May 27, 2015 Tremonti tear up Highline Ballroom, NYC 5-11-15
Back in 2011, accomplished former Creed and current Alter Bridge guitarist, Mark Tremonti, debuted a new band going by the name Tremonti. Featuring Tremonti himself on lead vocals, the Rock/Metal world were taken for a ride on the band’s first album entitled All I Was where a more Thrash Metal side of his influence began to bleed out more than ever before. Heavy, fast, and intensely melodic, it was a whole new side of Tremonti fans immediately drew interest in. After an ultra busy touring schedule in support of Alter Bridge’s 2013 chart-topping Fortress album, Tremonti keeps the midnight oil burning writing and recording their sophomore release, Cauterize, due out June 9th. Comprised of Tremonti on lead guitar/vocals, Eric Friedman on guitar/backing vocals, Garrett Whitlock on drums, and Tanner Keegan as their touring bassist in place of Wolfgang Van Halen, Tremonti began a month long tour on April 25th. With appearances at Monster Energy Welcome to Rockville and Carolina Rebellion, the band came to Highline Ballroom in New York City Monday May 11th to perform a headlining show in front of an anxious capacity crowd. Marking the band’s first appearance at the venue since 2012, it was indeed a special night with support from The Only Weapon and Shaman’s Harvest to get the mood set early on.
Performing one of their biggest gigs to date, New York based The Only Weapon was first on the agenda. Consisting of Vincent Garguilo (vocals), Mike Marrone (drums), Joe Cox (guitar), Oscar Torres (guitar), and Donny Korpi (bass), the band join together for a Hardcore influenced Metal sound. Supporting their latest EP entitled Collapse, The Only Weapon came out ready to go. Performing a series of original tunes, Garguilo was all over the stage going from brutal screams to clean vocals with ease and even jumping of Marrone’s kit. A big step forward for the young band, friends and family came out to support them as they continue to make a name for themselves on the New York scene and beyond. Check them out again June 12th at Santo’s Party House.
Next up was Midwestern Rock band Shaman’s Harvest. Founded back in 1996, Shaman’s Harvest released their debut album titled Last Call for Goose Creek in 1999. Following with a handful of albums, including their peak charting 2009 effort Shine, the band has made a name for themselves as a gritty Hard Rock band. After a five year wait, the band unleashed their fifth studio album, Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns, in September of 2014 via Mascot Label Group. Faced with frightening reality in the midst of the recording of the album, vocalist Nathan Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer, but battled through treatment to complete the album. Now, with a new lease on life, Hunt and his band of Matt Fisher (bass), Josh Hamler (guitar), Joe Harrington (drums), and newest member Derrick Shipp (guitar), continue to tour North America in support of the new material.
Greeted by a packed floor of Rock fans, Shaman’s Harvest came out with the dark Southern Rock tune “Blood in The Water.” Immediately striking the audience’s attention, the Country tingling Hard Rock tunes felt right as Hunt grabbed hold of one of the two microphones on his unique stand with two hands and landed into some soulful vocals on “Here it Comes,” killer tune “Dangerous,” and powerful cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana.” In the groove, guitarists Hamler and Shipp’s notes were full of emotion that bled into the audience. Completing their brief set with “Country as Fuck” and “Dragonfly,” the band left the crowd yearning for more of what they were brewing up. Thankfully they will remain on the road through the end of May with Black Stone Cherry before picking up dates with Theory of a Deadman in June and July, so do not miss this band.
Completely warmed up after the supporting bands, Highline Ballroom was now completely filled with little room to move on the floor as generations met to catch Tremonti live. For many of those in the audience, their introduction to the Grammy winning guitarist came almost two decades ago when he helped Creed become the biggest Rock band in the entire world. Others are more familiar with his most recent success with his former Creed bandmates and vocalist Myles Kennedy in top-selling band Alter Bridge. Whatever it may be, Tremonti has left a huge mark on modern Rock-n-Roll, and now he had the chance to showcase his impeccable guitar skills in front of this eager crowd.
With the band walking out one by one, cheers came in waves as the wait was finally over and Tremonti began with fan-favorite “Leave It Alone.” A melodic, thoughtful Hard Rock tune, it was a perfect table setter for what was to come when the band broke into the debut album B-side “All That I Got” followed by new track “Cauterize,” which evoked a vibe of a Thrash Metal concert one may have attended back in the ’80s. Having everyone’s hands in the air waving Metal horns, many could be overheard singing each word to each song loud and clear. Moving into the title track off the debut album, Tremonti and his band were as tight as could be, but most of all, enjoying themselves. Taking things up a notch to even more Metal tingling riffs, “You Waste Your Time” saw Tremonti belting out thick notes, showing the musician’s talents as a singer are plentiful.
Relaxing the mood slightly with Big Wreck track “Prayer,” Tremonti opened the track in a sorrowful manner as Whitlock began to pick up beat with drum hits before the song fully kicked in. Reaching down deep for some gut-wrenching vocals, Tremonti had everyone standing still and absorbing each moment of the rendition. Appreciative of the crowd’s support, the band were all smiles and they did not let a dull moment pass as they jumped into more speedy Metal tracks like “So You’re Afraid,” new, groovier “Flying Monkeys,” and the thoughtful “The Things I’ve Seen.” Chugging away with thick guitar riffs and keeping heads banging with “Giving Up,” the adrenaline level began to boil over during “Brains.” Ending the set, the band went through another new track titled “Another Heart” where everyone had their hands in the air, losing themselves in the music. Exiting the stage, more cheers came raining down, wanting more of Tremonti, and moments later they returned for “Decay.” With an irresistible sing-along chorus and more earth-shattering drumming by Whitlock, the track followed by “Wish You Well.” With Tremonti letting loose on the fretboard, he unleashed a blistering guitar solo following the track’s breakdown and sent fans away gasping for a breath, but loving every minute of the crushing performance.
Tremonti is not a novelty Rock band, these guys rock loud and heavy. Mark Tremonti himself continues to squash any preconceived notions critics may have about him with some of the best guitar skills in the business. The band’s set was packed with great tracks from both their debut album and forthcoming record. With the North American tour sadly complete, Tremonti now turn their attention to Europe, but hopes are the band will be back again sometime later in 2015 after Cauterize is released.