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Alter BridgePalladium, Cologne, Germany
30th November 2022
Alter Bridge - “Pawns & Kings Tour 2022” - Support: Halestorm & Mammoth WVH

What a package! ALTER BRIDGE alone were reason enough to make the trip to Cologne. But the two support acts that the US quartet took with them on tour are no strangers either. Because as support both HALESTORM and MAMMOTH WVH were allowed to perform. And together, the three US bands formed a package that is hard to ignore.


Mammoth WVH

MAMMOTH WVH made the start as expected. Behind this name is Wolfgang van Halen, the son of the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie van Halen, who unfortunately died of cancer in 2020. Already since 2006, son Wolfgang has been a permanent band member of VAN HALEN despite his young age of only 15 years, he also played in the band TREMONTI, the solo band of ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti, between 2015 and 2016. MAMMOTH WVH is now the first own band of Wolfgang van Halen. In 2021 this formation released their self-titled debut album. The song ‘Distance’ was most recently nominated at the 2022 Grammy Awards in the “Best Rock Song” category.

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The performance in Cologne started a few minutes earlier than announced. For a total of 35 minutes, the stage belonged to the young Wolfgang van Halen and his five-piece band. And the quintet convinced from the first song on and inspired the audience, which was right there and rocked along well. And that obviously made an impression and was commented accordingly by the band leader that the audience in Germany would be much cooler than audiences in his home country. Negative were the accompanying circumstances: from the light show, which came to effect half an hour later, there was still absolutely nothing to see during the performance of MAMMOTH WVH. And also, the sound was far from perfect. Too muddy, too loud. Nevertheless: the band itself convinced, earned the well-deserved applause and left a great impression.

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Setlist
01. Mammoth
02. Mr. Ed
03. Epiphany
04. Think It Over
05. Distance
06. You’re to Blame
07. Don’t Back Down

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Light: 4
Sound: 4
Total: 6 / 10

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Halestorm

The next 50 minutes after a short changeover belonged to Lzzy Hale and her men. And the quartet used the time wonderfully. From the first note, especially the frontwoman showed herself in such an incredible playing mood that the audience was right at her feet. She sang, she screamed, she rocked, she joked with the audience, she was everywhere and clearly the star of the band. If you look in the dictionary for the definition of the perfect front woman, you're inevitably going to find Lzzy Hale. But it was not only Lzzy Hale who was able to impress. Because with her on stage were also guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith. And both men added to the good mood.

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Above all Joe Hottinger showed himself to be very active and was also visited by Lzzy Hale from time to time. Quite often the two rocked together. And to crown it all, behind the three members sat drummer Arejay Hale on the drums. The utterly expressive brother of the front woman drummed extremely passionately on the skins. During the drum solo in the second half of the set he was fully in the focus of the audience. Every catch of the drum sticks he threw up in the air was cheered. And when he finally ran out of sticks, Arejay finally reached for oversized sticks to finish the solo. In a nutshell: it was a very entertaining performance by HALESTORM. The 50 minutes flew by. What a show.

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Setlist
01. The Steeple
02. Back From the Dead
03. Love Bites (So Do I)
04. I Get Off
05. Rock Show
06. Familiar Taste of Poison
07. Drum Solo
08. Freak Like Me
09. Wicked Ways
10. I Miss the Misery

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 10
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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Alter Bridge

The last 95 minutes of the evening finally belonged to ALTER BRIDGE. Since 2004 the band has released a new album every three years, the last time they pleased their fans in October 2022 with the current album ‘Pawns & Kings’, whose title was also the title of the tour. But this is a bit misleading, because only three songs from the current album were performed: ‘Pawns & Kings’, ‘Silver Tongue’ and ‘This Is War’. Songs from all seven albums were played, so the evening in Cologne rather served as a retrospective of the band’s history.

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While the video screen remained black during the first two bands, it finally came to life with ALTER BRIDGE’s performance. Thus illuminated, the four Americans offered a flawless performance. At any time, they gave the impression that here are absolute professionals on stage. And not only when they concentrate on their strengths. No, also songs like ‘Burn It Down’, where guitar player Mark Tremonti took over the lead vocals or a little later with the acoustic ‘In Loving Memory’, which was presented only by Mark Tremonti and singer Myles Kennedy, showed the band from their best side.

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All in all, the performance of ALTER BRIGE was a worthy conclusion of a great concert evening. Fans of good rock music absolutely got their money’s worth.

Setlist
01. Silver Tongue
02. Addicted to Pain
03. Ghost of Days Gone By
04. The Other Side
05. This Is War
06. Broken Wings
07. Burn It Down
08. Cry of Achilles
09. In Loving Memory
10. Blackbird
11. Wouldn’t You Rather
12. Isolation
13. Metalingus
14. Open Your Eyes
15. Pawns & Kings
16. Rise Today

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by André Wilms
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