Gig Review: Tremonti – SWG3 Galvanisers, Glasgow

It’s hard to imagine it’s been almost four years to the day since Tremonti last played Glasgow on one of the hottest days of 2018. And there’s some very obvious reasons for such a long gap – such as the promotional campaign for A Dying Machine wrapping up and then straight into the next Alter Bridge cycle. But Mark Tremonti hasn’t exactly sat on his hands these last couple of years with recording another Tremonti album, a tribute album to Frank Sinatra and there’s another AB album due soon.

However, we’re here to talk about the band which is no mere side project for the main man and one which is appointment attendance for myself. As has been the case with many gigs lately, the day job stopped me from catching support band, Hawxx (apologies, folks!) but there was a new wrinkle in this one – thanks to Glasgow City Council having roadworks which diverted me into even more roadworks, neither of which were there a few days previously or even indicated in advance they would be taking place, it meant I didn’t make it through the door until Tremonti were already seven songs deep. So if the person/people responsible for this at Glasgow City Council is reading this, I hope you choke on your own saliva. Not enough that it causes death but enough that karma does its job and you re-asses your life akin to My Name is Earl. And I better be on that list.

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There’s no debating that when Mark Tremonti brings his self-titled band to dig into his heavier side, it’s going to get any self-respecting rock and metal fan out for it but as “Let That Be Us” blasted me as I headed into the Galvanisers at SWG3 for the first time, I wasn’t expecting the sheer number of bodies. Admittedly, I also expected to be in the smaller room at TV Studio. Whilst I’m not debating Tremonti’s popularity, across all genres and bands, gig attendance lately has been less than what it once was due to the pandemic and as the country faces a cost of living crisis, people have less money to spend. But that wasn’t stopping fans tonight. What was also noticeable from entering was the atrocious acoustics. For the time I was there, from aforementioned “Let That Be Us” until the house lights were back on, Eric Friedman’s guitar was barely noticeable whilst bassist Tanner Keegan may as well not have been there as his bass work was buried. Meanwhile, Ryan Bennett’s drum work sounded like he was playing from inside a tin can and overpowering everyone else on stage. And that was from standing right next to the mixing desk. The only place where I’ve experienced worse acoustics is around the corner at the Hydro.

Regardless of these sound issues, the band played an absolute blinder. Opening with the mighty “Thrown Further” is possibly the best option in their arsenal, showcasing one of the highlights of Marching in Time right at the start and presumably, getting the crowd on side from the off (thank you,!). Meanwhile, many of the staples from the past decade (yes, Tremonti really has been going for that long now) such as “So You’re Afraid”, “The Things I’ve Seen”, “My Last Mistake” and “You Waste Your Time”. As Mark Tremonti constantly commends the crowd for their enthusiasm, it’s shown best before “Dust” even starts as people already have their phone torches at the ready. Meanwhile, “Flying Monkeys” sees a toy monkey thrown about the room as the band chug their way through one of Cauterize‘s best tracks.

As the title track of said album begins, someone in the crowd requests to play with them which Mark Tremonti politely declines because said person didn’t rehearse with them. Although that’s never stopped Steel Panther from taking the risk with honouring requests like this and the people absolutely smashing it every time. Regardless, it’s the last handful of songs where the band elevate their performance even more, asking the crowd to go harder as they faithfully hammer through Marching in Time’s title track. They honour the epic length as the song balances every element you’d expect in Tremonti’s music as the man himself bellows his vocals before dropping it to more mellow runs and mirrored in high octane licks and more tender picking moments.

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“Decay” comes out of mothballs, playing it for the first time in years and just like always, Mark Tremonti doesn’t miss a beat on the call and response moment as if it’d never been away from the setlist. Elsewhere, the fiery “Another Heart” is the beginning of the “encore” (Tremonti don’t do the whole leave the stage and come back thing) before traditional “Wish You Well” closes out the show with Tremonti asking the ever present question of “If we come back, will you come back?” To which I say: absolutely, and if they can open with “Thrown Further” so that I can experience that live, or even elsewhere in the set, it’d be hugely appreciated.

Sound issues may have prevented this from being a truly astounding gig but from a performance standpoint, you can’t fault them. Putting in their longest set of the tour, there was definitely a sense they could have easily played for longer if they wanted to. Whilst I was annoyed at missing a handful of songs, quite a few of them I’ve seen them play countless times and when the next inevitable tour happens, they’ll likely play most, if not, all of them then. With blistering solos and paying homage to the art of the riff, there’s going to be a lot of people with a bangover if they’ve attended any of these shows. Let’s just hope that the next tour is sooner, rather than later.

Photos by Paul Hutchings

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December 27, 2022 7:40 PM

[…] M2TM competition alongside all these shows, I headed for the horrible O2 Academy in Bristol on a photo only assignment for the talented Tremonti. I’m hugely appreciative of his talent, but after the photos were […]