By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
Walk the Sky was arguably one of the best rock records of 2019. Alter Bridge continually ups their game with their mesmerizing musicianship and prosaic lyrics. First time I saw them, it was at the Wiltern in October 2014, and the second time was also at the Wiltern in 2017. It feels like every time Alter Bridge heads to So Cal, they head straight to the iconic venue of Los Angeles. So, naturally, when they went on the road again for the Walk The Sky Tour, they once again made a stop at the Wiltern. Joining them this time around were Clint Lowery of Sevendust (who just released his debut album recently), and Michigan hard rockers DEEPFALL. Rabit, Rockaholic, and I headed to L.A. for some heavy alternative rock stimulation. It’s time for us to walk the sky for ourselves.
Coming from Grand Rapids, Mich., DEEPFALL brought some hard rock exhilaration to the fans of Los Angeles. Their brand of rock struck a chord into our souls, especially when Rich Hopkins grabbed the mic. His vocals sound very similar to Disturbed’s David Draiman; a deep, operatic baritone-style voice that captivates the whole room. Combine that with the sonic riffs performed by guitarists Max Carrillo and Anthony Battista, DEEPFALL scorched the stage with their blazing tunes. With their latest album now out, Broken, the L.A. faithful listened to the heaviness of their melodies like “I’m Sick,” “Monster,” “Ghost,” “Cancer,” and “Wasted,” a song that was dedicated to the vets who served. DEEPFALL even pulled off a heavy version of Journey’s “Separate Ways (World Apart),” and it sounded totally badass. What was really cool about them was that they honored those that were bullied by dedicating “M.F.K.S. (Voice of the Broken)” to them. Determined and bold, DEEPFALL is bringing new rock flavor from the Michigan scene.
Full Deepfall gallery below:
When Clint Lowery dropped his first solo record earlier this year, entitled God Bless the Renegades, I was really impressed. As the lead renegade, Lowery engaged the audience with his righteous alternative riffs. His singing style is not too bad either, and the fans took to it really well. The band that he put together was really good, with his wily bass player Pat Seals stealing the show. Like a true showman, he was prancing and jumping all over the place like a little flea, a flea that nailed the bass riffs. There were times when he slipped and hurt his leg, but like a true pro, he got back and let the music take over his system. Lowery gave the fans a taste of his alternative swagger with songs like the title track, “Here,” “Silver Lining,” “What’s the Matter,” “You Go First,” “Alive,” and “Kings.” “She’s Free” is a song he wrote for his daughter, and it was very touching to hear. Lowery put on a great show, and I hope he puts out more solo material that is just as good as God Bless the Renegades.
Full Clint Lowery gallery below:
The venue goes dark, and “One Life” plays over the PA. One by one, Alter Bridge walk on to the stage, kicking off their performance with “Wouldn’t You Rather.” Frontman Myles Kennedy preaches to the masses with his still astonishing high tenor voice. He does so many projects every year, and his vocals have yet to give out, which is simply amazing. Mark Tremonti is as brazen as ever, forging those solid heavy riffs and heavenly solos. When he and Kennedy exchange riffs, it is like watching Penn & Teller pull off the unbelievable. Bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Philips are TNT on the rhythmic beats. While Marshall rapidly plucks the chords, Phillips drops the melodic but thunderous pounds and crashes. After over 16 years together, Alter Bridge never gets old over time, just more invigorating.
Their whole set was a solid assortment of songs that came from most of their records, with the exception of The Last Hero, which was kind of disappointing. Nevertheless, the whole performance featured “A-list” tunes that contained musical greatness. A majority of songs played were off of Walk The Sky and Blackbird, which is my favorite album. From “Isolation” to “Come to Life,” “Ghost of Days Gone By,” “Broken Wings,” “Dying Light,” “Rise Today,” “Cry of Achilles,” and “Waters Rising,” the fans were drawn to each song with rapture. The highlight of the night was when they went straight to “Blackbird,” which is one of the greatest songs ever written. The back-to-back solos were pure magic to witness between Kennedy and Tremonti. Rockaholic was energized when they played “Open Your Eyes” and “Metalingus,” both of which came from their debut record that turned 15 last year, One Day Remains. Wanting more, Alter Bridge obliged the fans with a stellar encore that displayed “Godspeed” and “Addicted Pain,” a perfect combo to cultivate an excellent night.
Full Alter Bridge gallery below:
After that night, we were all walking the sky with Alter Bridge. We have been into the Promised Land, and we left feeling hallowed. I mean, holy shit! The Orlando rockers get better every time I see them. Clint Lowery flaunted his skills as a solo artist with style, and DEEPFALL was thrilling throughout their entire set. It was a good night to be at the Wiltern, but it would have been better if my Lady of Rock Melanie were there because she loves everything Myles Kennedy. Besides that, the last heroes of rock were at their finest. To Alter Bridge, Clint Lowery, and DEEPFALL, I salute you. Horns up!!! And Godspeed!!!