Alter Bridge's lyrics tend to engage fans on a personal level and their words rang the loudest when Erik Lasaine, a survivor of a shooting near the University of Illinois, eulogized his friend who did not survive the tragedy. Upon learning about this, the band flew Lasaine out to their Dallas show on Friday, Oct. 7.

The shooting occurred on Sept. 25, where Lasaine and his friend George Korchev were struck by stray bullets from a nearby fight that had gone from inside the house to the streets. Lasaine was shot in the back with the bullet missing his spine, though it remains lodged inside as removal surgery is too risky and the ammunition will eventually work its way out. Two days later, he delivered an on-campus eulogy for Korchev, which included the chorus of Alter Bridge's "Blackbird," as well as the closing verse.

After being flown to Dallas, Texas, Lasaine, accompanied by Korchev's girlfriend, Samantha Steinberg, attended a VIP meet and greet with Alter Bridge during their soundcheck and even got to spend additional time with the group following the show. “It totally blew my mind,” Lasaine told Billboard. “I was surprised … It was definitely really cool.” Alter Bridge had also dedicated "Blackbird," which Myles Kennedy wrote about a late friend, to Korchev.

Lasaine also revealed that he chose the words from "Blackbird" because he and Korchev were listening to the song while warming up for a night out with a round of drinks. “George seemed to like it,” he said. Steinberg added, “George was really an awesome person. Everybody knows that and I’ve talked to his family and they just want people to remember his legacy, which was just how great of a person he was.”

Alter Bridge just released their fifth studio album, The Last Hero, and were the latest guests on the Loudwire Podcast, which can be heard below. Myles Kennedy and guitarist Mark Tremonti discuss heroes of modern society, their influences behind the record and more.

Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy + Mark Tremonti Guest on the Loudwire Podcast

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