Download 2014: Alter Bridge

Kennedy, Tremonti and co. warm up the pre-Aerosmith Crowd

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The last time we saw Myles Kennedy he was accompanying Slash for an unplugged set at the Houses of Parliament. Tonight’s affair, with his own band Alter Bridge, is very different in just about every way. Thousands of happy, if knackered, festival punters await their melodic hard rock charms; the sky above the (now slightly muddy) field is a rather ominous shade of grey; and the knowledge that Aerosmith’s headline set will follow them looms over the show like a very big neon sign.

Nevertheless, Kennedy, guitarist/vocalist Mark Tremonti and the other two (also extremely talented musicians, but it would be foolhardy to deny that Kennedy, followed by Tremonti, is the star of the show) are consummate professionals and all-round nice guys - not about to let this stop them from delivering a quality, enthusiastic set. With some incredibly devoted fans cheering them on.

They’ve had better live shows (big shows, too, even if they feel slightly swallowed here at times), but the likes of Cry Of Achilles are such storming, steely-eyed but rousing tracks they can’t fail to do excellent work tonight. Tremonti leads crunchingly metallic, machine gun riffery in the likes of Ties That Bind, and Myles (we’ve praised it before, but sweet lord he’s got a lovely voice; the kind you’d book a room with) is so unfailingly likeable as a frontman you can’t help but warm to them.

Fan favourite Blackbird is good, but its Myles’s acoustic solo Watch Over You that suddenly creates a rather magic atmosphere - sparkling and quite exquisite. It’s then falls to Rise Today to finish on a stirring, singalong note, leaving everyone primed for the headline mammoth to come. Which it does, and does very well. Well done AB. (7) (PG)

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.