Alter Bridge at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL

Alter Bridge rounded out the first leg of their Pawns & Kings Tour at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre with help from Mammoth WVH and Red. 

This was Red‘s last night on this tour and they certainly gave their all during their performance. Their very brief slot might have only given them time for a six-song set, but they made the best of their time on stage and were sure to make an impact. Their energetic and powerful set had people in the balcony on their feet which is not a familiar sight for an opening band. It was a great sign for the rest of the night ahead. 

Next up was Mammoth WVH. The last Mammoth WVH show in Chicago was their co-headlining show with Dirty Honey. That was a great show, but there was just something about this performance that gave it an extra special feeling. The band performed like a well-oiled machine and Wolf looked relaxed on stage and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself, as was the audience who were clearly excited for them to be part of the lineup. 

It’s no surprise to see Mammoth WVH and Alter Bridge tour together. Besides their similar music styles, this must feel like a group of friends who are getting to hang out while doing what they all love. Frank Sidoris is a bandmate of Myles Kennedy when they perform with Slash and the Conspirators. Wolf and Garrett Whitlock were former bandmates of Mark Tremonti’s on his solo endeavors. 

Mammoth’s eight-song set was very well received by the excited audience which included “Mr. Ed,” “Epiphany,” and “Don’t Back Down.” They are certainly making a name for themselves having opened for Guns N Roses, Alter Bridge, and later this year will be opening for Metallica. The praise they receive is building with each performance and it won’t be long until they are headlining their own tour. 

Without further ado, it was time for Alter Bridge to take to the stage. They opened with “Silver Tongue” from their latest release, Pawns & Kings, before performing two tour staples, “Addicted To Pain” and “Ghosts of Days Gone By.” There has been a lot of talk recently about the ratio of old to new songs performed at shows. Red Hot Chili Peppers came under fire for putting on a show that was very heavy on the new material, with few of the older songs making it onto the setlist. After 18 years together as a band, and seven albums, it must be a daunting task for Alter Bridge to sit down to compile their tour setlists. It has to be said, they went with a good ratio of four songs from the new album, which included “Sin After Sin,” “Stay,” and the title track. They also were sure to include the fan-favorite staples of “Metalingus,” “Blackbird,” and “Isolation,” to name just a few. 

It, of course, would not be an Alter Bridge show without the much-loved acoustic section which saw Myles perform the beautiful “Watch Over You” which had the audience join in in full voice. He was then joined on stage by Mark as they performed “In Loving Memory.” 

This was an extremely tight performance from this foursome. It’s impressive to see the intricate guitar parts played so effortlessly by both Kennedy and Tremonti. Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips were completely in sync with one another, despite Phillips being raised up above the rest of the band which made it easier for the audience to see him, rather than being hidden by the rest of the band. 

That is the end of the first leg of the tour, but it’s not long before they start up again. You always know what you’re going to get from these guys, in a good way. They always give a stellar performance that sounds just as good, if not better, than the recorded versions. The treat of having them join forces with Mammoth WVH just makes it even better!

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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!