The Fillmore in downtown Detroit was full of love Tuesday night. The Pawns & Kings tour made its way through town and it was a total banger! Fan’s from across the river in Canada, and from surrounding states made their way to the historic venue for a night of ass kicking rock and roll with Alter Bridge with special guests Mammoth WVH and the band RED.
Entering the Fillmore the fans were very vocal and energetic and ready to throw horns and rock like the “D” only can. First up on stage was the band from Nashville known as RED. I have seen RED in the past but not like this they were about to set the tone for the evening. Lead singer Michael Barnes was definitely wound up going coast to coast, owning the stage for the evening delivering the electric atmosphere you come to expect from RED. It was a very impressive six song set and the crowd definitely showed some MotorCity love.
RED Valentine’s Day banger at the Fillmore
The Fillmore was quickly filling up after RED 25-minute set and for good reason. It was great seeing fans of all ages, race, and genre quickly securing their spot to see guitar legend Eddie Van Halen (R.I.P.) kid Mammoth Van Halen kick some ass like his daddy did. Local personnel radio DJ meltdown from WRIF here in Detroit announced coming up shortly Mammoth WVH asking if Detroit is ready of course Motown is ready we always are. Down went the lights and out came Mammoth greeted with loud cheer that could be heard from Little Caesars Arena, which by the way is four blocks down Woodward from the Fillmore.
Mammoth WVH had a huge 2022 and it is about to spill over in 2023. Grabbing a Grammy nomination for best rock performance with the track “Distance” a song written about the passing of his dad from a stroke. The emotions were high during that song, the crowd sending Mammoth nothing but love and support a perfect blend to help with a healing heart that may or may not ever heal. Mammoth is definitely his dad who was a big influence on him you can see it in him such a great demeanor. Overhearing the crowd from the pit and throughout the Fillmore that seemed to be the talk of the night.
Highlights from the 8-song set was the closing song titled “Don’t back Down” what a great way to end an emotional set. Mammoth definitely let it loose with the vocals and guitar rips, a guitar rip, feed with personal emotions. I’m pretty sure all the while Mammoth is saying this is for you dad! This is my second time covering Mammoth with the last being over at the Royal Oak Music theatre, both shows were incredible. Let me say you should get out and enjoy Mammoth while you can, life comes at you fast and you don’t want to miss such incredible raw talent only enhanced by probably one of the greatest guitar players ever his to play his dad Eddie.
Mammoth WVH Shares the love on Valentines Day at the Fillmore
Feeling all warm and cozy after the WVH set, folks were ready to release with some Alter Bridge. Out from the the darkness comes Mark Tremonti, who spent most of his childhood in Grosse Pointe Michigan just a quick, seven-minute drive from where I live to a roaring cheer only doubling with excitement as Myles Kennedy hits the mic and it was on from there. Strap in kids enjoy the ride, here we go. The Orlando rockers open up with “Silver Tongue” the second single from their latest album Pawns & Kings album. Immediately Tremonti starts ripping his guitar throwing the sold out crowd into a frenzy. Do yourself a favor and give this song a listen/watch. The sixteen-song set had a little of everything.
Mark Tremonti (creed) born in Detroit, treated the “D” with some ass kicking, mud hole stomping guitar shreds from start to finish. You know it was ripping when the photographers would quickly position themselves for a shot, like Mark was passing out free guitar pics. It truly was amazing what Tremonti displayed. Myles Kennedy was his usual brilliant self delivering some rock and roll good for the soul kind of vibe on a Valentine’s Day night, come to think of it I believe this is a first for me covering a concert on this lover’s day.
Opening the show with two barn burners is exactly what they did following up with “Addicted to Pain” the first single from Fortress. Highlights from the set for me was “Watch over Me” amazing solo acoustic rendition from Myles Kennedy. My favorite of the night is “Metalingus”, talk about abuse to a guitar. Holy hell this song is amazing live, I’m sure you will agree with me. When this song opens and if you don’t get goosebumps, you do not have a pulse. If there is any WWE wrestling fans reading this, you would know that EDGE used this song as his intro. The song was written by Kennedy and Tremonti.
Additional highlight was Tremonti taking solo lead with “Stay” singing the entire song and judging by the reaction from the crowd, I say it was a hit. I’m not going to give away everything but I hope you’re not on a bathroom break when Pawns & Kings hits! Tremonti and Kennedy traded solos all night just a delight to kick back and watch with beverage in hand.
Pawns & Kings is a great mix. In fact, three songs on the album are north of six minutes. “Blackbird” held the title with the longest recorded song in the AB catalog that was till “Fable of the Silent Son” was born, coming in with a time of 8:29. Alter Bridge has done a lot in their 18 year history, one thing they have done well is keep the same four original members. Ending the night strong like the way they opened it the encore started with “Rise Today” from the bands second studio album Blackbird. Saying goodbye night to the Fillmore the band ended with “Open your Eyes” one of their biggest hits from the debut album in 2004 album One Day Remains.
When the night ended and the lights came on, all you could see was nothing but excitement on every single person leaving the Fillmore. Some first timers saying they can’t wait to comeback for the next show. The Fillmore is a historic building in downtown Detroit and a great place to watch a concert. Alter Bridge has played the Fillmore in the past and hopefully they continue to keep coming back to history. You can check out by clicking here to see when the tour will be rolling through a city near you. As always America ‘Horns up and keep rocking.’