A Weekend in Music City – By Tabitha Smith

 This time last week my Mom and I were on a plane from Seattle Washington to Nashville Tennessee. She needed a break from life (It was also her Birthday weekend) and I was off to go see the Mighty Alter Bridge.

Back in November, they announced another string of US tour dates supporting their newest album Walk The Sky. Nashville was included on this list and after a dear friend of mine reached out and suggested I come visit I knew I had to leave home and see this band out of state.

 Excited was an understatement. So here we were, just my Mom and me. I can’t recall much about Friday other than flying because it took up most of the day. Saturday started out with coffee and a quick bite to eat with my Mom before I left with a few friends to go get in line for soundcheck.  There is more to this adventure than just the music and great food. There’s music family and new friends to be made at every show. Some of my closest friends were made through the Internet because of certain bands that we both really enjoy.

Anyway, soundcheck. We are escorted into the War Memorial Auditorium by VIP staff and the band starts up. They play through two songs and have the whole place rocking out. It felt like a pre-show before the actual show. I find soundchecks so fascinating. You can almost hear the wheels turning between the musicians as they work to fix something if it sounds off or isn’t to their liking. 

After the soundcheck finished, we all lined up to meet the band. I’m always asked why I spend so much money just to get a picture.   It’s more than just a picture. These musicians in particular are so grateful for and kind to their fans.  Ask any Alter Bridge fan who’s met them and most will have nothing but great things to say.

  After we got our pictures taken with the band members, we headed back outside to wait for the doors to open.  When they did, it was a mad dash for the rail and thankfully I made it..

Half an hour or so later, the first band Deepfall came out. They played their set which included an impressive Journey cover and then Clint Lowery (Guitarist of Sevendust) came out. He also played a fantastic set featuring songs off his new album God Bless the Renegades. He played an impressive set as well.

Then it was time for Alter Bridge. They came out and started their set. The way they’ve started every show on this tour so far is with their opener on their latest album called “One Life.” It’s a one-minute piece of what one might call meditation music. After this short piece they transition right into another new song “Wouldn’t You Rather?”, followed by other long-time fan favorites such as Isolation, Come to Life, another new track called Pay No Mind, Ghost of Days Gone By, and Broken Wings.

All throughout the entire set I found myself mesmerized by the heavy rhythmic guitars, Mark Tremonti’s solos, along with the dynamic rhythm duo comprised of Scott “Flip” Phillips on drums and that incredibly rhythmic bass-playing by Brian Marshall and of course, the sound of the band is never complete without the melodic vocals and the rhythmic guitar craft of front man Myles Kennedy. The show continued on with a new song called “Dying Light”, the anthemic “Rise Today”, then the heavy track Cry of Achilles, followed by Mark Tremonti taking lead vocals for “Waters Rising.”

After this Myles Kennedy slows the night down with a beautiful acoustic version of “Watch Over You” off of Alter Bridge’s album Blackbird. And to the crowd’s surprise the band joined in after the first chorus of the song.  A beautifully rockin’ ballad called Blackbird followed this song and then they played my personal favorite, “Open Your Eyes.” This song always gets the crowd singing along. There’s even a part in the bridge of the song where Myles has the whole crowd sing and it’s beautiful every time. I do have to add that this is not the only song where Alter Bridge fans sing together. In fact, Alter Bridge (Myles Kennedy in particular) has a way with audience engagement.  Everyone’s always either clapping or singing along and it’s all just part of the fun that is an Alter Bridge show.

The night ended with the songs “Metalingus”, “Godspeed” “Addicted to pain”. All in all, it was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and if you have not had the chance to fly out of your home state to go see a show or a band, I highly recommend doing it. Especially if it’s a band you really love.  The next day, Sunday, was a very short day but I spent it with my mom. We explored downtown Nashville, lots of music to be heard everywhere you went.  I met up with a friend for lunch and visited the Johnny Cash Museum. That ended my weekend and I was not ready to go home when we got to the airport. Traveling and music are, and always and will be, one of my biggest passions. Thank you to Alter Bridge for an excellent show last week.