Mark Morton’s Solo Debut LP Will Leave Listeners Anything But Numb

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

It’s hard to do the same thing over and over for years at a time.  Everybody knows that.  It’s why people change jobs.  It is also why members of musical acts across the musical universe decide at one point or another to branch out and try their hands at something new (I.E. solo albums). Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton joined those ranks in March with his debut solo album Anasthetic.  The 10-song, 42 minute record shows Morton as not just a metal guitarist, but rather a multi-talented musician who has the capability to succeed in any musical genre.  This is proven in part late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Reveal.’  It will be addressed shortly.  The surprisingly subdued ‘Axis,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another way in which Morton’s wide range of talent is exhibited in this record.  ‘Save Defiance,’ the album’s mid-point is yet another way in which Morton’s full talents are put on display and will also be addressed later.  Each song noted here is important in its own way in proving Mark Morton is more than just another metal shredder.  When they are examined along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole of the album creates a new and deserved respect for Morton and his abilities.

Mark Morton’s debut self-titled album Anasthetic is a strong first solo outing for the Lamb of God guitarist.  That is because it allowed Morton to fully put on display, his talents as a guitarist.  It allowed him to show he is talented at doing more than just churning out heavy, shredding riffs.  Rather, it shows he can handle his own in almost any genre of music.  ‘Reveal,’ which comes late in the album’s run is just one of the album’s entries that supports those statements.  The song, recorded with singer/songwriter Naeemah Maddox, is the polar opposite of anything that Morton has ever done as a member of LoG.  The work presented by Morton here, is gentle and bluesy.  It expertly compliments the Philadelphia-born vocalist’s delivery and the work of their fellow musicians.  His bluesy guitar solo lends itself so easily to comparisons to the best work of Derek Trucks and Carlos Santana.  It is a true, full departure from everything that fans of Morton’s work have ever known, and it is so in the best way possible.

The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its positive lyrical content couples with its musical to make the song in whole even more interesting.  Maddox sings in the song’s lead verse, “Could be all for sale/Or could be smoke and mirrors/The end is growing near/Or could be smoke and mirrors/Say who you are/Go set your truth/Don’t be the rude in another’s fair/See how you feel/And the nreveal/You may not be who you are/Right at this moment in time.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “Go and dig a well/And hide as you abide/See, I’m fragile as a shell/And echo like a bell.”  She adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Willing, you have your own mind/You can think for yourself.”  She is saying here that things aren’t always just black and white.  There are shades of grey, so be you and be the best you can be.  That is at least this critic’s own town on this.  It is just one interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being right as it certainly seems to send a rather positive message to listeners.  That, taken into consideration with the song’s musical arrangement, makes the song just one of Anasthetic’s most notable tracks and just one of the most notable examples of Morton’s wide range of talent.  ‘Axis,’ which comes much earlier in the album’s run, is another key example of Morton’s abilities and, in turn, most notable additions.

‘Axis’ is another key example of Morton’s talents and by connection another of this record’s most notable entries.  Crafted with vocalist Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees), the song’s subdued arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Tom Waitts and Bruce Springsteen.  That is most evident in Lanegan’s vocals and Morton’s guitar work.  Again, this is a stark departure for Morton from the intensity of the work that he has done over the years with Lamb of God.  It shows he can do so much more than jus play fast and loud, but rather also slower and with great dynamic control.  It makes for that much more respect for Morton and his abilities.  The song’s musical arrangement does a lot to make this work stand out, and is just one part of what makes it stand out.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest to the song’s whole.

Lanegan sings seemingly in this song, about someone who has been through quite a bit of adversity in life and is struggling to get through it.  What’s interesting here is that for all the adversity, the song doesn’t come across as some sort of emo type song.  Rather, it harkens back to the great blues songs of days long ago through its lyrical delivery.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I came down with a fever/The catacombs, they were filled/Lucifer within my larynx/Clothing a sarcophagus/Baby, set my head on fire/Every man is born to die/The Captain called me out on a carpet, boys/You know I got a tear in my eye/”  he continues in the song’s second verse, “I have been lost and wandering/A wanderer I remain/Met Judas in West Texas/Tried to take my name/Now I am lost and wandering/And wandering, I am blind/Will the moon come off its axis/Before I lose my mind/I came down with a sickness/Pouring down just like rain/Red, red sun in the evening/Red, red heart full of pain.”  He adds a touch more in the song’s third and final verse, but the song in whole is pretty clear.  Again, this is someone who has gone through so much.  It is just a classic, retro style country blues type work even in its lyrical presentation.  That content, coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, makes it a piece that is sure to appeal to plenty of listeners.  It will appeal so widely because of that aspect and because, again, it shows that Morton is not just a one-trick pony.  It shows he can do quite a bit more than just metal, and can do so quite well at that.  It still is not the last of the songs featured in this record that serves to exhibit that talent and interest.  ‘Save Defiance,’ the record’s mid-point, is one more example of Morton’s broad range of talent.

‘Save Defiance’ was recorded with Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy.  Fittingly, this song’s arrangement presents Morton as an able mainstream hard rock driver just as much as a metal guitarist.  What is truly interesting here is that the grouping of Morton, Kennedy and the rest of the song’s featured musicians immediately leads to comparisons to some of Alter Bridge’s best works.  Again, this is a good thing because it shows how much more Morton can do than just shred really fast and hard.  It shows here that he can create some really heavy, melodic riffs, too.  Morton’s ability to so easily liken himself to Mark Tremonti shows yet again just why he is such an important figure not just in the rock community, but in the music community in whole.  As much as Morton’s abilities do for himself and for the song, they are just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content plays its own important part to the whole of the song.

Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “Into the last refrain/As your empire falls/World in decay/Our backs against the wall/Tell me, now/Is it too late/Tell me, now/Who’ll pay the cost/For all the times you’ve disengaged/Tomorrow could be lost/Stop what you started/Open your eyes/The truth is the hardest thing to deny.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Save defiance/And hope you’ve got one last shot/Blood of tyrants running cold/They will never stop/Save defiance/You alone will resist in time/Break alliance to behold shifting paradigms/There is no time to waste/This you can’t deny/The truth you embrace was only just a lie/Now do you see you’re betrayed/now you must keep your resolved/Or everything you sacrifice to keep/Will forever be dissolved/Stop what they started/Open your eyes/They’re reaping a harvest/And bleeding you dry.”  He reminds listeners in the song’s third verse, “This is your season/Take it and rise/The battle’s drawing/Fight for your lives.”  This is a call to action, point blank.  This is a socio-political commentary that is urging people everywhere to not sit idly by and allow those who do bad in the world to continue their heinous acts.  He is telling listeners to stand up and do something and make a difference.  That is at least this critic’s own take on this content.  The power and urgency in the song’s musical arrangement works to make this seem the case, so hopefully it is at least somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Thinking about the power of the song’s combined musical and lyrical content along with that of the power of the other discussed songs’ power and variety, they show clearly together just how talented Mark Morton really is.  When the variety and power in the songs discussed here is considered along with that of the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the record becomes a strong solo debut for Morton.  It serves to show regardless of where his future takes him, Morton can and will be successful.

Mark Morton’s debut solo album Anesthetic is a strong first effort from the Lamb of God guitarist.  That is because while it does continue to display his metal chops throughout, it does more than that.  It also shows his abilities in other regions of the musical universe.  That, combined with lyrical content that is just as certain as the record’s musical content to keep listeners engaged, makes the record a positive offering from Morton and all involved.  All things considered, the album proves to be a presentation that will leave listeners anything but numb.  More information on Anasthetic is available online now along with all of Mark Morton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://markmortonmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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Like A Storm Unveils New Single

New Zealand hard rock outfit Like A Storm released its latest single this week.

The band released the song ‘Pure Evil’ this week.  The song is a brand new offering from the band.  Guitarist Matt Brooks explained the religious and political commentary contained within the song in a recent interview.  He said it takes on the contrary nature of so many of the world’s political and religious leaders.

“Those members of our society who are supposed to be a shining example of morality are so often revealed to be corrupt, immoral and even dangerous,” Brooks said.  “The cover-ups, scandals and exploitation that pervade the highest levels of church and government are just sickening.  So ‘Pure Evil’ seemed like the perfect way to sum up this absolute hypocrisy – these people appear so righteous, but at their core they are the worst of the worst.”

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Brooks said the inspiration for the hard-edged approach to the song’s arrangement came from the band’s time on the road.

“After playing festivals to crowds like Download and Graspop, we started approaching music in terms of what we could envision seas of people rocking out to in unison,” he said.

He added the band’s current tour of Europe played a part in its new approach to songwriting, too.

“From all of our touring here we got turned onto a lot of heavier music coming out of Europe/Scandanavia like Dimmu Borgir and Gojira.  We’ve always loved writing music that’s layered and epic, and wanted to keep pushing that.”

Brooks said the band was especially excited to perform live in Europe.

“From the very first time we came over, we knew that this was a special part of the world to come and play,” he said.  “Rock and metal are definitely not dead here!  People wear their hearts on their sleeves.  We’ve never had a bad show here, so we’re very stoked to be back.”

Like A Storm’s new sound has not gone unnoticed.  Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti, who recently shared time on stage with Like A Storm, had high praise for the band and its new single.

“‘Pure Evil’ is totally killer!,” said Tremonti.  “This song will be so badass live!”

Tremonti’s band mate, Myles Kennedy, praised the band’s work ethic.  He said the band has earned its success.

“They’re hardcore,” he said.  “I see them show up on stage every night and give it 10,000 percent.  They definitely have proved that they deserve every bit of success that they have coming to them.”

The band recently filmed a video to accompany its new song.  The video will be unveiled later this month.  The video, filmed in an abandoned church, required the band to hire armed security for the shoot, said Brooks.  He said the security was necessary because of the reputation of the unnamed city where the video was shot.

“We actually filmed in a place considered to be one of America’s most dangerous cities,” Brooks said.  “We had to hire armed police officers as security – that was a different experience, coming from New Zealand!”

Like A Storm’s current European tour schedule is noted below.

 

LIKE A STORM – Europe/UK Tour with Alter Bridge & Special Guests

Nov. 8th – Paris, FRANCE @ Zenith
Nov. 9th – Brussels, BELGIUM @ AB
Nov. 10th – Amsterdam, HOLLAND @ HMH
Nov. 13th – Berlin, GERMANY @ Columbiahalle
Nov. 14th – Vienna, AUSTRIA @ Gasometer
Nov. 16th – Katowice, POLAND @ Spodek
Nov. 18th – Stockholm, SWEDEN @ Annexet
Nov. 20th – Oslo, NORWAY @ Sentrum Scene
Nov. 21st – Copenhagen, DENMARK @Falconer Theatre
Nov. 23rd – Manchester, ENGLAND @ Manchester Arena
Nov. 24th – London, ENGLAND @ O2 Arena
Nov. 26th – Nottingham, ENGLAND @ Motorpoint Arena
Nov. 27th – Birmingham, ENGLAND @ Genting Arena
Nov. 28th – Cardiff, WALES @ Motorpoint Arena
Dec. 1st – Glasgow, SCOTLAND @ Hydro
Dec. 2nd – Leeds, ENGLAND @ First Direct Arena
Dec. 4th – Frankfurt, GERMANY @ Jahrhunderthalle
Dec. 5th – Cologne, GERMANY @ Palladium
Dec. 6th – Hamburg, GERMANY @ Mehrl Theater
Dec. 9th – Bologna, ITALY @ Unipol Arena
Dec. 10th – Munich, GERMANY @  Zenith
Dec. 11th – Basel, SWITZERLAND @ St Jakobshalle

 

More information on Like A Storm’s new single is available online along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RealLikeAStorm

 

 

 

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‘Dust’ Won’t Gather Much “Dust” In Listeners’ Music Libraries

Courtesy:  Fret 12 Records

Courtesy: Fret 12 Records

Mark Tremonti is one of the hardest working people in the rock community today.  Between working on the next Alter Bridge album, scheduling dates for the band’s tour, and promoting his latest solo album Dust Tremonti definitely keeps himself busy.  Speaking of Dust, it was released worldwide this past April.  This latest album, his third solo recording, is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of his solo work and for those that lean more toward his work with Alter Bridge.  That is clear from the beginning to the end of the ten-song, forty-three minute record.  It takes the mix of heavy and softer sounds that are so prevalent in Alter Bridge’s albums and uses them as the foundation for its songs in considering its musical arrangements.  The lyrical themes that are presented throughout the record are insightful in their own right.  The combination of the two elements together makes the album in whole one that definitely won’t gather any “dust” in audiences’ music libraries.

Mark Tremonti’s latest solo recording Dust is a respectable new offering from the Alter Bridge guitarist.  It is a record that definitely won’t gather any “dust” in listeners’ personal music libraries.  That is due in part to a sound that is very familiar for fans of Alter Bridge and lyrics that offer their own share of insight for audiences.  One point at which this is clearly exhibited in Tremonti’s new album is the album’s title track.  Its musical arrangement creates a solid foundation for the song.  That is because while it does offer some clearly heavy moments, it also includes some moments that are equally moving, and in turn heavy in a different way.  What is most noticeable of the song’s musical arrangement is that Tremonti and company obviously put some thought into the arrangement.  That is because the heavier, and emotionally heavy moments aren’t just tossed in randomly over the course of the song’s nearly five-and-a-half minute run time.  Rather it is clearly deliberate in its gradual growth over that time.  The end result is a song that in regards to just its musical arrangement is one of the album’s best moments.  Its lyrical content presents a clear mirror image to the emotional growth presented in its musical arrangement.  That is clear as Temonti sings of a person who apparently did quite a bit for everyone else yet who it seems refused help from others.  This can be inferred as Tremonti sings in the song’s lead verse, “Cut through the fetters/Reach the end/Only to fight yourself again/Who would believe that you’re now done/You carried the weight of everyone/After all the time we spent/Rewriting the rules that we now bend/The whole d*** thing has turned to dust/You left us alone/Defeated us.”  That last line, “You left us alone/Defeated us” seems to hint that whoever this person was, he or she might have had something to hide.  This is inferred even more as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Once fell behind to carry me/You know it was never meant to be/Bled for the right to see it through/And now is the time to carry you/Why were we afraid to go/We asked for the truth and now we know/The whole damn thing has turned to dust/The ashes you left to bury us.”  Audiences will note that the same musical arrangement used in the song’s lead verse is also used in this verse, too.  It is that arrangement that gradually grows over the course of the verse, thus illustrating the emotion of the song’s subject.  It plays into that belief that perhaps the person being addressed here is someone with some personal demons that have got to be handled.  It would be interesting to find out if this was perhaps in reference to a certain individual from the band’s (or Tremonti’s own past).  Regardless of the possible story behind the song, the combination of that insightful lyrical content and its equally balanced musical arrangement makes this song just one of Dust’s standout moments.  It is a clear example of why this record won’t gather much, if any, “dust” in listeners’ music libraries.  Audiences can hear the song for themselves online now via Tremonti’s official YouTube channel.  It is just one supporting piece of evidence in these arguments, too.  ‘Catching Fire’ is another of the album’s inclusions that supports that argument.

‘Dust’ is one of the best moments of Mark Tremonti’s new album.  That is because the song, which is also the album’s title track, combines some rather thought-provoking lyrics with a musical arrangement that expertly mirrors the emotion exhibited in the song’s lyrical content.  Both elements together not only make the song one of the album’s best moments but also show why this record is one that won’t gather much “dust” if any in listeners’ music libraries.  It is just one of the songs featured in this record that supports both arguments.  ‘Catching Fire’ supports both statements just as much.  In regards to its musical arrangement, it is one of the album’s heavier moments.  It is not heavy in terms of its softness, but heavy as in heavy.  And as with the rest of the album’s songs, it is driven largely by Tremonti’s work on guitar.  While the song’s musical arrangement is one of the album’s heavier moments, that heaviness is not random.  As in the case of ‘Dust’ it is in fact quite deliberate.  That is because it mirrors the song’s lyrical content just as much as that of ‘Dust’ does its lyrical arrangement.  This is clear as Tremonti sings here, “Take what’s yours/It’s your turn/Leave the rest to burn/Keep your sights down below/Hold on tight or let it go/With your back to the wall/You refuse to crawl/Bury the weak in your soul/Grasp the light and let it go.”  Needles to say there is some real *ahem* fire in this lead verse.  By direct contrast, there is just as much fire but in a different fashion as he sings almost angrily in the song’s second verse, “It once was clear and now you’re blind/The fear found shelter in your mind/Just on word and I will go/The sands of time are running low/When you’re awake for the war/When the shadows fall/Set your sight down below/And you will know/Yeah, and you will know.”  Simply put the contradiction of the two subjects being addressed here presents a different kind of energy in the song’s musical arrangement.  In both cases, it shows why the arrangement wasn’t just heavy for the sake of heavy.  It was in fact quite deliberate and thought out.  The energy in the song’s lead verse is an energy that encourages the seeming determination of the subject in that verse.  On the other side there is almost a sense of anger as the subject in that verse is being chided for allowing fear and doubt to sneak into his or her mind.  It makes for a truly interesting composition.  It makes the song yet another example of why Tremonti’s new album won’t gather much “dust” in listeners’ music libraries if any.  ‘Unable To See,’ the album’s closer is another of the songs that supports that statement.

‘Dust’ and ‘Catching Fire’ are both key compositions in Mark Tremonti’s new album Dust.  Both songs show in their own way why this record will likely gather very little “dust” in listeners’ music libraries.  That is due to the combination of the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  While both songs are important in their own right to the album’s presentation they are not its only key compositions.  The album’s closer ‘Unable To See’ proves to be just as important to the album’s presentation as those songs.  The central reason for its importance is in fact its musical arrangement.  Where ‘Dust’ and ‘Catching Fire’ harken back to Tremonti’s work as a member of Alter Bridge, this song reaches even farther back.  It reaches back to his time with Creed.  That is clear in the song’s ballad-style approach.  Said approach makes the song bear a noticeable stylistic similarity to Creed’s hit ballad ‘My Sacrifice.’ Even with the songs’ stylistic similarity, audiences will be glad to know that this piece isn’t just a re-creation of the previous composition.  It is just similar stylistically.  The song’s lyrical content is just as different from that of ‘My Sacrifice’ as the songs’ musical arrangements are similar.  That should appease audiences just as much.  Whereas ‘My Sacrifice’ was an uplifting rock ballad, ‘Unable To See’ bears a bit more cynicism to say the very least.  That is inferred as Tremonti sings, “Well I don’t think that I’ll ever know/What it’s like to just let it go/And I don’t think that I’ll ever be/Able to trust/’Cause I’m unable to see/I think back to the times that I’ve lost/But who am I to just want it all/Now don’t you feel sorry for me/If I’m unable to trust/’Cause I’m unable to see.”  That seeming cynicism is just as evident later in the song’s second verse as Tremonti goes on to sing, “Well I don’t think that I’ll ever get/To find a trace of what we had left/And I don’t think that I’ll ever learn/ To see the moment’s right/To just wait my turn/I forgot any fool that I was/But who am I to just think he’s gone/Now don’t you feel sorry for me/If I’m unable to care/’Cause I’m unable to see.”  These are some pretty strong statements coming from the song’s subject.  What is really interesting to note here is that for al of the seeming cynicism exhibited in the song’s verses, the song’s chorus hints at some cynicism but also some determination at the same time.  That is hinted as Tremonti and his band mates sing, “And I swear/I’ll never fall from here/I’ll never fall from here/And I’ll be forever in a dream/And I know/I’ll never let it go/Still we sing tonight/And it will last forever and ever/So we sing tonight/And it will last forever and ever/So we will love to see a smile/When we are wronged by the ones that would never.”  Those last two lines are among the song’s most intriguing.  Tremonti sings, “So we will love to see a smile/When we are wronged by the ones that would never.”  On one hand, that could be inferred to mean, “we are glad to see the true colors of the fake people because it proves us right.”  On another it could mean we like to see a caring smile from others when the fake people show their colors.  It is really an interesting statement and one of the song’s most intriguing.  Considering that and the rest of the song’s lyrical content, the whole of the song’s lyrical content couples with its musical arrangement to prove without a doubt why it is one more of the album’s best moments.  It also serves to show once more why Dust is a record that definitely won’t gather much “dust” if any in listeners’ music libraries.  Together with ‘Dust,’ ‘Catching Fire,’ and the rest of the album’s included compositions, the record proves in whole to be a viable candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

Mark Tremonti’s new solo record Dust is a record that will hardly gather any “dust” in listeners’ music libraries.  It is a viable candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  These statements are supported through both the album’s musical arrangements and its various lyrical themes.  The album’s musical arrangements mostly echo Tremonti’s work with Alter Bridge.  Though, there is at least one composition—the album’s closer—that goes as far back as Tremonti’s time with Creed.  All three of the songs that are noted here are clear supportive examples in these statements.  The songs not noted here could just as easily be cited in supporting them, too.  All things considered, Dust proves in the end to be a record that fans of Mark Tremonti, Creed, and Alter Bridge will appreciate.  It is a record that, again, is a viable candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  It is available now in stores.  More information on Dust is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://fret12.com/marktremonti

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fret12

 

 

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Alter Bridge moves into the mix of the year’s best live shows

Courtesy: Alter Bridge Recordings/EMI Label Services

Good morning, everyone.  I hope your weekend is going well so far.  I promised earlier this morning that I’d have even more new reviews to come.  And I try my hardest to be a man of my word.  So this morning, I’ve got another new review.  Funny thing is that with this review, it’s now official that I’m going to have to shift my list of the year’s top live shows yet again.  That’s because of just how impressed I am by the topic of this review.  This morning, I offer a live set that has really set itself apart from the others that have already been released thus far.  This morning I offer to you, dear readers, the recently released double disc cd/blu-ray release from Alter Bridge, “Live at Wembley.”

So often, when it comes to choosing which live recordings to buy, audiences are forced to choose between the audio and video portions of the show(s) in question.  In other cases, fans are forced to wait and see if labels will even release given shows in more than one format.  It could be argued the reason this happens is labels’ fears of said releases’ success or lack thereof.  So in releasing “Live at Wembley” in a cd/blu-ray package, Alter Bridge Recordings and EMI Label Services were taking a calculated risk.  That risk has paid off.  What fans get in this dual disc package is a nearly two hour concert that spans its whole curent catalogue.  It doesn’t feel the least bit of its near two hour time, either.  The band keeps the energy moving throughout the concert, even in its slower songs, making that run time pass by with ease.  Add in a bonus tour documentary, and audiences get a great two piece/three-part live release that has officially made its case for being named one of the year’s best live recordings.

“Live at Wembley” is only the second live release from Alter Bridge.  But it’s also the best of the pair.  The recording documents the final show on the band’s 2011 European tour.  The very first thing that fans wil notice in this set is the stunning clarity of the show’s blu-ray presentation.  If ever there was an argument for switching  to blu-ray and HDTV, the clarity of the picture in this show is it.  It’s not all that makes the video portion of the show so impressive, though.  The show itself plays its own role.  Director Daniel E. Catullo III and his crew are to be highly commended for their work on recording the performance.  The work of the camera crew really caught the vibe of both the band and the audience.  Viewers could feel both sides feeding off of one another’s energy.  That served to make the show fly by.  Before audiences know it, the show’s over.  On top of all of that, the shooting took place from both on stage and in the crowd.  It makes audiences feel as if they’re right there with those who were there at the time of the show.  All combined, these are signs of a great live show. 

Speaking of the audience and band feeding off of one another, the way that the camera crew caught the audience clapping and swaying its hands in unison showed how much the audience appreciated the band’s performance.  It was moving to see how the band’s music brought so many people from so many different backgrounds together for one special night.  It just goes to prove music’s ability to unify people.  Those moments are many throughout the show.  But there’s something beautiful and moving about them, every time.

On stage, viewers watching the show at home see the result of the audience feeding off of the band.  Frontman Myles Kennedy takes that energy from the audiences and gives it back tenfold.  He proves to be the perennial frontman, especially during ‘White Knuckles.’  He comes across as a big kid when he gets the lighting crew to bring the lights up on one side of the audience and then the other.  It’s just one of many moments that make one compare his stage presence to that of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.  This is meant in a wholly complimentary manner.

As amazing as the Wembley show’s video portion is, it’s only part of what makes this set a triple threat.  The bonus tour documentary shows fans a side of the band that they might not have otherwise seen before.  As noted already, frontman Myles Kennedy comes across as a big kid at least once during the show.  Listening to him talk about how amazed he is to be where he is now serves to certify that description.  He and the rest of the band–Mark Tremonti (guitars), Scott Phillips (Drums) and Brian Marshall (Bass)–come across as being very humble, hard working musicians who do what they do more for the band’s fans than for themselves.  Hearing Myles and Brian talk about how serious Myles takes the matter of caring for his voice shows how serious he is about performing.  It’s a little bit funny hearing Myles talk about people think he’s being anti-social because he doesn’t talk much before a show.  Though it does make at least a certain amount of sense.  And it makes him that much more respected both as a vocalist and a musician.

Just as impressive as the band’s devotion to performing for its fans is how serious it takes being at the level at which it now sits.  Even as big as the band is, the band’s members talk about the honor of playing Wembley.  It’s compared to playing New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The point here was to highlight that the band realizes how far it’s come to be playing one of Europe’s most legendary venues.  Of course, for all of the seriousness caught in the documentary, there are lighter moments, too.  It’s funny hearing the band talk and laugh about how expensive things are overseas versus how expensive it might be here in the United States.

The bonus documentary has far more enjoyable moments than what is noted here.  Fans who watch it for themselves will see every one of those moments.  They will also get a wonderful high def visual experience in the video portion of the show and an equally enjoyable audio portion with the included cd.  All together, this double disc set is a triple threat in the ranks of the year’s live recordings.  It could be argued that considering both the extrensic and intrinsic value of this set, Alter Bridge has made a fully valid argument for having released one of the elite top live recordings of the year.

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