‘Walk The Sky’ Shows The “Sky” Is Still The Limit For Alter Bridge

Courtesy: Napalm Records

The wait is almost over for Alter Bridge’s new album.  Walk The Sky is scheduled for release Oct. 18, and the band has already been busy touring in support of the record, getting audiences excited about its release.  The hour-long album offers plenty for audiences to appreciate with its powerful musical arrangements and its seemingly recurring lyrical theme of our life choices and their impacts.  The album’s opener ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ is one of the most notable of the album’s songs that supports that statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘The Bitter End,’ which comes later in the album’s run, serves just as much as ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ to support the noted statement.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Tear Us Apart,’ the album’s penultimate composition, is one more example of how the album’s musical and lyrical content serves to give listeners so much to appreciate.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is a record that shows the “sky” is the limit for Alter Bridge.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Alter Bridge’s new album Walk The Sky is another strong new effort from the veteran hard rock band that is certain to appeal to the band’s longtime fans just as much as its newer fans.  That is thanks to its powerful musical arrangements and its equally strong lyrical content, which seems to address the choices we make in life and the result of those choices.  The album’s lead single ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ is one of the most notable of the songs that serves to support those statements.  The song’s musical arrangement is yet another of the powerhouse compositions for which the band has come to be known, led by the dual guitar approach of Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy.  Drummer Scott Phillips’ time keeping is solid throughout, while bassist Brian Marshall’s low-end fills out the song’s arrangement.  Each musician joins with the others to make the nearly four-minute opus a great start for the record both as a single and as the album’s official opener, if only for its musical content.  That content is only one part of what makes the song stand out, though.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical content.

The song’s lyrical content is important to discuss because it encourages listeners to live the best life that they can.  Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “Sell yourself short and buy a world of pain/Follow your bliss or pay the price/All of these lessons/I’ve learned them so well/There is no gain worth the commerce of self/Wouldn’t you rather/Live from the heart/A life that will matter/To be lived from the start.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “You wear an albatross around your neck/The spoils of war will bring you down/Hear my advice/May you hear every word/Don’t sacrifice meaning for riches that burn/Wouldn’t you rather/Live from the heart/A life that will matter/To be lived from the start/All of these lessons I’ve learned from myself/There is no gain worth the commerce of self/A dream left for dead/Now a nightmare that feels like hell.”  As the almost four-minute song nears its end, Kennedy reminds listeners, “I’d rather live from the heart,” reminding listeners of the noted message of living life the best that one possible can live; living life with purpose.  That and the rest of the song’s message is one that every listeners needs to hear.  When that message is coupled with the song’s hard-driving musical arrangement, the end result is a song that is powerful both musically and lyrically, and just one of the album’s most notable tracks.  ‘The Bitter End’ is another powerful song that seems to address the choices that we make in life and the impact of those choices.

‘The Bitter End’ opens, musically, with a semi-introspective feel in its arrangement, that eventually gives way to a much more ballad-esque type work.  From there, the song’s energy creates a moving sound that conjures thoughts of some of Creed’s most well-known power ballads.  Considering that save for Kennedy, the members of Alter Bridge previously recorded and performed as Creed (then with Scott Stapp), this should come as no surprise.  What’s different from those songs and this song is that this work doesn’t come across as schmaltzy as its predecessors.  Rather, there is a certain real strength to this arrangement that the noted other songs did not have.  It is just one part of the song’s importance.  The noted positive message in the song’s lyrical content makes it stand out even more.

Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve walked every road and turned every corner/Searched high and low where I did not belong/Adrift with the tide/Always hungry and yearning/If only I’d known the answer was here all along/the bitter end will come in time/But the joy I have found/In the sweet here and now/It keeps me alive.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, ”I’ve kissed the lips of an angel in waiting/Devil in kind/I’ve been lost and deceived/The thrill had to fade in this world for the taking/Once I woke up…Then I could see/The bitter end will come in time/But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now/It keeps me alive.”  He later adds in the song, “It’s never too late to learn how to start living right.”  This is a statement that is echoed time and again along with the song’s chorus.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song clearly proves itself another work that addresses the noted theme of our life choices and how they impact our lives overall.  When the song’s uplifting message about living life right is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat power ballad arrangement, the whole of the song becomes another of the most notable of the album’s songs that also continues the album’s overall lyrical theme.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Tear Us Apart’ presents its own unique lyrical content about the impact of the choices that we make in life.  It also features its own unique musical arrangement that will entertain and engage listeners.

‘Tear Us Apart’ is another ballad-style work, but stands on its own merits, establishing its own identity separate from the likes of ‘The Bitter End.’  It is more in line with past ballad-type arrangements that Alter Bridge’s members have crafted in its previous records.  That is a matter for another discussion as it is just one of so many songs featured in this record that combines elements of the band’s past records for a whole new here that keeps the band’s sound fresh.  The song’s musical elements join with Kennedy’s powerhouse vocals to create another power ballad that stands strong on its own two feet so to speak.  When that notable musical arrangement is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the end result is yet another work that is its own important part of the album’s whole.

Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “Blindsided once again/Fooled by the fool within/Turned to a sacrifice/Lonely way to find no home/Withered…the promises you left for dead go cold/But this, too will surely fade/The truth you cannot escape/That we have to face/And learn from mistakes to grow/Don’t let the world/Tear us apart…don’t compromise/Just wait.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Drink from the poison well/Only to kill yourself alone/Wake up and take a stand.  He adds as the song continues, mentions of not giving up the love that one was meant to have before returning to the song’s chorus and reminding listeners to not compromise and that “if there’s something worth saving/Let it go/If there is something/Worth changing/Let it go/’Cause time is only wasting/Now you know.”  Once more, listeners get what comes across as a message of living life to the fullest and best; a message to not let certain elements in life get us down.  When this seeming message joins with the song’s radio ready arrangement, the whole of the song shows why it is another important part of Walk The Sky’s whole.  It is one more song that presents the album’s central theme of understanding the choices we make and how those choices impact us, and entertains listeners fully in the process.  When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here (and the rest of the album’s songs) the album shows itself in its entirety to be some of Alter Bridge’s best work to date.

Alter Bridge’s sixth full-length studio recording Walk The Sky is another impressive offering from the veteran rock band.  That is due to its collective musical arrangements, which feature elements from each of the band’s past compositions yet still present their own identities.  The noted lyrical theme, which is presented in various ways from the album’s opening to its end joins with the album’s arrangements, to make a record in whole that is not only some of Alter Bridge’s best work to date, but also one of the best rock records so far this year.  It is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Napalm Records.  More information on the album and the band’s tour in support of the album, is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.alterbridge.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alterbridge

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release New Live Recording From Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have a new live recording on the way.

The group will release its new recording Living The Dream Tour Sept. 20.  The concert, recorded at the band’s performance at the Hammersmith Apollo (London) during its 2019 “Living The Dream Tour,” it is scheduled for release on DVD/2CD; Blu-ray/2CD; 3LP Black vinyl; limited edition 3LP Red vinyl digital video and digital audio.

The concert featured in the recording is a two-hour set.  It features songs from  Slash’s solo records and from his work with Kennedy and The Conspirators.  A full clip of the band performing the song ‘Anastasia‘ is streaming now.  The trailer for the recording is streaming here.

The full track listing for Living The Dream Tour is noted below. Pre-orders are open now.

LIVING THE DREAM TOUR–TRACKLISTING:

The Call Of The Wild
Halo
Standing In The Sun
Ghost
Back From Cali
My Antidote
Serve You Right
Boulevard Of Broken Hearts
Shadow Life
We’re All Gonna Die
Doctor Alibi
Lost Inside The Girl
Wicked Stone
Mind Your Manners
Driving Rain
By The Sword
Nightrain
Starlight
You’re A Lie
World On Fire
Avalon
Anastasia

Slash and company are in the midst of the latest leg of its “Living The Dream Tour.”  The group’s current tour schedule is noted below.

U.S. TOUR
Sun-Jul-21-19 Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Entertainment Centre
Tue-Jul-23-19 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts
Thu-Jul-25-19 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
Fri-Jul-26-19 Windsor, ON The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
Sun-Jul-28-19 Montreal, QC Heavy Montreal
Mon-Jul-29-19 Toronto, ON Rebel Complex
Wed-Jul-31-19 Port Chester, NY Capitol Theatre
Thu-Aug-01-19 Northfield, OH Hard Rock Rocksino
Sat-Aug-03-19 Prior Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino
Sun-Aug-4-19 Chicago, IL LOLLAPALOOZA
Tue-Aug-06-19 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Wed-Aug-07-19 Fort Wayne, IN Sweetwater Performance Pavilion
Fri-Aug-09-19 Council Bluffs, IA Harrah’s Council Bluffs – Stir Cove
Sat-Aug-10-19 Maryland Heights, MO KSHE Pig Roast
Mon-Aug-12-19 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Tue-Aug-13-19 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live

More information on Living The Dream Tour is available online now along with all of Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators’ latest news at:

 

Website:  http://www.slashonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Slash

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Slash

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Debuts Second Single From Forthcoming Album, ‘Living The Dream’

Courtesy: Snakepit/Roadrunner Records

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is giving audiences another preview of its upcoming album Living The Dream.

The band debuted the album’s second single ‘Mind Your Manners’ on Friday.  The song is streaming online at Spotify and Apple Music, and available as an instant grat track at other outlets.  Each outlet can be accessed here.

Slash discussed ‘Mind Your Manners’ in a recent interview, saying that the song’s genesis happened somewhat spontaneously.

“I wrote this song on the spot to help the band get up and running once we got back in the studio this past January,” Slash said.  “It’s just a go-for-it type of song.  Pretty straightforward rock and fun to play.”

Kennedy expanded on Slash’s thoughts, explaining the song’s lyrical content.

“‘Mind Your Manners’ was something I didn’t hear until the guys had started jamming together,” Kennedy said.  “It’s a cool up-tempo sort of thing and I knew immediately it would have its own place on this record.  Lyrically, it’s about how when things are going well, there always tends to be someone who tries to rain on your parade and knock you down.  You have to keep people like that in check and not let them get to you.”

The debut of ‘Mind Your Manners’ comes only weeks after the group debuted the forthcoming album’s lead single ‘Driving Rain‘ late last month.  Pre-orders for the album, which is due out October 21 via Snakepit/Roadrunner Records, are open now.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

Following is the tracklisting for LIVING THE DREAM:
1. The Call of the Wild
2. Serve You Right
3. My Antidote
4. Mind Your Manners
5. Lost Inside the Girl
6. Read Between the Lines
7. Slow Grind
8. The One You Loved Is Gone
9. Driving Rain
10. Sugar Cane
11. The Great Pretender
12. Boulevard of Broken Hearts

A tour in support of Living The Dream is scheduled to launch September 13  in Los Angeles, California. It is currently scheduled to run through October 18, bringing the band full circle back to Los Angeles with stops in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Louisville, KY; Silver Spring Maryland and other cities along the way.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Following are SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS tour dates:

More information on ‘Mind Your Manners,’ Living The Dream and all of the latest news and more from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Slash

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment new and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

Slash Offers Studio Update On New Album With Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

Photo Credit: Scott Uchida

Fans of Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators will get new music from the group this fall.

The band announced Thursday that it is working on a new album.  The currently untitled third full-length studio recording is being produced by Michael Baskette (Alter Bridge, Iggy Pop, Incubus).  Brent Fitz, Todd Kerns and Frank Sidoris also returned on this record to handle drums, bass and guitar respectively.

Slash said in a recent interview that he had high expectations for the band’s next album.

“I’m excited about the new stuff we put together for this next record,” Slash said.  “It’s got some cool songs and it’s got a great live feel.  I’ve been working with Myles, Brent and Todd for about eight years now.  It’s been an amazing ride so far.  AS a band we continue to get better, which is great.  With the addition of Frank since the “World on Fire” tour, I feel we have hit a great, creative stride, which I think definitely shows on this next record.”

While fans wait for the new album from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, they will also get to see Slash on tour this summer with Guns N’ Roses at a handful of European festivals.  Slash discussed those scheduled performances, too, saying he was looking forward to them.

“Guns N’ Roses will be headlining European festivals this summer.  It’s going to be a 110 percent performance and a huge blast,” Slash said.  “I love doing European fests and this is the first time we’ve done any proper festivals over there on the “Not In This Lifetime” Tour.  It’s indescribable to explain these shows.  I’m looking over and seeing Axl, Duff and Dizzy, whom I’ve known forever, but it also feels like an entirely new experience with Richard, Frank and Melissa.  It’s like being in a new band, except there’s a chemistry that is established from days of old, so it’s a natural thing that’s always been there.”

More information on the new album from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — as well as Slash’s upcoming tour with Guns N’ Roses — is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/slash

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Earthquake’ Is A Good First Impression For Hyvmine

Courtesy: Seek and Strike Records

The first impression is the most important that ca be made in any situation. From getting that coveted job to winning over a love interest to winning over audiences, that first impression is the best chance that one has to success in so many avenues. Taking this into consideration, it can be said that up-and-coming hard rock outfit Hyvmine has made a good first impression with its debut album Earthquake. Released Jan. 19 via independent label Seek & Strike Records (also home to Between The Buried and Me, Body Count, Gus G. and others), this first effort from Hyvmine is certain to reach a wide array of audiences. That is proven in part through the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The album’s sequencing also helps to prove its ability to reach audiences, and will be discussed later. The record’s production is also important to its ability to reach listeners and will also be discussed later. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Earthquake‘s overall presentation. All things considered, the noted elements make Earthquake a record that while not earth-shaking, is still a good first impression for Hyvmine.

Hard rock outfit Hyvmine’s debut album Earthquake is a work that, as noted is not necessarily an earth-shaking record. It is however, a good first impression for the up-and-coming hard rock outfit. That statement is supported in part through the musical arrangements that are exhibited throughout the course of the album’s nine-song, 42-minute body. right off the top, audiences are treated to an arrangement in ‘Shift’ that boasts elements of Alter Bridge and Dream Theater. Yes, that’s quite the duality, but somehow front man Al Joseph and his band mates make that pairing of influences work. The slow build from the song’s opening piano line into the more contemplative moments that make up the early portion of the song builds a strong foundation for the song. The eventual growth from that vibe to the more power packed portions of the song shows definite thought put into the arrangement, and in turn is sure to keep listeners engaged. the same can be said of the joining those Alter Bridge and Dream Theater influences within those harder-edged moments. Joseph’s own vocal delivery boasts an eerie similarity to that of Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy, too, adding even more interest to the arrangement. Add in the song’s lyrical content, which seems to present the message of living life to the fullest, and audiences get an interesting first effort here. It is of course only one song that shows the importance of the album’s arrangements to its whole. The post-grunge vibe of ‘Fire Escape’ conjures thoughts of Korn, Staind and so many aggro-rock bands that rose to fame in the late 90s and early 2000s while ‘Mirror Master’ brings about thoughts of Sevendust and The Veer Union. The arrangement at the center of the album’s title track, which also comes virtually dead center of the album, will reach fans of Creed and other similar acts. Considering the diversity displayed throughout these songs and that of the songs not noted here, it becomes fully clear why that diversity helps to make this record a good first impression for this record. It shows the band’s ability to cover any type of rock, giving in itself reason for audiences to give it at least one listen. It is just one of the album’s most important elements. Staying on the same note as the songs, their sequencing proves just as important to discuss as their arrangements.

Earthquake‘s sequencing is important to note because as much as the songs’ arrangements do for the record’s presentation, if they had been poorly placed, they would have been completely useless. Luckily though, that didn’t happen. Again, noting the gentle, contemplative piano run at the start of the album’s opener and the manner in which it builds into the bigger picture of the song, it is just the first strong salvo from the band. The transition from that song’s raucous finale to the more controlled yet heavy riffs of ‘Mirror Master’ was a smooth and smart move. It keeps the heavy without being too stark of a change. The heavy continues into the album’s third track with the more up-tempo ‘Shogun,’ which also boasts a solo that would make John Petrucci proud. The heavy still doesn’t end there. From there, the album transitions into a rather Creed-esque radio ready rocker in ‘All of Creation’ before the album finally pulls back in ‘Earthquake.’ What’s really interesting here is that while it does finally pull back, that pull back is only partial as it starts off soft before picking back up a little bit in what is overall yet another Creed style work. ‘Fire Escape,’ the start of the album’s final trio of songs, brings the heavy back in full force before moving in a slightly more mainstream direction again ‘ Elysium.’ ‘Great Divide,’ the album’s penultimate track, gives listeners one last dose of heavy before closing out the record in another Creed-esque rocker in ‘Cliffhanger.’ Considering the direction that the album takes from beginning to end with its energies, it can be said after going through the whole of the 43-minute run time that the album’s energy stays relatively stable. That applies from song to song and even within the songs themselves. The stability of the energies within the songs and between songs creates a listening experience that even more certifies listeners’ engagement. When that insurance is considered along with the insurance generated through the songs’ very arrangements, that whole shows even more why Earthquake, while again not earth-shaking, is still a good first impression from Hyvmine. It is still not the last of the elements that makes this record a respectable start for the band. Its overall production is also worth noting.

The album’s production is important to note in examining Earthquake because while it does largely impress, there are at least a couple of problem points. ‘Shogun’ is one of those problem points. There are moments throughout the song when front man Al Joseph’s vocals are slightly washed out by the song’s musical elements. This means that interpretation of what he is singing becomes difficult without a lyrics sheet. There also seems to be a bit of a balance issue between Joseph’s vocals and the song’s musical elements here, too. This is, of course, just this critic’s own take. Others might hear it differently. The problem that this critic has caught here is that again, the music seems to slightly overpower Joseph’s vocals. That takes away at least something from the enjoyment here. The vocals in ‘Elysium”s chorus seem to bleed together a little with its musical side, too. Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation. Other than those directly noted elements, the album’s production proves relatively positive throughout. Keeping this in mind, it proves — despite the few problematic balance issues — to be relatively stable from beginning to end. When that is considered alongside the stability in the album’s sequencing and the variety of the album’s musical arrangements, the whole of these elements shows in full why Earthquake is a good first impression for Hyvmine.

Hyvmine’s debut album Earthquake is a good first impression for the band. While it may not be an earth-shaking start for the band, it is still respectable. That is thanks in part to the variety exhibited in the album’s musical arrangements. From Dream Theater to Korn to Creed and points even in-between, the album’s arrangements are certain to reach a variety of audiences. The album’s sequencing keeps its energy relatively stable from beginning to end. This is proven through the song transitions and even within the songs themselves. The album’s overall production is relatively stable, too, strengthening its presentation even more. Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole. All things considered, they make Earthquake a good first impression from Hyvmine that, while it might not have everyone thinking the same, will impress plenty of audiences. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Hyvmine is available online now at:

Website: http://seekandstrike.com/artists/hyvmine

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hyvmineband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hyvmineband

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Rare Hendrix Archived Live Recording Takes Top Honors On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 Live CDs List

Courtesy: Dagger Records/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Experiencing live concert events is not an easy thing in this day and age.  Between the collective costs of attending (I.E. pricey tickets, gas, souvenirs, possible lodging, food & drink, etc.), perhaps the general lack of time to attend depending on circumstances, or maybe the very fact that audiences’ favorite acts didn’t include certain cities on their tours, there is a lot that plays into the inability to attend live events.  Keeping this in mind, not all hope is lost, thanks to all of the live recordings released each year by so many acts.  Some are released as full bundle packages while others are released just as DVDs or Blu-rays.  Some are even released solely on CD.  Regardless of the platforms, the availability of so many live recordings is unquestionably important for audiences.  Staying on that topic, the live CDs made available are worth noting in their own right.  That is the the case regardless of whether or not said CDs are bundled with DVD or Blu-ray counterparts.  That is because, again, even if the CDs come alongside a live audio visual component, that audio only component can and does oftentimes, translate differently than DVD and Blu-ray recordings.  Keeping this in mind, Phil’s Picks is offering a list of the year’s top new live CDs.

Included in this year’s list are standalone CD recordings and CDs included as part of bundles.  The titles featured in this year’s list include live recordings from Curtis Knight, Jon Cleary, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies and many others.  Simply put, they run the gamut from one genre to another across the musical universe.  Topping this year’s list is Dagger Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Curtis Knight featuring Jimi Hendrix Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966.  This live recording features performances by Hendrix well before he became an international superstar — performances that showed his talent even then.  Also included in this year’s list are recordings from Foghat, Alter Bridge, Armored Saint and others.  As is the case with every Phil’s Picks year-ender, this list features the top 10 best new titles plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Staying on that note, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Curtis Knight feat. Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966
  2. Alter Bridge — Live at The 02 & Rarities
  3. Jon Cleary — Live at the Chickie Wah Wah
  4. Foghat — Live at The Belly Up
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  6. Armored Saint — Carpe Noctum
  7. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  8. Black Sabbath — The End
  9. The Rolling Stones — Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  10. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years Live in Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  13. Def Leppard — …And There Will Be A Next Time
  14. Joe Bonamassa — Live at Carnegie Hall
  15. Fates Warning — Awaken The Guardian Live

That’s it for this list, but not for the live recordings lists.  Still on tap in this category is the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs as well as the year’s top new live recordings overall.  Before getting there though, there is at least one last list in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  That one’s coming soon, so stay tuned.

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Alter Bridge Impresses Again On Its Latest Live Recording

Courtesy: Napalm Records

This Friday, Alter Bridge will release its latest live recording, Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities in stores and online.  The band’s third live recording, this three-disc collection is easily one of this year’s top new live CDs.  That is due in part to the concert’s extensive set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance thereof is just as important to note as the set list itself, obviously, so it will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements, putting the final touch on the collection.  Each element is obviously important in its own right to the recording’s whole.  All things considered, the recording in whole shows easily why, again, it is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings.

Alter Bridge’s forthcoming live recording Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  The 19-song set list pulls from each of the band’s five current full-length studio recordings, and makes a valid attempt to represent each of those albums as fully as possible in the process.  The band’s latest album, 2016’s The Last Hero receives the most nods with six songs.  Its seminal 2007 album Blackbird gets the second most nods with five songs from that album being featured here.  Four songs are pulled from Fortress (2013) while III and the band’s 2004 debut One Day Remains each get two nods.  It would be interesting to know how the set list was chosen since each of the band’s albums presents plenty of enjoyable material.  That aside, the band is still to be commended for making the attempt to paint the fullest possible picture of its catalogue in this extensive 104-minute (1 hour, 44-minute) concert.

Looking even more deeply at the concert’s set list, audiences will be pleased to see that at no point does the set list ever stick to any of the band’s albums too long.  The set list starts at the band’s most recent album before quickly moving back to Blackbird and then on to Fortress and back to III in just its first four songs.  The change-ups remain just as constant from there on right to the end, with the band reaching into each album throughout.  In the same vein, that constant variety in the show’s set list also leads to a respectable variety in the songs’ energy, too.  The set’s first three offerings are heavy, driving compositions that eventually give way to something a little less heavy in ‘Ghosts of Days Gone By.’  The show’s energy picks right back up from there and stays high for a while before eventually pulling back again in the gentle, acoustic take of ‘Watch Over You.’  The songs’ energy rises and falls just as constantly from here, ensuring even more audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  Keeping in mind everything that has been noted so far, it becomes clear that the set list presented in Live at the O2 + Rarities is critical to the recording’s overall presentation.  It is only one of the recording’s critical elements, too.  The band’s performance of that extensive set list is just as important to the recording’s overall presentation as its set list.

The band’s performance of its nearly two-hour concert is important to note because as with any live show, a set list can only do so much for a concert.  If an act doesn’t put on a solid performance, then a show’s set list is worthless.  In the case of Alter Bridge’s performance here, the band clearly keeps its audience fully engaged and entertained throughout.  Those who didn’t get to experience the concert firsthand will find themselves just as engaged and entertained in experiencing the concert here.  From one song to the next front man Myles Kennedy, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips give their all in each song.  Kennedy’s vocals cut through like bolts of musical lightning in the concert’s most powerful moments while they move listeners just as deeply in the concert’s more reserved moments. Tremonti’s guitar work and that of his fellow musicians on their respective parts is just as impressive throughout.  The band wastes little time in-between songs with any banter, letting its collective performances do the talking for it as a whole.  The few times when it does spend some time on interludes, the most is made of those moments, too.  All things considered, the band’s performance shines here just as much as the set list that is performed.  Keeping that in mind, audiences will agree in hearing this concert that the band’s performance does just as much to entertain them as the set list itself.  Having discussed both of these key elements, the last important element to discuss here is the recording’s bonus studio recordings.

The recording’s bonus material includes two previously unreleased b-sides in ‘Cruel Sun’ and ‘Solace’ and a number of songs previously only available on exclusive editions of the band’s albums.  Those songs include ‘Breathe,’ which was also recorded during the Blackbird sessions, but was only included as an exclusive for Best Buy’s release last year of The Last Hero, ‘Never Born To Follow,’ which was released on exclusive U.S. and Japan editions of III, ‘Zero’ and ‘Home,’ both of which were also included in exclusive editions of III, along with others.  The songs themselves are impressive additions to the recording.  The fact that they are now all available in one setting makes them even more important to the recording’s whole.  It marks the first time that those exclusives have ever been available in one setting for audiences in a non-exclusive setting.  When this is considered along with the songs’ overall content (musical and lyrical), which impresses in its own right, the end result is a collection of songs that every Alter Bridge will appreciate.  When all of this is considered along with the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of those elements makes Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities a live and studio offering that will impress any Alter Bridge fan, leaving them agreeing that it is indeed one of the year’s top new live CD recordings.

Alter Bridge’s new live recording Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is one of this year’s top new live CDs.  That is due in part to the concert’s nearly two-hour set list that includes songs from each of the band’s five current full-length studio recordings.  The songs paint a clear picture of the band’s current catalogue while also balancing the concert’s energy from start to finish and those albums’ representation.  The band’s performance of that extensive set list is just as important to the recording’s whole as it is certain to keep fans who weren’t able to be at the concert just as entertained and engaged as those who were.  The bonus studio rarities and exclusives included in the set’s third disc round out its most important elements both because of the fact that it marks the first time they have been widely available for fans in one non-exclusive setting and because of their content.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities proves in whole why it is one of the year’s top new live CD recordings.  One can only hope that a companion DVD and/or BD presentation of the concert will be released sooner rather than later to complete the recording.  More information on Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is available online along with all of Alter Bridge’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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