Rising from the molten metal of the Creed meltdown five years ago, three of the band's founding members, Mark Tremonti (guitar), Scott Phillips (drums), and Brian Marshall (bass), immediately joined forces with former Mayfield Four frontman, Myles Kennedy, to form an equally powerful rock and roll force for the new millennium, Alter Bridge.
Although I was not exactly blown away by the band's debut album, 2004's One Day Remains, I did find their 2007 follow up, Blackbird, to be one of the best hard rock albums of the year. I still listen to it regularly whenever I need a good adrenaline fix to kick off my day.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a concert DVD from these guys so soon, considering that they only have the two albums under their belt, and the fact that Creed has recently reunited. The band is adamant, however, that the Creed reunion does not spell the end of Alter Bridge, and according to Kennedy's blog they have already finished recording the basic tracks for their third album.
Live From Amsterdam was recorded live at the Heineken Music Hall, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on December 8th, 2008, in front of about 8,000 wildly enthusiastic European fans. The concert was produced and directed by veteran concert DVD producer Daniel E. Catullo, using twenty-four high-definition cameras, and the results are spectacular.
Alter Bridge were still touring in support of their Blackbird album last year, so the concert features ten of that album's thirteen tracks. Six songs from the debut album, the rarely performed b-side, "New Way To Live," and a bodacious cover of "Traveling Riverside Blues" round out the eighteen-song setlist.
I had been wondering whether Kennedy's powerful, four-octave, pipes were the real deal or not, and this killer performance certainly puts that question to bed. It's as if they designed the guy straight from the official rock and roll frontman blueprints - he plays a mean guitar, can sing with the best of them, knows how to work the crowd, and according to my wife, is pretty easy on the eyes. Oh, and he almost took over for Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin last year.
I've been enjoying Mark Tremonti's guitar playing with Alter Bridge a lot more than I ever did with Creed, as he has really honed his skills over the last decade. He plays a variety of his own signature model Paul Reed Smith guitars throughout the show, and during "One Day Remains" you even get to watch his fingers fly across the fretboard at a ridiculously close angle thanks to a small camera mounted on the guitar headstock.