Kicking off the evening, despite suffering technical issues, MammothWVH played a stellar opening set. Although David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony (as members of Chickenfoot), and even Gary Cherone (with Extreme) have all played in Ireland, the Van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex have never made it this far, marking the occasion as the very first time an actual member of the Van Halen family had sat foot on an Irish stage.
Referencing his late father Edward, who passed away in 2020, Wolfgang revealed; “this next one was my dad's favourite song”, ahead of a pensive ‘Think it Over’. A poignant ‘Distance’ meanwhile offered up one of the night’s most moving moments.
Lzzy Hale meanwhile, proved what a ferocious force of nature she is from the off. Announcing her arrival to the a cappella intro of ‘Steeple’, the Halestorm front woman’s voice soared, filling the 3Areana with ease. Going on to perform tracks mainly from 2022 release ‘Back From The Dead’, the band threw in a few favourites to the delight of the hardcore fans up front.
Not to be outdone by his sister’s limelight-grabbing vocal acrobatics, drummer Arejay Hale performed a solo, the highlight of which saw him play with a pair of comedically oversized sticks.
A hard act to follow, it was, however, Alter Bridge’s night. Kicking off with the thunderous ‘Silver Tongue’ from their latest album which the tour is named after, they quickly followed with ‘Addicted to Pain’ and ‘Ghosts of Days Gone By’, with the crowd clapping and singing along to every word.
Greeting the crowd, singer Myle Kennedy announced; “Good evening beautiful Dublin! Thank you so much for coming out tonight. It’s been way too long!”
Going on to touch on almost every corner of their career with tracks from six of their seven release, the four piece proved a formidable force.
Mixing things up, guitarist Mark Tremonti took over lead vocal duties for ‘Burn it Down’. “Were going to try something we’ve been practicing for a while,” admitted Kennedy with slight trepidation. He needn’t have worried, and while the track showed what a great singer Tremonti is, it also gave Kennedy the chance to shine on guitar, revealing his all too often forgotten skills as a lead player.
With the evening reaching its climax, a rousing and evocative ‘Blackbird’, electrifying ‘Open Your Eyes’ and finally, anthemic ‘Rise Today’ brought the curtain down.
“This has been so wonderful. We love you all so much”, declared Kennedy as the band took their bows. The feeling was mutual, mate.