feet and the crowd raring to go, it’s safe to say that Halestorm was the perfect way to set up the headline act.
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After the final changeover, the night’s main event was ready to begin. Alter Bridge came to the stage with genuinely the largest eruption of applause I’ve ever heard before proceeding to play what can only be described as a ridiculously tight set that never once faltered. From Myles Kennedy’s outstanding vocals to Mark Tremonti’s fantastic guitar work, I was constantly in awe of the talent I was watching. Other than a couple of tracks I heard as a teenager, they were never a band I paid much attention to, and that error is mine and mine alone. From some seriously heavy riffs, outstanding vocals and just an indescribable level of professionalism, there is nothing I could pick fault at even if I tried. A phenomenal set. After having recently released their new album Pawns & Kings to critical acclaim the guys move on from Europe after a final farewell show in London on Dec 12th.
As I headed back to the train (getting lost in the NEC repeatedly doing so), the night set in for me as I saw the thousands of fans leaving the venue. This is what music is about, coming together to enjoy art as a collective experience and that is exactly what the night was, a group of thousands of strangers all sharing a collective experience.
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The band also just announced a North American tour for 2023 – their first in the market in almost three years. The 30-city tour – split into two legs – kicks off on January 25 in Tampa, FL and wraps up April 1 in Highland, CA. Mammoth WVH will join them as direct support on the entire tour, with rockers Red playing on the first leg of the tour and newcomers Pistols At Dawn playing on the second leg. Tickets for all shows are now available and more information on tickets and VIP experiences can be found at https://alterbridge.com/pages/tour.
North American Tour Dates:
Jan 25 – TAMPA, FL – Seminole Hard Rock *
Jan 27 – ORLANDO, FL – Hard Rock Live *
Jan 28 – ATLANTA, GA – Coca Cola Roxy *
Jan 30 – NASHVILLE, TN – Ryman Auditorium *
Feb 1 – MONTCLAIR, NJ – The Wellmont Theater *
Feb 2 – HUNTINGTON, NY – The Paramount *
Feb 4 – SILVER SPRING, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring *
Feb 5 – PHILADELPHIA, PA – Franklin Music Hall *
Feb 7 – WALLINGFORD, CT – The Dome at Toyota Oakdale Theatre *
Feb 8 – BOSTON, MA – Roadrunner *
Feb 10 – WATERLOO, NY – Del Lago Casino Resort (On sale soon) ^
Feb 11 – TORONTO, ON – HISTORY ^
Feb 14 – DETROIT, MI – The Fillmore *
Feb 15 – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre *
Feb 17 – PRIOR LAKE, MN – Mystic Lake Casino Showroom *
Feb 18 – CHICAGO, IL – The Riviera Theatre *
Mar 10 – QUAPAW, OK – Downstream Casino Resort #
Mar 11 – KANSAS CITY, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland #
Mar 14 – CHESTERFIELD, MO – The Factory #
Mar 15 – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Criterion #
Mar 17 – HOUSTON, TX – 713 Music Hall #
Mar 18 – DALLAS, TX – South Side Ballroom #
Mar 20 – DENVER, CO – Mission Ballroom #
Mar 21 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Union Event Center #
Mar 23 – SEATTLE, WA – The Paramount Theatre #
Mar 25 – AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA – Northern Quest Resort & Casino ^
Mar 26 – AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA – Northern Quest Resort & Casino ^
Mar 28 – ANAHEIM, CA – House Of Blues #
Mar 29 – TEMPE, AZ – Marquee Theatre #
Mar 31 – RENO, NV – Silver Legacy’s Grande Expo Hall #
Apr 1 – HIGHLAND, CA – Yaamava Theater at Yaamava Casino Resort ^