Tremonti - LIVE: Electric Ballroom, London 2013

All I Was Tour
February 18 (21:15-22:25)
Capacity 1000

Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti was able to make his UK debut with his solo band in 2012, supporting Slash's band fronted by his Alter Bridge band-mate Myles Kennedy, and on the back of those appearances and the undoubted strength of his debut album All I Was he was quickly able to get a headlining tour booked for early 2013.

Scottish openers Logan should already be familiar to Tremonti fans, having previously support Alter Bridge on tour in the UK, and just as on those occasions the band prove an excellent fit. Their brand of alternative hard rock is close enough to the Alter Bridge/Tremonti sound and Mark is obviously a fan, having selected Logan for the spot himself. Due to technical problems delaying soundcheck before the show Logan started late and had to race through their 25-minute set but fortunately didn't have to cut any songs and seemed to again go over well with the crowd. They were certainly a far more suitable choice of opener than mismatched promoters' favourites Heaven's Basement, who had to shave their set down to 25 minutes as well and appealed only to the handful of existing fans in the audience.

In some senses, being a lead vocalist doesn't really suit Mark Tremonti; not in the technical sense, but it limits his movement, which is neither something he's used to, or something he seems to like, making sure he escapes the microphone stand at every opportunity. When free of being stuck centre-stage he roams the stage throwing all the shapes fans will have seen from him with Alter Bridge, a smile permanently affixed to his face. When behind the mic he shows that his voice suits his own material perfectly. Obviously he isn't as good a singer as Kennedy, if he were then the former Mayfield Four singer probably would never have been recruited in the first place, but he's written songs which fit his vocal style, and is able to recreate them on stage.

Fans have been crying out for him to cover some Alter Bridge material in his set, and his apparently steadfast refusal to do so is probably the reason why he's not-quite-selling-out venues less than half the size of the ones he plays with his main employers, but that rather short-sighted outlook means a lot of fans are missing out on some genuinely good music and performances from their guitar hero. It does however mean he struggles to fill a headlining set, and as such is currently drawing on two unreleased songs recorded during the sessions for the album but not (yet) included. Apart from the obvious sign that there'll at some stage be a new edition of the album with those songs included, putting them in the set does provide an extra level of interest beyond just playing his whole record (which is of course what the rest of the set is made up of, albeit not in order).

Tremonti is every bit as good live with his solo band as he is with Alter Bridge, but in order to do this again he's going to need more material. Alter Bridge are likely to resume work on their fourth album next, so it might be some time before the Tremonti band are ready to do anything again, but by rights when they do they should be in bigger and better venues than the ill-equipped Electric Ballroom and its inherent sound problems.

“ smile permanently affixed to his face ”

Logan setlist: Hallowed Ground / Light It Up / Brother / Resurrect Me / When I Get Down

Heaven's Basement setlist: Welcome Home / Fire, Fire / I Am Electric / Reign On My Parade / Executioner's Day

Tremonti setlist: Leave It Alone / Giving Up / All I Was / Proof / So You're Afraid / Doesn't Matter / The Things I've Seen / All That I Got / Wish You Well / You Waste Your Time / New Way Out / Decay // Gone / Brains

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Heavy Metal,

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