Alter Bridge & Nonpoint ~ The Ritz ~ February 12, 2017 ~ Raleigh, North Carolina

Alter Bridge’s The Last Hero tour made a stop at The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday, February 12. The band is out on the road in support of their album The Last Hero which saw them return to the Top Ten for the first time since their 2004 album One Day Remains. That’s definitely a head scratcher given how popular the band has become and just how damn good their albums have been. Although many of those in attendance had work the next morning, that didn’t stop over 1400 music hungry and enthusiastic fans from packing The Ritz. They were ready for a great night of live music and the bands were more than willing to deliver exactly what their fans wanted.

Weapons of Anew opened up the night with a short set that got many of those already in attendance engaged and fired up. The band made the most of their twenty minute set as many fans were still making their way into the venue as the guys were finishing up their set. After a change over, we were eager for Nonpoint to take to the stage. The band brings a special kind of energy with them to the stage and it was going to be interesting to see how that was going to go over with the Alter Bridge fans. Lead singer Elias Soriano is one of the best out there with getting a crowd engaged in a show. As the band prepared to go into “Hands Off,” he warned those in attendance that things were about to get a little crazy. He was about to enforce the Nonpoint Rule and wanted every person in attendance to come off of the ground. If you’re neighbor isn’t bouncing, then grab them by their Justin Beiber  t-shirt and show them how. If you’ve ever been to a Nonpoint show, you know that song is a point in the show when the intensity really picks up. The band included a couple of tracks off of their latest album The Poison Red with “Divided…Conquer Them” and “My Last Dying Breath” as well as a cover of the Phil Collins’ classic “In The Air Tonight.” They closed their high energy set off with “Bullet With a Name” which is always a crowd favorite. Although the stage was packed full of equipment, thus giving the band a limited amount of room to jump around and go crazy, they still managed to make the most of the space they were given.  Lead guitarist B.C. Kochmit, whose hair was just as animated as he was, was a beast on the axe (as he always is) and was another key element in getting the packed house engaged and fired up.

Alter Bridge hit the stage with “The Writing on the Wall” from their latest album and immediately had the audience wrapped around their musical finger. They followed it up with “Come to Life” from Blackbird and “Farther Than the Sun” from Fortress. It’s impossible for a band to play everything that the fans may want to hear, but Alter Bridge delivered a very solid setlist to the fans that included tracks that spanned all five of their studio albums. One of our favorite parts of the show was the inclusion of “Wonderful Life” and Watch Over You” acoustically from Myles. The band’s encore included “Show Me a Leader” from their latest album, “Rise Today” from Blackbird and a pretty epic dueling guitars segment with Myles and Mark Tremonti. The guys delivered one of the best AB shows that I think we’ve ever had the privilege of seeing. The only disappointment that I can think of was when the house lights came back on because we all knew that the show was definitely over.

Overall, it was a damn solid show from all who were involved. The energy in the room was intense at times Nonpoint did an excellent job of converting over quite a few Alter Bridge fans who were not very familiar with them prior to this show. As for Alter Bridge, you gain an even better appreciation for this band when you get to see them live. Albums can become a little too sterile in the mixing and editing process and AB brings all of that rawness back into their live delivery. Mark Tremonti is a freaking beast in concert and that guitar becomes like another appendage to his body. Myles Kennedy is one of the best voices going in music today, regardless of genre, and he proved that yet again to all of us in attendance. He’s in our personal Top Five Best Voices in Music and we’ll gladly debate you on that if you’d like.

Here are some pix from Nonpoint’s set at The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 12, 2017. Click on each image for a larger view!

 Here are some pix from Alter Bridge’s show at The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 12, 2017. Click on each image for a larger view!

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