One man who also knows what it’s like to play arenas and stadiums is Mark Tremonti, his time with American megastars Creed and onto huge success with Alter Bridge, bringing him in front of vast and devoted audiences.
Tremonti, The Raven Age, HAWXX.
Shepherd’s Bush Empire – 29 June 2022
Words: Paul Monkhouse
Photography: Steve Ritchie
Read the HAWXX and The Raven Age report at https://www.metaltalk.net/the-raven-age-and-hawxx-pour-their-all-into-sweat-drenched-visceral-performances.php
With these life experiences and levels of fame already, you wouldn’t blame him for resting on his laurels, but there’s an obvious joy and passion here that elevates not just the man himself but the titular band that are tearing up the Empire tonight.
Accompanied by Eric Friedman on guitar and the rhythm section of drummer Ryan Bennett and Tanner Keegan on bass, the guitarist brings this shattering force with laser-like precision.
Whilst the songs enjoy considerable power in their recorded states, it’s when heard played live that they take on their full, feral forms. Sure, there are soaring verses and unstoppable choruses, but when the guards are off, the full intensity of the music is revealed, its monstrous riffing and crushing drive a sledgehammer to the cranium.
When Tremonti turn up the heat, it’s to a volcanic level, the blistering attack more potent than most speed Metal bands manage in a lifetime.
The opening salvo of Thrown Further and If Not For You are more savaged than played, the determination of the quartet shows a statement of intent that never flags. Things get even more frantic with the bruising My Last Mistake, the pace and snotty attitude, a breakneck blend of old-school Metal and punk.
Tangentially, The Things I’ve Seen brings in elements of both The Beatles and Pink Floyd in its grand and sweeping chorus before the tough and broken Not Afraid To Lose brought some real emotional depth to the maelstrom.
The crowd surfing that broke out during Let That Be Us in itself was a moment of a community coming together, the atmosphere in the packed auditorium rising to boiling point as the bodies spilled out across heads and over the barrier.
The already charged-up audience embraced that feeling of euphoria in something more akin to post-goal celebrations when favourite teams win championships, things suddenly getting wilder. The widescreen You Waste Your Time echoed a tougher Alter Bridge, and Catching Fire was like being pummelled by Mike Tyson at his most furious as the waves continued.
With a sea of mobile phone lights adding a heavenly glow and sparkle, things reach a climax with Dust, the words sung by the assembled throng like their very lives depended on it as they try to drown out the p.a., the very rafters shaking.
Drained, it was all anyone could do but try to keep up with an unrelenting A Dying Machine, this in turn giving way to Marching In Time, the central riff a whirlwind.
Set closer, Wish You Well was pure ’80s Thrash Metal, a joyful throwback to Metallica at their most streamlined, the sense of utter triumph emanating from the stage so palpable as to be its own presence on the night.
With Tremonti releasing his take on Frank Sinatra songs, you have to marvel at his versatility and, out of the shadow of the thing of glory that is Myles Kennedy’s voice, shows he has the pipes to tear it up but also to soothe.
Tonight, though, was about bringing the noise, and they did, in no uncertain terms. Tonight was about a community, happy to be back together again and let loose, the party here and Mark Tremonti, the perfect host. This was a rock show.