Alter Bridge and Skillet at The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL

Co-headliners Alter Bridge and Skillet bring The Victorious Sky Tour to the iconic Chicago Theatre for a rock-filled night.

For each night of this tour, the two bands alternate the order in which they take to the stage. For the Chicago crowd, Skillet were first up. This tour is in support of their album Victorious which was released back in August. It is therefore not surprising that a large portion of their setlist was comprised of songs from it, including “Save Me” and “You Ain’t Ready.” The latter certainly evoked a reaction from the crowd as John Cooper emerged with smoke cannons strapped to his wrists, firing them across the audience. 

This set was non-stop. Besides the visually appealing smoke thrusters, there were also moments in the performance which saw Korey Cooper and Seth Morrison each standing on their own pedestals, which then proceeded to raise up and down as they played. This was not the usual stage set up you would expect to see in the Chicago Theatre, but rather something more at home in an arena setting. 

It was clear to see that the Christian rockers had a large number of fans in to see them judging by the cheers and volume of those who were singing along. 

Closing out the show, it was time for Alter Bridge to take to the iconic Chicago Theatre’s stage. Their latest album, Walk The Sky, is set for release on October 18, so there was a lot of excitement building to hear some of the new songs for the first time. The first teaser of the evening came as the opening track from the upcoming release, “One Life,” was played over the PA system as the house lights went down and the fans anticipated the four-piece taking to the stage. Their set also included the newly released singles “In The Deep,” “Pay No Mind,” and “Wouldn’t You Rather” which all saw members of the crowd singing along, showing they were obviously very familiar with the songs prior to the album’s release. 

Not to be outdone by Skillet’s stage production, Alter Bridge had lasers shining across the theater from the back of the stage, as well as large screens which changed their display throughout the show. This is something new for the US crowd to get to appreciate as they have not have this level of production on previous North American tours. Each time they have come to town, the venue size has increased, and along with it comes the arena-style production. 

It felt slightly strange seeing Alter Bridge perform in a seated theater, however, that didn’t hinder the crowd as they were on their feet throughout, rocking out from beginning to end. As this is a co-headlining tour, there were also a few other differences to be noted. It was a shorter set than you would usually expect from these guys, and they stuck primarily to the hits. That’s not to take away from the show or the actual performance. The favorites were all crammed in, including “Metalingus,” “Come To Life” and “Rise Today.” It wouldn’t be an Alter Bridge show without “Blackbird” which included Myles’ teaser Beatles’ introduction. 

It’s no secret that Loud Hailer are big supporters of Alter Bridge, and this show certainly stood up against the many other times we have seen them. Myles Kennedy’s voice was outstanding as always. The combination of having two such strong guitarists in the one band also packs a powerful punch. Mark Tremonti was given his moment to take lead vocals on “Waters Rising” which received a lot of adulation from the crowd. Brian Marshall and Flip provided a tight rhythm section performance throughout. It’s sometimes incredible to think there are only four of them creating that mighty sound. 

It’s been two years since the foursome has visited Chicago together, although both Myles and Mark passed through for their solo projects, and Kennedy also visited while on tour with Slash. With the new album set for release within a matter of days, we can only hope that means they’ll be back again, sooner rather than later, so we can catch a more in-depth live performance of the new material. Here’s hoping this was the appetizer (a very tasty appetizer at that!) and that it won’t be too long before they return. 

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About Kirstine Walton 386 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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