Saturday, 26 November 2016

Alter Bridge - Live at the O2 Arena

A four band bill was the order of the day at the huge O2 arena featuring rock monsters Alter Bridge, supported by the mighty Volbeat with the death metal eco warriors Gojira as third support and lesser known openers Like a Storm starting things off.

I missed all of Like a Storm. I heard them through the doors as I was standing in the foyer but they didn't sound too good. No great loss. Maybe I'll give 'em a shot on youtube one of these days.

French death metal groovers Gojira were third support and they seemed to go down pretty well with "Gojira!" chants starting up after most songs. They played a 40 minute set of brutal, driving death metal with pummelling double bass and grating riffs. Very very different compared to the two main acts but still no totally unpleasant either. It all sounds a bit dark and ominous though and far far apart from the main two acts who are much more mainstream rock acts in every sense.

Next up were Volbeat who I've seen a few times now. Michael Poulsen's voice never fails to excite with his hillybilly rock n roll delivery and good time grooving songs. They were pretty much perfect for their 50 minute set. Plenty of people in teh crowd were up and dancing to their happy go lucky melodic tunes. I could have happily sat through another 30 minutes of Volbeat no bother.

Finally at 9.30 it was time for the heavyweight modern rockers to show what they were made of. The set list was drawn heavily from their new album which is understandable but since it's my least favourite in their catalogue it took me a while to warm to them as the set progressed. They still have standout goose bump moments and the song Blackbird is a pure emotional moment that never fails live. Open Your Eyes was another of those fantastic moments. The band is less enthusiastic than you would think although Myles sounds pretty perfect and renders the songs beautifully. They definitely make
Arena rock music but are their personalities suited to a huge Arena like this? I'm not so sure.
I've seen them in Hammersmith and Wembley Arena and I think they were better on those occasions not that they weren't good on this night but I'm sure they've had better. Volbeat stole the show for me and I go see them again no problem but I think Alter Bridge whilst tight professional and perfectly good could not command the same level of enthusiasm from me on this occasion.

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