Concert Reviews

Tremonti Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 26, 2018    
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Tremonti - The O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK) - 01 December 2018

It is almost three years to the day since I last saw Mark Tremonti's solo outfit, in this very same venue. A sold-out show, sweaty atmosphere and the prospect of being captured in the crowd by the crew that was filming and recording tonight's event for a future release meant that anticipation levels were high when the lights went down and the band made a low key entrance to the stage.

The Tremonti musical style is heavier and more direct than that of Alter Bridge and captures Mark's love of eighties speed Metal perfectly. Though the riffs come thick and fast and the twin guitar assault is in-your-face, melody is still the key. The arrangements and song structures showcase a high-quality creative mantra, with the most recent 'A Dying Machine' concept being a perfect example. Speaking to Mark before the show it was clear he has a great love for this piece of work and this is highlighted further by the amount of 'ADM' material that was included in a very strong, twenty-one song, two-hour set.

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Opening the show with the title track from the sophomore 'Cauterize' album set the tone for the rest of the night. High intensity and high energy pretty much sums up the first four minutes and from then on the levels never dropped. For a lead guitarist who freely admits to being quite shy, Mark's vocals are far better than many lead singers I can think of, and his frontman persona is far more relaxed now compared to the first time I saw him in the role. With second guitarist Eric Friedman and bass player Tanner Keegan to his left and right throwing all the right shapes and also playing with great precision, the spotlight is never just on one person. This really is a band project and not just a Mark Tremonti ego trip.

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'You Waste Your Time', 'Another Heart' and 'Take You With Me' have something of a Thrash core, with fast-paced riffs and double-kick drums as their bedrock, but the hooks are sing-a-long in every way, as demonstrated by the enthusiastic crowd. 'Traipse' and 'The First The Last', in comparison, are more atmospheric, with something of an epic tone. As the energy levels testified they are by no means ballads, but thought-provoking and heartfelt in their delivery, emotionally charged in the way they were greeted by the crowd. There were no lengthy solo spots to contend with and no distracting between song banter, so there were very few opportunities to draw breath before the next song commenced.

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It is difficult to pick out one or two highlights because there were in fact twenty-one of them. The crowd cried out for 'Dust' (the title track of album number three) and the band duly obliged. 'Bringer Of War' and 'Throw Them To The Lions' had a ferocious edge and 'A Dying Machine' merely continued the trend. Closing with 'Wish You Well' left everyone satisfied and drained and before the lights came back up Mark promised that the band will stay after the show to chat and sign stuff for as long as it takes.

It looks as though 2019 will be spent focusing on a new Alter Bridge album, so the chances of another lengthy Tremonti UK tour during the next twelve months are remote. I guess it just makes the prospect of the next visit even more mouth-watering, and I for one intend not to miss it.

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