Alter Bridge came to town and it could have been a fiasco. Here’s the story. Initially they were supposed to play on May 10th here in Baltimore but there was a slight problem. A little band called Metallica was playing here that day as well and no one would have showed up to this show. So, they backed it up a day, and all was well. But alas, another problem arose. Metal Church, originally on this tour, had to opt out unexpectedly. Devour the Day to the rescue. Now all was a go.
Devour the Day took the stage first and got to play six songs, some of which included “Blackout,” “Save Yourself,” and “Respect,” which ended their set. These guys are very underrated as this is the second time I have seen them and I look forward to their third release.
Sweden’s In Flames was up next and this was the band I was looking forward to seeing. I hadn’t seen them since 2008 and although they didn’t play a lot from their back catalog, I enjoyed hearing a lot of new songs performed live, especially off their new release Battles, including the opener “Wallflower,” and “Before I Fall.” Vocalist Anders Friden still has one of the most dynamic voices out there, able to go from melodic when needed and then to screaming when necessary. “Cloud Connected,” always a fan favorite, was evidence enough of that. He got the small intimate crowd into listening to his band, even if the majority were there for the headliners. “Take This Life” ended their ten-song limited set and left me craving more from them. I will have to make a special trip to see these guys again as it took them nine years to get to Baltimore again.
Alter Bridge came on soon after and I knew exactly what I was going to get out of these guys; a guitar infused, power quartet with an exceptional vocalist in Myles Kennedy. “The Writing on the Wall” started off the evening from these guys and Mark Tremonti was just incredible to see again. “Come to Life,” off of 2007’s Blackbird, a song I had actually forgotten, reminded me that this band has been around a while, since 2004 believe it or not. Tremonti is the main force in this band though in my opinion and is an elite guitar player. He is a super meticulous guitar player and every song he plays, you can feel the energy from him. Not many guitar players can pull this off. The band had an eighteen-song set list which also included “Crows on a Wire,” “Open Your Eyes,” “Blackbird,” and new songs “My Champion” and “Show Me A Leader.” One thing that was different and I loved was during the encore, Kennedy and Tremonti had a duel with solos instead of playing a song. You don’t see things like that anymore. “Rise Today” ended this evening and the bands would stay in town overnight to catch Metallica’s performance the next night, but all in all, everyone’s performance tonight is what mattered and all went home more than satisfied.