Review: Alter Bridge’s Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities

By Andrew Catania

This album was recorded at the biggest moment of Alter Bridges career, the show at the famous London O2 Arena on November 24, 2016.   The live album is spread over two discs and accompanied by a third exclusive disc release of rarities.

The Writing on The Wall” kicks off. “Come to Life” quickly follows what is probably my favorite track. “Addicted To Pain.” A stunner on record and wonderfully reproduced live. The anthemic “Ghost Of Days Gone By” has Kennedy leading and encouraging the faithful to sing along. Again “Cry Of Achilles” benefits from audience participation before we get almost a duel between Myles`s vocals and Mark Tremonti`s guitar, stunning. “The Other Side” is a mid-paced burner and gives the crowd a chance to catch their breath.

The massive “Farther Than The Sun” allows Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums to shine and show off their musical ability. Another track I must admit to loving is “Ties That Blind,” the music and vocals soar up and down as the melody changes direction throughout. Wonderful.

Mark Tremonti takes over vocal duties for “Water Rising” adding a further dimension to the band.

The additional disc of `Rarities’ commences with “Breathe” recorded around the time of the ‘One Day Remains’ sessions and has only ever been available as a US retail exclusive via Best Buy. An excellent track that I’m surprised doesn`t form part of the live set as I’m sure it`d be well received.

Two more never-before released tracks “Cruel Sun” and “Solace” follow that were recorded during the ‘One Day Remains’ sessions in 2004. “Cruel Sun” provides a robust platform for Myles to demonstrate the dexterity of his vocal range. “Solace” starts off quite mellow but is filled out with some fantastic guitar licks. A real grower of a song.

The remaining tracks have only been released in Japan until this collection. The first of them being “New Way To Live” which has a real ethereal beginning before becoming a rockier outing.

Damage Done” and “We Don’t Care At All” are straight out rock songs, which have great bass and guitar lines. “Zero” is up next and is a more intricate and involved tune, the music is more elaborate, and we get some stunning vocals. In “Home” we get a more anthemic outing

This release has something for everybody. The live show highlights where the band is at present, a band really on top of their game. Listening to the live outing, you can understand why they have managed to sell out two nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall, this coming October in under seven minutes. The additional disc of rarities will please fans with songs previously unreleased and some others harder to obtain.

This is a release I’d recommend to anyone.  8/10 stars.

Leave a Reply