Finland has been waiting in high anticipation for years for an appearance of the post-grunge act ALTER BRIDGE, on 14 November 2019, the time finally came for the band with a show at Helsingin Jäähalli. The band brought their friends of SHINEDOWN with them as a special act, and the support act THE RAVEN AGE. Check out the gallery here.
We arrived at Jäähalli a while before the first act was scheduled to play. Unfortunately, due to an accreditation mishappening, I missed a good bit of THE RAVEN AGE. From what I saw the audience was treated with a decent amount of alternative rock music, with a heavy attitude. Definitely a band that I’d like to check out if I would have the chance for it next time, hopefully without any issues next time.
Next in line were SHINEDOWN, who recently had a headlining tour of their own with a stop at The Circus. I haven’t had the chance to see the band back then, so it was definitely a great opportunity to see Brent Smith and company play their music for a packed Jäähalli.
SHINEDOWN opened with the heavy “DEVIL”, the opening track of their latest album “Attention, Attention”. The stage was decorated in line with the album theme, and a lot of exclamation marks were illuminating Jäähalli. An incredible production, with a great lighting show, was combined with a lot of great songs such as “Cut the Cord”, “Diamond Eyes”, and “MONSTERS”. Somewhere along the line, Brent Smith urged the crowd to greet each other and shake hands with those unfamiliar who stand nearby, as he said it he made his way to the photo pit and shook my hand. This to me was a clear sign of how Brent Smith is one of the most outstanding entertainers and singers I have ever seen, he has the power to engage an audience, and with his voice can touch many.
As the band left the stage after “Second Chance”, they quickly came back to ensure the audience would also applaud their support act THE RAVEN AGE, and the headliners of the evening ALTER BRIDGE. This was followed by an incredible rendition of LYNYRD SKYNYRD‘s “Simple Man”, after which the band ended their set with “Sound of Madness”. Calling this performance brilliant would truly be an understatement. There was a great atmosphere within the audience, and the moods were lifted up. Everyone was ready for ALTER BRIDGE.
2. Cut the Cord
3. Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
5. GET UP
7. Second Chance
8. Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
9. Sound of Madness
After quickly changing the stage setting, ALTER BRIDGE was ready to perform at 21:30. The lights went out a couple of minutes earlier, and it seemed that to everyone’s surprise the band actually also started a little bit earlier than scheduled. ALTER BRIDGE started with a new song “Wouldn’t You Rather”, which was quickly followed by “Isolation”.
After the energetic SHINEDOWN, it was quite a contrast because the band felt a little bit less bombastic, however, their dynamics were definitely what you would expect from them. ALTER BRIDGE‘s music perhaps is a little bit more introspective, and you can definitely tell that all the musicians are kind of losing themselves in the music, which is definitely a beautiful thing to see.
The band played plenty of new songs such as “Pay No Mind”, and “Crows on a Wire”. Even though Myles Kennedy perhaps didn’t talk that much, he greeted and thanked the audience a couple of times, seemingly happy about the turnout. Thankfully, the band played my favorite track on the new album “Dying Light”, and we tried our best to sing along to this outstanding live rendition. After that Kennedy and Tremonti took out their acoustic guitars, and played a version of “In Loving Memory” from their debut album.
“Cry of Achilles” was definitely one of my personal highlights due to its heavy rhythm and energy. Then it was time for what most people had been waiting for “Blackbird”, one of ALTER BRIDGE‘s most popular and moving songs. A lot of people in the audience started cheering and singing along to the lyrics. After “Metalingus”, the band came back for two more songs “Godspeed” and “Open Your Eyes”, which was the end to an incredible evening.
1. Wouldn’t You Rather
3. Come to Life
4. Pay No Mind
5. Crows on a Wire
6. Ghost of Days Gone By
7. Native Son
8. Addicted to Pain
9. Rise Today
10. Waters Rising
11. Dying Light
12. In Loving Memory (acoustic)
13. Cry of Achilles
17. Open Your Eyes