It’s wise to preface this review by mentioning how prodigal the task of capturing an Alter Bridge performance, on such a grand a scale, must have been – with so much energy and passion on display, fans might be worried that some of the band’s brilliance might be lost in the visual translation. Rest assured that this is nothing short of unbelievable.
Without a doubt, this is a powerhouse of a live DVD. As the band launches into riff-heavy ‘Slip To The Void’, Wembley visibly comes alive with screaming fans and pulsing lights, with front man Myles Kennedy belting out the first verses and commanding the crowd with effortless prowess. Every note, lick, word, solo and scream are captured with perfect clarity as edits move at lightning speed to keep up with the energy of ‘All Hope is Gone’ and ‘White Knuckles’. Despite playing to such a gigantic crowd, each member of the band never fails to interact. Kennedy speaks to the thousands of fans on almost a personal level throughout, culminating in a solemn, heart-string plucking performance of fan favourite ‘Blackbird’. The seven minute song is as raw as it gets and easily trounces the outstanding studio version of the song.
From then on, the band take it down a notch with ‘Wonderful Life’ and ‘Watch Over You’. The bands softer songs are delivered powerfully as Myles takes to the stage solo, armed only with an acoustic guitar. It’s this kind of audience interaction only usually seen at smaller venues as opposed to cavernous arenas packed wall-to-wall. Although they quickly launch back into action with a storming rendition of ‘Ties That Bind’ and the epic conclusion ‘Rise Today’, the raw emotion behind the performance is never detracted from – it’s master-crafted rock concert footage and the definitive Alter Bridge package. The set also includes a documentary going behind the scenes of the band’s European tour and a CD of concise performances from the live show. If somehow you’ve managed to avoid Alter Bridge‘s pounding, emotive rock sound, this is where you start – it’s a great introduction to the band for new listeners and an essential addition to any long-time fan’s collection.
Reviewer: Laurence Braddow