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Alter Bridge
with Submersed
Oct. 12th @ The Rock Club in Pittsburgh
By Linda Spielman 

When I decided I wanted to cover this show at The Rock Club, I have to admit I think it was more out of curiosity than actual appreciation or interest for the band Alter Bridge. For those of you who don't know the band, you may know them in their previous life as Creed. With the dismissal of former lead singer Scott Stapp, the former entity has been given new life, a new sound, a new lead singer and a new legion of fans.
Before I get into the main attraction of the evening, I need to give mad props to the opening act Submersed. This band was off the hook. They say, everything's bigger in Texas. Well, these Stephenville, Texas, boys have a sound and music bigger than their state's motto. Despite their bawdy and solid sound, their musical inspiration is enlightening and truly thought provoking for world and personal change. Lead singer Donald Carpenter's lyrical expression of wearing his heart, and all his personal trials and inner demons on his sleeve doesn't come across sappy or gushy. The emotional introspective look at lives and events that make people think and react via such songs as "Hollow", show that a person can feel the most intense negativity but at the same time the most positive energy. It exemplifies the how we as people can both love and hate at the same time, yet struggle to choose one or the other.
In music it tends to be assumed that if your music has a definite, positive, or blatantly thought provoking message, then your validity to rock is weakened or compromised. It's a stereotype that fortunately is being proven wrong with such bands as Alter Bridge, POD, Switchfoot and Submersed. The fact that all five members of Submersed are very proactive in the conception of all of their songs, the end result is hard hitting rock music. Despite the first response of many people to not give opening bands a chance, Submersed pretty much left everyone's jaws on the floor at The Rock Club. Their impressive 45 minute set included most of their debut CD entitled "In Due Time". For those who came early to either drink or get a good spot in front of the stage got a treat by one of the most
impressive up and coming bands I have seen in a very long time. They instantly won over the crowd with their music and enthusiasm. Any naysayers in the audience were silenced if thoughts of a mediocre open act were assumed when they walked in the door that night. Submersed, definitely stole the show in my opinion for the evening.
Like I said, I truly think many of the people who came out to see Alter Bridge wanted to see if they were as good or better than their previous alter ego. From the buzz in the room, a lot of people actually wanted them to be fail in some way. It's hard to win over an old audience with a new lead singer, not to mention a whole new name and musical outlook. However, despite name changes and new faces the talent that made Creed popular is still the root and soul of Alter Bridge. The similarities between the band and their opening act may have a lot to due with the fact that Mark Tremonti produced the Submersed CD. I too was curious as to how they would hold up live to the image I had of them from the past. Myles Kennedy vocals are haunting similar to that of Creed's lead singer Scott Stapp. But leave all comparisons otherwise at the front door. Kennedy seems to have brought a renewed life to Alter Bridge. His stage presence is hypnotizing and his vocal range is equally impressive. The band has lost a little bit of their edge, but doesn't fall short of pleasing the crowd with their music.  For those who went to this showing wanted to hate, whether they want to admit it or not were obviously impressed. The release of the CD still proves these guys have the what it takes to move listeners and an audience with their brand of alternative rock. They didn't deprive the audience members who may not have even picked up the CD to a full show. It was a slow transition of the hour plus set to bring the audience completely around and accept the reincarnation of this band. Creed is gone, they will never exist again. What Tremonti, Kennedy, Phillips and Marshall have achieved is taking their talent as a lyrical and musical artists to a new level. They can keep or lose former fans, but they are constantly winning over new ones with the release of the CD and the intimate live shows that truly showcase their talent as a rock band.
My curiosity fulfilled, and new respect given to both Submersed and Alter Bridge who won over old and new fans with their show at The Rock Club in Pittsburgh.

Purchase Alter Bridge's music and listen to samples.

Visit the official Alter Bridge website for more on the band.

Purchase Submersed's music and listen to samples.

Visit the official Submersed website for more on the band.

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