with Nonpoint and Weapons of Anew
PlayStation Theater || New York City, NY || 9 February 2017
Like most this day, I was eagerly awaiting news on whether the show was going to be canceled. Throughout that day, New York and a lot of the surrounding states were hit with a big snow storm dropping nearly a foot of snow in and around parts of the city, which eventually would end with some messy conditions for travel. The storm tapered off with enough time for crews to begin clean up on the streets and roadways. Now, “the show must go on,” and that it did. The PlayStation Theater had posted on their Facebook page a few hours before show time, stating Alter Bridge will still be playing tonight’s show, they’re looking forward to seeing you all there. I began to gear up for the weather and make my way into the city. The PlayStation Theater is a great venue to see live shows, located in the heart of Times Square in New York City, right on the corner of Broadway and 44th. After entering and getting settled in, I made my way toward the stage to the photo pit thinking there did not seem to be a lot of people at the show, which I figured was just due to the weather.
Starting the night off was the band Weapons of Anew, a band with pure heavy rock riffs mixed with soulful melodic vocals, giving them a great and unique pure sound reminiscent of the mid-90’s rock era. After getting the shots I needed I stepped back and let the band’s music really sink in as well as notice that the crowd was starting to thicken up. I felt Weapons of Anew played a great set with an incredible energy behind them that got the crowd pumped and excited that they made the journey through the cold rough conditions.
Taking the stage next was Nonpoint, a band based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The band recently released their ninth full-length LP, The Poison Red, which includes such tracks as “Generation Idiot.” I was looking forward to seeing them live and really getting the full feel for the band. As Nonpoint took to stage it was clear that the PlayStation Theater was packed with fans ready to hear the band deliver and that they did. Although as a photographer I did have one huge gripe and that was their poor lighting, but with that being said, the lighting is put together to go with the band’s music and not to please the photographers. Dark red lighting set the mood for the start of their set, with giant strobe boxes shooting off and intensify their sound even more. Their heavy bass and drums paired with the aggressive guitar riffs and topped off by Elias Soriano’s hard-hitting lyrics had me sold. The cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” was the icing on the cake.
With a nearly sold-out PlayStation Theater, it was time for the band that the entire crowd was clearly there to see to hit the stage. Alter Bridge were walking out onto the stage and the cheers were intense. Taken back by the diversity of age groups from their fans and the fact I had never heard the band’s music before, I really didn’t know what to expect from them. With all the mayhem of the storm, I didn’t have time to give the band’s music a listen, so I was totally going in blind, but after their first three songs “The Writing on the Wall,” “Come to Life,” and “Farther Than the Sun,” I could see this was a band for all generations of rock fans. The band’s fifth studio album, The Last Hero, described by vocalist Myles Kennedy as “lyrically, it definitely reflects the frustration a lot of people are feeling with the current state of the world…The world is looking for trustworthy effective leadership and not this undignified dog and pony show that’s really made a mockery of our system.” The band’s clean, heavy rock sound played throughout the night as a loyal audience cheered and sang along with every song played. Myles would eventually come out on stage with an acoustic guitar and just by the crowd’s reaction I could tell this was the song they were dying to hear played. “Watch Over You” was the title, and as the whole crowd sang along, I could see just what this band had in their music and what drew fans to it.
The passion put into their music that both the band and its fans share with one another was undeniably shown in their performance that night. The band would go on to perform a two-hour set with an encore that would include “Show Me a Leader” and “Rise Today,” which could arguably be a bit long for most headliners but Alter Bridge gave their fans what they came for and that was a kick ass rock show.