Alter Bridge, ‘Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities’ – Album Review
Alter Bridge have been successful all over the world since their formation in 2004 out of the ashes of Creed, but especially so in Europe. That may explain why their previous two live albums (2010’s Live from Amsterdam and 2012’s Live at Wembley) were recorded there. That’s also the case with their latest live opus, Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities. It includes a full concert plus a disc of rarities.
The show was recorded in November 2016 during their tour for The Last Hero at London’s O2 Arena. Alter Bridge are a formidable live presence, with the potent vocals and underrated guitar skills of Myles Kennedy, the top-notch axe-work of Mark Tremonti and the tight rhythm section of bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips.
With a 19-song set, they are able to include several tracks from 2016’s The Last Hero, but also play their plethora of hits. They have 10 songs that have landed in the top 20 of the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, and this set includes nine of them (only “Find the Real” from their 2004 debut One Day Remains is omitted).
The set has a nice ebb and flow, with some of their biggest hits like “Addicted to Pain” and “Ghost of Days Gone By” towards the beginning of the show, while others are saved for the latter part of the concert, such as “Rise Today” and the closer “My Champion.”
The rarities disc includes 11 tracks. Two songs (“Cruel Sun” and “Solace”) are previously unreleased and were recorded during the sessions for One Day Remains. There are seven songs only released in Japan, along with a bonus track from the Best Buy edition of The Last Hero.
Some other highlights are the catchy “Zero” and the soaring “Never Born to Follow.” They show their heavier side with “The Damage Done” while the power ballad side of the coin is represented by “Solace.”
Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is available as a 3-CD set, but there’s also a limited edition deluxe edition package that includes an exclusive documentary packed with interviews and a backstage look at preparations for the concert. You can order various bundles and configurations of the set at this location.
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