Last year Alter Bridge played two nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They weren’t just standard shows though – these featured the band performing with the Parallax orchestra – a 52 piece orchestra. Needless to say, the shows sold out almost instantly, and those fans lucky enough to get tickets enjoyed a special show.
Happily the band were sensible enough to record/film the shows and now fans who weren’t there are able to see what they missed as Alter Bridge release their new CD/DVD – Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Check out the video for “Addicted to pain”…
As you can see, the video is excellent quality, it’s well filmed with multiple cameras, and it’s been nicely edited.
The band put in a great performance, with Myles Kennedy in particular sounding fantastic. With 21 songs it’s a great long set and the setlist was well chosen – plenty of the songs the fans want to hear plus some chosen as they’ll work best with the orchestra. The songs definitely worked to differing degrees – on some the orchestra really works well, making a real contribution, but on other songs the orchestra serves as little more than backing music while the band play the song the same way they usually play it.
I was slightly disappointed with the sound in the venue on the night – the orchestra seemed to be far to quiet in comparison to the band, and listening to the CD it’s clear this was a deliberate thing, with the orchestra serving more as a backing band than as co-stars most of the time.
In some ways it’s understandable – it is hard to rearrange music for a band to work with an orchestra, and when the band is on tour they generally don’t have the time to learn completely rearranged songs, but on the other hand I think it fails to get the best out of the format.
It’s not just Alter Bridge – I’ve noticed the same with a few other bands. All this isnt to say the results arent good – they are, the album sounds great, it’s more that I think with some changes to boost the contribution of the orchestra in places then this would have gone from a 9/10 to a 10/10.
It’s a great release. Yes the orchestra could have been better used, but that would have been a big undertaking that wouldnt be practical within a normal tour, but it still adds a lot to the show, either as a backing band adding richness to the sound, or in some songs really enhancing the song. Definitely a live release I’ve got no hesitation in recommending to Alter Bridge fans.
1. Slip To The Void
2. Addicted To Pain
3. Before Tomorrow Comes
4. The Writing On The Wall
5. Cry Of Achilles
6. In Loving Memory
8. Ties That Bind
9. The Other Side
10. Brand New Start
11. Ghost Of Days Gone By
12. The Last Hero
13. The End Is Here
14. Words Darker Than Their Wings
15. Waters Rising
17. Wonderful Life/Watch Over You
18. This Side Of Fate
19. Broken Wings
21. Open Your Eyes