Sound: Alter Bridge has a very odd and unique sound for a modern rock band. A review that I saw of this set said they were unclassifiable. I agree with that. They aren't a static band at all. Everything is very dynamic. Each album sounds vastly different than the previous one before it. If you like the band as much as I do, then you will LOVE "Live At Wembley". // 9
Content: On a very special night on November 29, 2011, over 10,000 fans got to witness Alter Bridge fulfill their collective dream: Playing/selling out Wembley. On that historic night, the band played 21 songs spanning across all 3 albums, including recent masterpiece "ABIII". The night started out with the eerie echo of "Slip To The Void" reverberating throughout Wembley. Myles soon picks up with equally eerie vocals and the band kicks into overdrive with Mark Tremonti's tremendous guitar wailing about for all of London to hear.
Myles' vocals are very spot on in this track. I was wondering if he was going to do the nasally thing he did on "Live From Amsterdam" (You learn why he sounds like that on the 2nd DVD included in the set) but he didn't. His voice was perfect. Mark's guitar tone was as big as ever and sounded amazing.
After this, the band rips into "Find The Real", one of my personal favorites. Myles does some improv melody changes on this track, and Mark adds in a new killer ending to the solo which had me in awe. With that song out of the way, the band plays a song from "ABIII", "Ghosts Of Days Gone By". I was interested in how this was going to sound live as there is a 20 second vocal spot that I didn't think Myles could do live. I was horribly wrong. The moment came, and Myles held out the "I don't wanna die" line as long as he does on the record. The guitar work here is very good.
I'm going to skip a track here and jump onto track 5. AB tears into "All Hope Is Gone" at this point. Myles has proven that he is indeed a very good frontman, and this performance shows it. I had no idea what song they were starting to play, as Myles was getting the crowd to sing some "OOH"'s with him and then Mark's clean tone comes in as the riff starts. What surprised me was how good Myles' volume swell came on right after. The Mark/Myles duo is a perfect match in this song.
The next song is AB's fastest song: "White Knuckles". Their live performance of this on "Live From Amsterdam" is my favorite live performance of any band I've seen. Myles has INSANE crowd control on this song. It has an incredible build up that culminates in Tremonti's weird ass nut scrap harmonic that I can never replicate.
The song that is played next is my favorite performance on the DVD: "Brand New Start". Everything just clicks perfectly on this one. The solo is absolutely astounding. So much emotion running through it. I don't ever attempt this (not because I can't, but because I know that it sounds the way it does because of how Mark feels when he plays it and I can't replicate that). This performance is simply awesome.
Scott Phillips is the highlight of this next song: "Metalingus". If you know the song, it is very drum heavy. When I had heard Scott in Creed, I thought he was an okay drummer. When I heard "Metalingus", I was proven wrong. He's very good. This is actually a highlight off the DVD/album. It's a really high energy song.
The next track they played was one of my favorites off the "ABIII" album: "I Know It Hurts". They played it very well, and it got the crowd going. I do have a complaint, and this is no slam against Mark, but man... Slow the **** down. The solo is fast as shit on the record. He must have played it triple time. It is ungodly fast live. I remember seeing them live in Dallas and he did it there, too. It just kinda ruined it for me.
AB scattered some tracks from "ABIII" on this live performance, the next being "Cour D'Alene". This was really cool, as the song is pretty personally for Myles, so he gives it his all. Mark also changes up the solo alot. It wasn't awe inspiring, but it was pretty cool.
I'm going to skip "Buried Alive", as it was alright. The song they played after this was their Magnum Opus, "Blackbird". As always, it was bada-s. The band works so great together, and it shows in "Blackbird". The soundscape on that song has always amazed me with how sonically insane it is. Myles and Mark have a written a solo for that song that will stand the test of time. Brian Marshall also has some very cool bass lines in this song.
The next two tracks Myles plays by himself with an acoustic guitar: "Wonderful Life" and "Watch Over You". One word: Wow. That's it. It was phenomenal. I know UG said no glowing reviews, but damn... It was awesome. Keep in mind Wembley holds over 10,000 people. When the cameras panned over the audience, I didn't know what I saw. The crowd was littered with lights. Then I realized what I was seeing: nearly 8000 cellphones swaying back and forth. This was a truly magical moment.
Nearly my favorite track, the band rips into "Ties That Bind". If you don't know the song, what the hell is wrong with you? This track is speed metal all the way. Mark plays some insane shit on that track. It's very fast, and very heavy.
The band plays "Isolation" after that, and man... It's ****ing awesome. Mark starts off by making Myles play some impromptu jazz (if you don't know how good he is at that, listen to Myles' band Citizen Swing. He was the lead jazz fusion guitarist and singer of that band). Myles plays around a little and decides he wants to play something else. They then kick into "Isolation". Gigantic tone. Like shaking your bones gigantic. They've also upped the ante with their live show. It now comes complete with insane lasers and pyro, which were fully active in this song. The vocals and drumming were also very nice on this track. It was so cool to see gigantic mosh pits in the crowd as well.
Now onto my favorite track: "Open Your Eyes". I get such a rush of adrenaline and inspiration when I hear this song. It was done perfectly. The crowd was singing along with Myles and even took over at some points. Myles accidentally switches a verse around and makes fun of himself. The highlight of the song: That damn solo by Mr. Tremonti. It is hands down my favorite solo of all time. It's done at such blistering speeds live. I cannot fathom how he can play that fast. He's added a new ending on to this as well, which brings the solo to an end with a cool legato run. If you know how odd the tuning is (DADADD), then the lick is pretty damn impressive because normal shapes don't work at all in that tuning.
The performance draws into a close here... With one last song, but not before a huge guitar battle between Myles and Mark. I will say it now: Mark Tremonti is my favorite guitar player, but on that night, Myles kicked his a-s. Bad. Myles won before Mark even got to play. My jaw pretty much dropped. Myles can play, very, very, very fast, and it wasn't just mindless. It had some really cool taste to it. Mark tried to come back from it, but it just wasn't happening. After the battle, they ended the show with "Rise Today" as they do all their concerts.
I know I did what UG said not to by giving that a glowing review, but guys... It deserves it. Here's where I'll make better on that. "Live At Wembley" comes in 2 forms: Blu-Ray and DVD. Each version is 3 discs: The DVD concert, DVD documentary, and the CD of the performance.
Here's where my main complain was... On the CD, they left off some of the most awesome tracks such as "Broken Wings", "Open Your Eyes", "White Knuckles", "Brand New Start", "One Day Remains", etc. I was not happy at all about this. The DVD has 21 songs on it, while the CD has 14. The documentary is also very cool with a run time of an hour long.
The documentary: This shows their road to Wembley, or in other words, their concert clips and fan clips from their entire European 2011 tour all the way up until the reach Wembley.
You learn that Myles doesn't talk at all during a tour. He will not talk during the day. He gets sick very easy. He goes on to explain that once one of the members gets sick, the bus turns into a "moving petri dish". He also explains that when he gets sick, his voice loses all power and it gets the sound you heard on Amsterdam, which is why he changes the melody.
Also, Brian Marshall (had no real respect for the guy for the longest time) proved to be a very good bassist and an all around funny guy in the documentary. It's a lot of fun to watch and is worth watching before the concert DVD. Overall, I give the entire set an 8 due to the CD track listing. I do love the whole thing though. // 8
Production Quality: The quality of this set is very very good. They shot the film in 2D and 3D, with the actual concert coming to theaters this summer in 3D. In the documentary, you get to see all the 3D equipment. They had the largest 3D bus/trailer in the world at the time of the concert. That specific technology was used to shot the upcoming Hobbit film. The DVD sound quality was pretty awesome, as was the CD. I expected nothing less. // 8
Overall Impression: This is my favorite live album/DVD. You can tell that it was a very special night for the band and the fans. Everything came together and I can only wish that I had experienced it live.
The most impressive thing, aside from how high a level of musicianship the band shares was the fans. There were over 10,000 Alter Bridge fans screaming their lungs out, waving cellphones, and overall just giving energy out to the band. It was truly awesome to see that many people there. I love everything about the set except the CD track list. That really, really, bothers me. I would get this if it were stolen over and over again. // 9