Watch Myles Kennedy shred like you've never seen him shred before in early '90s guitar contest

When it comes to Alter Bridge, most people, it's fair to say, view Myles Kennedy as the band's frontman and Mark Tremonti as their electric guitar hero-in-chief.

However, as Tremonti is often eager to point out, Kennedy's a hell of a guitar player himself, adept at both crushing rhythms and soaring solos. Anyone in need of evidence of this skill, and how natural a player Kennedy is, need only watch this video of him melting the fretboard at a guitar contest in the Pacific Northwest sometime in the early 1990s.

Uploaded by YouTuber Phoenix Lumen (opens in new tab), the video is said to be from 1990 – 1992, with a graphic in the video's beginning pointing to 1990, and the caption by Phoenix Lumen pointing to 1992. Another video taken at the same contest describes it as being from 1990/1991.

Whichever year it's from, it shows Kennedy first demonstrating both his prodigious vocals and strong rhythm guitar chops, before – right at about the 2:55 mark – embarking on some seriously impressive fretboard acrobatics, including a smokin' quick-fire tapping run at 3:31.

You can see the full performance (in rather middling quality) in the video above, and see a segment (lacking the solo, unfortunately) of the performance around 10 minutes into the video below.

“I was dressed like a freakin’ pirate!” Kennedy said to Guitar.com about the performance in a recent interview (opens in new tab). “I was dancing around wearing big blue pants and a white, frilly shirt. It was obscene.

"I lived in Spokane, Washington," he continued, "so you had the whole grunge movement happening just over the hill [in Seattle]. I found it so cool that they did their own scene, so I was trying to find something completely different, but went so far with it that I ended up in no man’s land. I’m such a dork sometimes.”

On the new Alter Bridge album, Pawns & Kings, Kennedy and Mark Tremonti frequently switched their usual roles, with the former taking on more lead guitar work and the latter handling more vocals. 

“At this point, Myles loves playing guitar solos, and I love singing,” Tremonti told My (opens in new tab)Planet Rocks (opens in new tab) in an interview earlier this year. “So we like to do each other's roles, because I think he doesn't feel the pressure as a guitar player because he's known as a singer; I don't feel the pressure as a singer because I'm known as a guitar player. So we liked filling the other person's role. It's fun.”

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.