After the sold out extravaganza that was the Ulster Hall gig on Wednesday 21st June, the giants of rock Alter Bridge are already set to return to Belfast on 8th October. This announcement (made mid-show on Wednesday) was met with the supportive uproar of many overwhelmed fans.
So if you have yet to make your mind up on attending this new show in October, here are seven reasons to see the titans on their return:
1. We are in the golden age of all things AB
It’s true. After 13 years on the scene, there is just no stopping these musical icons. After the highly successful release of The Last Hero in 2016 and the massive reception received on the supporting tour, there is no doubt that they are still bringing the same drive and enthusiasm that saw them rocket to fame in their debut days.
With the band set to play with a 52-piece orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall come October their careers are only on the rise as they cement themselves into rock history.
2. 2018 will be the year of Tremonti
With all the buzz still surrounding The Last Hero, it is sometimes easy to forget that 2018 will give birth to another Tremonti album. After the critical acclaim of the 2016 Dust record, we have seen Mark truly develop as a solo artist, allowing him to emerge from under the cover of AB.
At this stage, little is known about what will be the fourth album from the group but from talks between Mark and his brother Michael, we have heard one of the songs referenced as “very heavy” from Mark. His captivating performance of “Waters Rising” alongside Myles at Ulster Hall is a perfect reminder of the truly unmatched talent that is Mark Tremonti and makes us look forward eagerly to what the legend has in store for us in 2018.
If you are a Tremonti fan then this return to Ulster Hall will be a show you will not want to miss and will help bridge the gap until this new release.
3. They are possibly the nicest musicians you’ll ever meet
I was honoured to have the opportunity to talk to Mark, pre-show last year, on his Tremonti tour. For a man who is arguably the best guitarist in the world right now, he is also arguably one of the nicest too. Although only having a brief time with the legend during the Meet & Greet, it was a true insight to what a true gentleman he is.
Despite my initial nerves of speaking with my idol, he immediately put me at ease and made me feel welcome and like an old friend. I was even able to steal a hug. This is a trait equally displayed by Myles, Brian and Scott, although I am yet to meet them.
However, you don’t have to splurge on an expensive Meet & Greet pass to witness their gratuitous nature. The band’s presence alone and the way they easily build a lasting rapport with the whole audience is truly spellbinding. Something as simple as a smile cast across the auditorium from the quartet can make you feel like you’ve known them for years.
4. They have a song for everyone
Whether you are enthralled by the heavily driven rifts of “Fortress”, connect deeply with the beautiful words of “Watch Over You” or are a sucker for the post-grunge vibes of “Find The Real”, Alter Bridge have a song for you no matter your musical background, taste or preference.
This is a band that has been able to put a unique spin on each and every album they have released which speaks volumes about their diversity and expertise. With every new album released, I often have to question myself if this is indeed Alter Bridge that I am listening to which shows the individuality they can convey on every new project. No matter what the setlist, I can guarantee you’ll find a gem that you can’t stop yourself from singing along to.
5. They put on the best show I’ve ever seen
This is a tough one for me, as over the years I’ve witnessed some spectacular gigs from Iron Maiden to Metallica to Tremonti but if there was one show that I could go back to and relive, it would be Alter Bridge. This is exactly why I have tickets to both the Dublin and Belfast return shows. I was fortunate to be close to the barrier centre stage for the Ulster Hall concert and from here I was able to get a front row view of how Mark, Myles, Brian, and Scott completely controlled the stage.
The group can get the whole audience on their toes instantly and they have the resolve to mirror the immense energy brought by the crowd. I was ecstatic to receive sincere sparkling smiles from Myles and nods of Tremonti appreciation at my frantic head banging and arm flailing.
6. We have to make up for 13 Alter Bridge-less years
For me, I have been a fan of Alter Bridge for as long as I can remember. With every new album and every new tour, it became ever harder for me to skim my eyes over the many tour lists and yet not see the forgotten city of Belfast appear. You can imagine once I woke up one fateful morning and heard the news that the mighty AB, after 13 years, would be finally arriving in a city near me, that this was more awakening than any alarm clock and more invigorating than any cup of coffee. Perhaps, this is the reason they announced a return show so close to their very first appearance as they agree they’ve been letting the fans wait for far too long.
7. You won’t regret it
This was astoundingly obvious from the phenomenal performance that they gave the longing Belfast crowd on Wednesday. If you missed out this intimate, mindblowing experience then you most certainly don’t want to miss out again.
If you are a new fan or have been AB loyal since the very start, come October, you’ll be sent away with goosebumps and a high that you could find no other way. Not only this but you are guaranteed a unique, one of a kind gigging memory that you wish could have lasted forever. You won’t regret it.
Alter Bridge play at the Ulster Hall, Belfast on 8th October 2017. Buy your tickets here.