Support: Mammoth WVH
Yaamava Theater – Highland, CA
Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Review and Pictures: Diane Lynn
Pawns & Kings, The Final Bow
Alter Bridge ended their North American Pawns and Kings tour in Highland, Ca with Mammoth WVH supporting them. This was a finale no one wanted to miss. It was the first time for both bands at this fairly new venue and the local Alter Bridge and Mammoth WVH fans were arriving early.
It was a fantastic night of live music. This time it was Yaamava Resort Theater hosting the highly anticipated bands on this chilly Saturday night.
I also arrived early and as I walked through the colorful casino on my way to the theater to check in. I noticed fans were gathering at the restaurants and bars as they waited for the theater doors to open. Some fans were even hitting the slots as they waited.
This was the perfect venue to see these bands, with its general admission set up for the night that meant that the floor was open for standing only and some of the 3,000 fans in attendance would be able to get up close and personal for the show.
Alter Bridge came out to a darkened stage tinged with a hint of blue lighting and flashes of white. But just the shadows of the band walking out were all the fans needed to start their cheers and applause. Their stage was simply set with the artwork to their Pawns & Kings album as their backdrop on the giant screen, but once the show started – what a light show!
Alter Bridge are:
Myles Kennedy – lead and backing vocals, rhythm and lead guitar.
Mark Tremonti – lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals.
Brian Marshall – bass.
Scott Phillips – drums, percussion.
They started us out heavy with “Silver Tongue” from Pawns & Kings. This would be the first of four songs they performed from their recently released album. “Addicted to Pain” and my personal favorite, “Ghost of Days Gone By” followed.
The set list touched on several albums during their fifteen-song set and two song encores. Playing crowd favorites made for several sing-along moments for the fans at the encouragement of Myles and the rest of the band.
A poignant moment for many was hearing Myles perform “Watch Over You” on electric acoustic. Then Mark joined him on stage for a sit-down, acoustic version of “In Loving Memory”, the two performed this beautiful song so effortlessly.
Myles sounded phenomenal, his voice is strong and steady. His range and tone are captivating. He sings with such emotion that he draws you into the story of each song, all while also playing guitar. Just before they started “Burn It Down”, he handed the vocals off to Tremonti. With a guitar in hand Mark took the lead, his vocals are just as fascinating as his guitar playing.
I love a bass player that works the stage. Too often the bass player is stationary and almost forgotten, but not Brian Marshall. He definitely worked the stage, all while working the hell outta the strings on his bass! Having the Drums high on a riser really showcases the timekeeper of the group and it’s perfect for showing off a killer kit! So, it was nice to see drummer Scott Phillips sitting high on the stage and brightly lit.
The group was in sync and sounded tight. They have great chemistry and work well together, that really makes a difference when you’re there to see a great show, and Alter Bridge definitely put on a GREAT show!
Opening the night was Mammoth WVH. I’ve been eager to catch these guys since the debut single in November of 2020. Since releasing the self-titled album in February of 2022, the band has quickly made its way up the charts and has done quite a bit of touring.
Although Wolfgang Van Halen has been a one-man band, so to speak (with writing and playing all the instruments on his debut album), his newest video from his upcoming album (Another Celebration at the End of the World) has certainly introduced his touring band as full fledged members of MWVH
Wolfgang Van Halen – lead vocals, guitar and keys
Frank Sidoris – rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals.
Jon Jourdan – rhythm guitar, backing vocals.
Ronnie Ficarro – bass, backing vocals.
Garrett Whitlock – drums.
A lot of familiar names in that lineup and man do they mesh well on stage!
The guys came out swinging with “Mammoth”, followed by “Mr. Ed” and “Epiphany” to round out the first three.
With his guitar strapped around him Wolf also took on the keyboards for the night which were set center stage, with Jon Jourdan and Frank Sidoris to his left and right respectively. Both phenomenal guitar players, at times it made it hard to decide which one you wanted to watch, they both were really jamming on the strings!
Then you have Ronnie Ficarro who was slightly set back from the rest but no doubt you saw him playing with the way he was movin and groovin on that bass. Garrett Whitlock was on drums, I zoomed in on him first. With sticks flying in the air and that mohawk style hair that at times lit up purple or blue from the lights, you couldn’t miss him! The band was so exciting to watch, the entire place was rockin’!
Early on in between songs Wolf threw out short tease by playing the intro to Van Halen’s “Unchained” and the crowd instantly went wild! Of course, that was followed up with him announcing April Fools! You gotta love his sense of humor, his stage presence is so much fun and so relaxed, he’s taken on the role of frontman nicely and it really fits him.
Towards the end of their set, the band wowed us with their newest tune called “Another Celebration at the End of the World”, the just released single from his upcoming follow up album Mammoth 2. It’s a ten-track album with a release date of August 2nd but is available for pre order now.
An all around great night of rock and roll! Both bands were fantastic to see and hear and getting to see them together on the same stage was awesome. You couldn’t ask for a better show!
Until next time, keep rockin’!