I might have missed Hellfest this year but the near tropical weather in Glasgow certainly felt like hell nonetheless. Of course some unseasonably warm Scottish weather did not stop the dedicated Tremonti fans from slowly melting as they queued for hours in the sun ! Hats off (or, in this case, on) to them, it was certainly an evening for a cool beverage or two.
It’s hard to believe that Tremonti are already on their 4th album, it feels like its only yesterday that Mark Tremontivstarted his solo project. “A dying machine” came out on the 8th of June and it has already had some great reviews, so I am very excited to see how well it goes over performed live.
The gig had a last minute venue change due to the tragedy of a fire that destroyed the O2 ABC. Even though the original gig was sold out the new venue, the O2 Academy, is quite a bit bigger so the balcony level was sectioned off by a big cloth drape to make it seem less empty.
We know Mark Tremonti from his work in Creed and as the current guitarist from Alter Bridge, but stepping out of the shadows from those bands is where we get to see him in his full glory, from his ripping guitar solos to his powerful distinctive voice, we love them all. Its really hard to extract yourself from a well known band to do something different and be successful yet distinguishable, I think he has done a brilliant job so far.
The band opened the night with “Cauterise” which immediately erupted the crowd with its heavy riffs, during the first 3 songs there were hardly any breaks in between which left no room for the crowd to cool down. After old numbers like “you waste your time” and “all I was” the band dived into some newer material which got very well received, with some early mosh pit movement kicking off. The loudest response of the night goes to “flying monkeys” from the debut album where a wall of death was seen and the room got pretty steamy.. Even thought the new materials got some good responses but we all have to agree here that the “Tremonti” and “Cauterise” tracks came across as the stronger ones.
Now I have followed mark from the beginning of his Tremonti project and his stage presence has matured so much along the way. Mark is now so much more confident and comfortable as a front man rather than being a guitarist hidden in the back. As the band goes its natural that we give him the majority of our attention, but lets not forget that Eric Friedman has some killer guitar solos and drummer Garrett Whitelock, bassist Tanner Keegan all have their showcase moment throughout the set.
The band as a whole is at their best I have ever seen, it no longer feel like a project, it feels like a proper well established band.
The evening ended on a very strong performance of “wish you well” where the crowed grabbed their last chance to go wild since we know Tremonti does not do encores. The night started strongly and sure ended strongly too. All in all it was a safe, crowd pleasing setlist with solid old material and some newer ones in between to test the water. Despite my mixed feelings about the new stuff tonight was near faultless. We are all so proud of how far it has gone and honoured to witness the journey.
I think a further listen to “A Dying Machine” is needed.