TREMONTI BAND INTERVIEW LIVE REVIEW
Tremonti Live Gig Review
25 November 2015
Armazém F, Lisbon, Portugal
By Maggie Wright
One of my favourite things about seeing Tremonti, other than obviously the band performing, is seeing and hearing the reaction of the fans before and after the gig. Arriving at Armzém F early enough, I was able to enjoy a drink on the waterfront and listen to the fans as they began to congregate, hoping for a glimpse of the band or at the very least the ability to eavesdrop on the sound check, albeit from outside. One of the real treats is observing the interaction of those attending the artist sessions. The look on their faces is a combination of bliss and incredulity, and this day was no exception.
Anyone I have ever met who has attended one of the Tremonti Artist sessions, and/or Meet and Greets has erupted in enthusiastic affirmation that it was money well spent. This speaks volumes for the effect not only the band’s music has on people of all ages, but also the humility and appreciation shown by the band towards their fans. Last Wednesday, I did not need to understand Portuguese to know just how the fans felt.
There was a particular electricity surrounding this gig, being the opening night of the official European tour in support of “Cauterize”, the second album by Tremonti. The handful of dates earlier in the year, mostly festival dates, created an almost intolerable anticipation, which was finally going to be satisfied. I was able to sit down with the guys for an interview before the show and find out more.
The line-up for the night was intense. This was no place for anyone without hard-core rock in their soul. Native rock band, The Temple, opened with an intense set. As an outsider, it was impressive to see the following this quartet had. Their combination of heavy metal and punk was more than a mere warm up act. Highly energetic, their set had lit a fire in the room. Supporting their newly released album, “Serpentiger”, their super-charged set included a mixture of crowd favorites as well.
The Raven Age, from London, brought their metal to the stage next. Their excitement at joining Tremonti for the whole tour spilled out onto the stage, and if they had been nervous beforehand, they sure didn’t show it. Frontman Michael Burrough was not only great vocally; he made sure the pace of the evening only went in one direction. The quintet might as well have been playing to a hometown crowd judging from the reception they received. If you are going to any of the dates on the tour, get their early and check them out.
There was no doubt who the night belonged to, however. Once TRA had left the stage, the chants of “Tre-mon-ti” started reverberating through the venue. The passionate Portuguese wanted the headliners to know how strongly they felt about the tour starting in their city. They had all bought their merchandise early as the green wristbands reflected in the lights with each fist pump in the air. When the band finally came on stage, it was Richter scale level on the floor! Garrett Whitlock (drums) touched a Portuguese flag draped on a rig as he settled into position. The flag, a gift from Mark Tremonti Portugal, worked as a perfect backdrop throughout the night. As Tanner Keegan (bass, vocals) and Eric Friedman (rhythm guitar, vocals) took their places, the man himself, Mark Tremonti (lead guitar, lead vocals) greeted Lisbon like an old friend. What happened next was one of the best Tremonti experiences I have ever had.
Opening with the title track from “Cauterize”, the mood was set. With its blistering pace, both on guitars and drums, the power in the room was increased exponentially. It was as if all the anticipation, all the excitement for Tremonti’s first concert in Lisbon was passing from the crowd towards the band and back again in wave after wave of energy. You Waste Your Time was next, and it was clear…. there was no language barrier here. The crowd was as familiar with “All I Was” as they were with the new songs.
As Whitlock crashed the cymbals during the chorus of Flying Monkeys, the harmonies from Keegan, (Mark) Tremonti and Friedman gave me actual goosebumps. The guys seemed to have shaken off any jet lag they had felt the previous day, and with every song seemed to be delivering a bone crunching, ground shaking performance. When Friedman started The Things I’ve Seen, he had everyone mesmerized. Such an accomplished musician, he never missed a beat when he strap broke during Another Heart, and finished playing the song bent down on one knee with the guitar supported on his thigh. He made it look to everyone as if the song was meant to end that way!
Radical Change nearly brought the house down, or so some might think that have never been to a Tremonti gig. Having burst a blood vessel in one eye after playing it live the first time this past summer, it’s no surprise that it happened. The power, speed, intensity and accuracy with which (Mark) Tremonti plays is mind-boggling. The fans were informed soon after, when (Mark) Tremonti let them know that Brains was the point in a Tremonti gig where “you guys go fucking nuts”; and they were more than happy to oblige.
Several times, between songs, the crowd broke into chants of “Tre-mon-ti”, putting a smile on the band members’ faces. After Arm Yourself, the amazing frontman who captured people hearts as the guitarist in Creed and Alter Bridge, solidified his relationship with the Portuguese fan base by letting them know he couldn’t have asked “for a better mother fucking crowd than you mother fuckers!”
I cannot say enough how strongly I feel about the addition of Keegan as touring bassist. He has brought something to the band that has increased its strength and cohesion both musically and in terms of chemistry. Phenomenal in the rhythm section, his vocals are just as much so. Having toured with the band since the spring, he gave the impression of having always been there; and personally I hope he always will.
Stella, (Mark) Tremonti’s newest signature guitar, made a few appearances on the night, adding to the vast array of combination eye candy and insane quality guitars used throughout the evening. Each one having its own musical signature on the songs played on it. Any guitar fan that has not seen Tremonti live is missing a totally unique experience.
Rather than waste time leaving the stage to come back for an encore, Tremonti played straight through the set, something I wish more bands would do. Wish You Well, the final song of the evening, started with the fans forming a huge circle pit, and everyone dug deep to give everything they had. Those fans lucky to have had a ticket that night experienced one of the best performances I’ve ever seen the band give.
A flag was thrown on stage from the crowd, with the words “Welcome Back Mark” written in bold black ink. (Mark) Tremonti had last been there with Alter Bridge just over two years ago. Judging by people’s reactions afterwards and the line of people waiting to have their merchandise signed, Tremonti made a huge and long-lasting impression on everyone there. No one wanted it to be over, least of all me!
You Waste Your Time
All I Was
So You’re Afraid
The Things I’ve Seen
Wish You Well
Tremonti European Tour Dates:
25 Nov Lisbon, Portugal
27 Nov Madrid, Spain
28 Nov Barcelona, Spain
30 Nov Milan, Italy
1 Dec Rome, Italy
3 Dec Prattein, Switzerland
5 Dec Cologne, Germany
6 Dec Munich, Germany
8 Dec Hamburg, Germany
9 Dec Copenhagen, Denmark
11 Dec Birmingham, England
12 Dec Edinburgh, Scotland
13 Dec Manchester, England
15 Dec Bristol, England
16 Dec London, England
18 Dec Antwerp, Belgium
19 Dec Tilburg, Holland
20 Dec Zwolle, Holland
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