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Alter Bridge and Shinedown, Arena Birmingham - review and pictures

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

Christmas came early for thousands of music fans when they headed into Arena Birmingham last night for a rock double-header.

Alter Bridge at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Andy Shaw

Florida bands Alter Bridge and Shinedown drew people of all ages to the city centre show which saw each band perform stellar sets filled with songs new and old.

First up between the pair was Jacksonville’s Shinedown, fronted by the highly-talented Brent Smith whose energy and enthusiasm remained electric for the entirety of their show. And the fans lapped it up with delight.

Shinedown always give a rather unusual show, engaging the audience more so than many. Last night Brent had fans clapping along to much of their set, had them shine their phone lights for one number, and even walked through the crowd to get them revved up to jump.

But most impressive of all were his stunning vocals.

Kicking off their set with Devil, it was immediately clear fans were in for a treat, as Brent sang with great strength and range, as the rest of the talented band thrashed out notes alongside a fantastic light show.

“It is such a privilege to play for you tonight,” beamed Brent.

“Thank you for coming out.”

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Highlights from the gig saw the band give a thrillingly heavy and high-energy rendition of Cut The Cord, as well as a gorgeous cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man.

But the real showstopper was their beautiful performance of Second Chance, which saw Brent boast tremendous soul and passion.

A varied set and a wonderful show from all the band.

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Up next were Orlando rockers Alter Bridge, whose stage initially seemed a little plain following the busy light show from Shinedown, though their set was anything but.

Genre icon Myles Kennedy was superb, impressing on both vocals and guitar with excellent solos and outstanding deliverance of his unique voice.

This was despite a slightly rocky start, however, as the sound levels initially meant Myles’ voice was drowned out by the rest of the group - though it must be said lead guitarist Mark Tremonti stunned from the get-go. Thankfully the sound issue was soon resolved.

Performing before a set of thin screens - six above them and nine behind - the band gave wonderful renditions of songs from their extensive catalogue, including songs such as 2016 number Crows on a Wire, 2014 song Open Your Eyes, and 2010’s Isolation, as well as a collection from their latest album Walk the Sky.

A top moment saw Myles give an emotional, acoustic version of In Loving Memory, which saw fans sway and wave their arms as they sang along.

A personal highlight for me, however, was their explosive performance of 2004 hit Metalingus - a tremendous display of Myles’ voice.

“Thanks for coming out,” bellowed Myles.

“I hope you half as much fun as we did.”

Thank you Myles, we certainly did.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Digital Content Manager for the Shropshire Star and Express & Star. Also reviews concerts and events, as well as writing features and celebrity interviews. E-mail me at kirsten.rawlins@shropshirestar.co.uk, or phone 01952 241440.

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