Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy talks setlist crafting & the “genius” of Wolfgang Van Halen

ABC Audio

When Alter Bridge launches their U.S. tour Wednesday in Tampa, Florida, they’ll do so with another 10 songs under their belt from their latest album, 2022’s Pawns & Kings. As frontman Myles Kennedy tells ABC Audio, that makes the task of crafting a setlist each night even more challenging.

“As I was reminded of the other night when I went and saw Iron Maiden, here’s a band with decades and decades of records, and so many songs that everybody wants to hear,” Kennedy shares. “How do you do that? How do you make sure that people leave happy and you play the song that they wanna hear?”

While Alter Bridge may not yet have the career of an Iron Maiden, they do have plenty of rock radio hits and fan favorites. Even with those staples, though, keeping the set varied is important to Kennedy.

“You want that element of surprise where some guy who knows your deepest cuts is gonna go, ‘Oh my gosh, they played so-and-so,’” Kennedy says.

Joining Alter Bridge on the tour is Mammoth WVH, the band fronted by Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of the late Eddie Van Halen. In Kennedy’s eyes, Eddie’s “musical genius” definitely passed down to Wolf.

“To me, it’s screaming that Wolfie has that in his DNA, he has that same chip,” Kennedy says. “And not just with guitar, if you watch him play him the drums, it’s incredible. I mean, he’s just, he’s got it all.”

Kennedy adds that Wolf’s musicianship is matched by his qualities as a person.

“The time that I’ve spent with [Wolf], I’ve always been impressed with him, and not just as a musician,” Kennedy says. “Man, I guarantee you his dad, wherever he is, he’s proud. He’s gotta be.”

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