American heavy metal band Tremonti played to a packed house at The Limelight in Belfast tonight, pumping the little venue with a “parful” volume. Frontman Mark Tremonti—guitar god of Creed and Alter Bridge fame—held nothing back on this stop of his tour promoting a new concept album entitled ‘A Dying Machine’.
Tremonti’s passion for this, his solo venture, was apparent in the music, as he was excited to showcase much off of the new album, alongside older tracks. The excitement was contagious, as was demonstrated by the high-energy stage antics of Tremonti’s bandmates and the frenetic atmosphere in the room.
The music instantly transported me back a couple of decades to a certain brand of rock that I was particularly fond of in high school—no-nonsense, high octave, and raw. Perhaps it was just the prior knowledge of Mark’s participation in the highly-memed, easy-target Creed, but I somehow found myself falling into lyrical structures of the 90s band while listening to Tremonti’s new tunes. During the performance of new single “Take Me With You”, I nearly succumbed to the almost automatic urge to belt out: “Can you take me higggggher?”
That being said, I did discover some saving grace in the band’s musicality. Midway through the set list the band slowed down the tempo and produced some stunning ballads that featured some moving vocals and virtuoso soloing. Resisting the temptation of falling into old patterns, I believe Tremonti’s latest efforts incorporate enough melodic innovations to captivate a new generation of fans.
The frontman has an undeniable charm and charisma when performing live and possesses an exceptional rock voice (despite his admittance to suffering through a sore throat this evening). His years of playing and touring have endowed him with the rare gift of on-stage ease, a quality which was certainly very hard to resist.
Tremonti blasted their head-banging heroics out into the street well into the night and gave a show that Belfast won’t soon forget.
Review by Krysten Maier
Photography by Mike Lockheart