Belfast is in for a gargantuan week of music this week with three major players all rolling through in consecutive days. Tremonti kicks off the week entertainment, with Sons Of Apollo Tomorrow, and Tremonti’s partner in crime Myles Kennedy, taking the stage on Wednesday.
Tonight however is all about one thing, Tremonti’s return to Belfast in support of their fourth studio album A Dying Machine recently released via Napalm Records. Anticipation was building up outside as fans started to gather early, I arrived early myself as I have a 5pm appointment with the man himself Mark Tremonti, to chew the fat and find out what makes this hugely successful guitarist tick (Full Interview To Follow). Waiting outside I can hear the behemoth sound of Tremonti’s guitars slamming inside and the roars of a few select fans that have taken advantage of the meet and greet packages on hand.
Interview done and back out into the searing heat as I await the doors opening at 7pm. A modest crowd are inside with such good weather and as promised 7:15 arrives and The Fallen State hit the stage, the slow gathering crowd (due to the gorgeous weather outside) are caught out a little by their prompt arrival but it’s all good as the guys rip into the short but sweet set. In no time the crowd has amassed to greet The Fallen State, frontman Ben Stenning is on fine form interacting with the crowd whilst guitarists Jon Price and Dan Oke lay down some savage riffs in support.
These guys have been tearing it up and down the UK forging a solid reputation for themselves of late, so it was great to see the guys back in Belfast once again after previously having supported Black Stone Cherry in The Ulster Hall back in 2015.Supporting the release of their latest EP The View From Ruin, The guys rip their way across an impress set that showcases their strengths as a live band from start to finish, tight, energetic and dripping in passion, Belfast saw it all tonight.
Before the crowd could catch their breath Tremonti took to the stage, like a whirlwind the slamming guitar riffs and devlish grin of Mark Tremonti was front and centre on the stage. ‘Cauterize’ kicked off proceedings and gets the crowd into a frenzy, Tremonti and the gang cover every inch of the stage with gusto and a smile from ear to ear. Their sound is huge and with ear protectors in place whilst shooting from the pit, you kinda know your ears will be ringing regardless. ‘Another Heart’ and ‘You Waste Your Time’ follow suit and by the end of the third song the room is at Mark’s mercy.
Tremonti and Alterbridge t-shirts as far as the eye can see as a wave of bodies clammer forward throughout the night to get a birds eye view of this riff monster. Tanner Keegan on the opposite side of the stage slamming his bass and working with the crowd like a pro keeps the momentum up across the room, both Tremonti and Eric Friedman exchange guitar solos throughout the night, both armed with their signature PRS guitars with Mark often stepping up to his pedal board and making use of his screaming wha-wha pedal to full effect. Mark’s signature tone reverberates across the room as he lays down solo after solo, covering songs from his entire Tremonti repertoire, but speaking with the die hard fans before the show hearing the new material live is what’s on their minds and Mark and the guys treat them to the likes of ‘Traipse’, ‘Bringer Of War’ and ‘A Dying Machine’ to name but a few.
A Savage performance by the guys has this sweatbox in tatters as the crowds eat up each track and beg for more, but alas all good things come to an end and this broken and batterd crowd take it on the chin and drive home that Tremonti always have a place to hang in Belfast.
A brilliant nights music all delivered as only the riff monster Tremonti knows how. Tremonti continue their European Tour and it would be well worth your hard earned cash checking them out , A Dying Machine Is out now via Napalm Records.
Review & Photography: Mark McGrogan