I've been a longtime follower of all things Creed, having obtained the original Blue Collar Records version of the My Own Prison album, which we got at the radio station I was working at at the time. "My Own Prison" was a breakout single for us in Cleveland, wildly popular long before the band signed with Wind-Up Records, who would eventually re-release the My Own Prison album as one of their first releases.
Through the years, I became disinterested with Creed as a whole, mostly due to Scott Stapp's boring generic vocal style which showed little variety from album to album.
Musically, I was always a fan, but being Stapp'd out, was still a bit skeptical when I heard that guitarist Mark Tremonti was launching his post Creed project Alter Bridge featuring all of the ex-Creed members minus Stapp, with former Mayfield Four frontman Myles Kennedy joining on vocals.
After hearing the first single "Open Your Eyes", I remained non-convinced, as it was what I expected, a song that sounded just like Creed. Pass.
Flash forward to a couple of weeks after first hearing the single, and I am listening to Detroit native and Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti do an extremely early radio interview on hometown Detroit radio station WRIF. Tremonti was careful and quick to explain that Alter Bridge was a move into new directions for him, as well as the rest of the band. "Open Your Eyes" was a single that was written to take to radio as a song that would introduce Alter Bridge to former Creed fans, without alienating that fanbase. The rest of the album, as he explained, would be nothing like that radio single. It's appropriate that the band would start it's early radio promotion in Detroit by the way, the band's name is inspired by the Alter Bridge, which is a longtime and very distinctive bridge in Detroit.
It was a good setup for the band, and indeed, the album as a whole, is definitely not Creed part two. Alter Bridge is a distinctively new and fresh project, and after hearing the album, I couldn't wait to see it live.
I finally got my chance to do that last night here in Cleveland, at the Odeon Concert Club, which is definitely one of the nicer venues in Cleveland to see a show. Official capacity is somewhere around 1,000, and the venue was very comfortably sold out, and not oversold, for last night's show, which was a nice surprise.
After enduring 2 opening bands including local opener Solo Flyer and labelmates Submersed, Alter Bridge took the stage opening with the title track from their new album One Day Remains. One of the first things you notice about Alter Bridge both live and on record, is how insanely heavy they have taken it with this project. The band rocks hard, and while you won't be calling them heavy metal gods(though you might think so at the show, more on that later), they have turned the guitars up on this project to 11, and Tremonti is shredding like a madman set free with the music of Alter Bridge. I had opportunity to talk to Tremonti about his increased display of guitar acrobatics with Alter Bridge, and he explained that he always wanted to shred more with Creed, but that there was no place for it in the music. Alter Bridge definitely gives him that vehicle to shine, and he exhibited what a truly underappreciated guitar player he is, with his playing throughout the night.