Alter Bridge / Halestorm

4.11.2013 Düsseldorf

On this rainy Monday, when I arrived at the venue at around 2pm, I was surprised – a group of hardcore fans were already waiting in front of the venue and desperately tried to stay dry by squeezing underneath the little roof at the doors. Only a few joined this crowd, the weather seemed to scare off most of the people, and even when the doors opened, the queue was pretty short.

Some were already worried, wondering how many tickets were sold – but it became clear soon that the venue would fill up, as fans had preferred to stay in their cars instead of waiting in the rain.

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With a nicely filled venue the evening started with Halestorm (interview with singer Lzzy Hale will follow!) entering the stage in the so well-known support role once again before returning for their own headliner tour in April 2014. They started with “Love Bites (So Do I)” and continued with their equally rocking songs “Mz Hyde”, “It´s not you”, “Freak like me” as well as “Rockshow”. This was followed by Arejay Hale´s drumsolo (Lzzy´s brother) – and once more you could see how the audience was captivated by this amazing show, how jaws dropped and eyes became bigger and bigger.

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This happens whenever he presents his solo, and it´s no surprise! They continued with a cover version of Judas Priest´ “Dissident Aggressor”, before changing to some quieter and more melancholic tunes. “Break in” and “Familar Taste of Poison” were appreciated just as much as the faster songs, and they also inspired people to hold up their lighters. After this little chill out phase, they picked up speed again since “I get off” and “I miss the misery” are songs that must not be missing on a setlist – the final song was then “Here´s to us”, a fitting end of a really convincing show that also visibly entertained most of the audience.
The change over time was used in different ways – a few went to check the merchandise, others were thirsty or hungry. No matter how you spent the time, you had quite a few minutes to occupy, but that didn´t surprise anyone in the audience, they took it with a sad smile that said “okay, what can we do about it? Nothing…”…

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When Alter Bridge finally entered the stage, the audience was fully awake again and just waited to enthusiastically sing and move along to the music. The band around singer and guitarist Myles Kennedy started their setlist with „Addicted to Pain“ from their recent album „Fortress“, only to continue with songs of their „Blackbird“ album afterwards. The band got especially much positive feedback for playing “I know it hurts”, since this song had been played for the first time since 2011 – the joy was immense! Not only the hardcore fans were enthusiastic, but also the rest of the audience enjoyed the song.

Songs like „Lover“ or „Broken Wings“ showed the more melancholic side of the band, which I and also many others really appreciated: songs, that make you let loose of thoughts and nevertheless make you sing along, and this is also what the band wanted the audience do. Usually at their tour shows, Halestorm singer Lzzy Hale also got time on stage together with Myles Kennedy: they played “Watch over you”, fully acoustic and just with Myles and Lzzy on vocals- which created goose bumps, a wonderful song and a great collaboration between those two, which gave the song the special something.

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It continued with sing-along classics such as “Open your eyes”, where seemingly everyone in the audience knew the words and thus sang along. Again and again the audience got the chance to show what they had to offer – clapping, singing, everything – and it surely had been a nice view when you were seated and looked down on the people standing. Of course Alter Bridge didn´t leave without playing some encores, like “Slip to the void”, “Metalingus” and “Rise today”. Then it was over, the light was switched on, the little big of magic that Alter Bridge had spread disappeared faster than one could count to three.

Alter Bridge offered an overall really good performance, but it seemed to be some kind of routine, too coordinated – it was lacking some more action, some more power and dynamics – something the Halestorm performance had offered the audience. Occasionally, the sound mix was not the best, in such moments you had trouble hearing the vocals – but luckily this didn´t happen too often. Halestorm had presented a really good performance, that was just full of energy and fun of playing – something that I felt was lacking in Alter Bridge´s performance quite often.

Carina Ullmann - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - From classical music to metal - it all depends on the band and my mood ;) - - - Favorite bands? - - - would be a too long list to write them all down... - - - Other interests? - - - Photography, travelling, culture, reading, writing