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Gig Review: Tremonti dominate the Limelight in Belfast

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A very warm evening once more, one would almost think the island of Ireland had moved to just of the coast of Portugal to see what the craic was. Inside the Limelight it was wonderfully cool, though it didn’t stay that way for very long.

The crowds began to trickle in for the support act, The Fallen State, as the fate of many support bands are wont to be. Those cramming themselves right up the front were those who knew of The Fallen State. Others nonchalantly lingered at the back cradling their ice cold beers. But that soon changed as the band exploded in a frenzy of rock that made a few mouths drop open. Thundering start in with hard rocking “Hope in revival”, “Lost Cause” and then a beautiful lazy southern rock style ballad “Sons of Avarice”, that would just perfectly fit with pulling down your cowboy hat and supping on a JD. The front was beginning to fill up nicely as people were taking more and more notice of these five lads who were giving it all and it was paying off.

On into the militaristically high energy of “Send up the World”, “Nova”, and “Burn it to the Ground” as they tore up the stage with an anthemic hard rock style that had an infectious body rocking headbanging exuberance.  They finished their set with “You want it” to a lot of praise from the floor. It was no small thing that The Fallen State produced a tight musclebound set that had so many perfectly balanced ingredients, with Ben’s soulful and wailing vocals, the emotive harmonies and hard rocking riffs of Jon and Dan, all stirred in by the heavy groove of Rich’s drums and Greg’s bass. Rich has to be picked out here and given man of the match. No matter how the group performed the eye was inevitably drawn every so often to Rich’s nonchalant but complete mastery of the drums.

Then on to Tremonti, as the place had now practically packed to the rafters. It was as if they were famous for something or other! If you didn’t know of Mark Tremonti, of Alter Bridge, and his Tremonti Project you knew the full story of his and his band mates’ power to perform by the end.

Coming straight in for the jugular Mark and his band stormed the stage with “Cauterize”, “Another Heart”, “You waste your time” and “All I was”. This band meant business and their professional delivery of absolutely incredible heavy hard rock slam-dunked a dominance that nothing could dislodge on the night. Mark had the crowd in the palm of his hands and had a great rapport with both adoring fans and new converts. He perfectly stoked up the crowd into a frenzy of bobbing heads, waving arms and clapping with each new song. The band not only owned the stage they had it subservient and begging for more. Tremonti put on a hell of a show that nobody will forget.

On the auditory assault continued with “Traipse”, “My last Mistake”, “Take you with me” and “Things I’ve seen”. The sound was an incredible mixture that flowed and blended together into a perfect balance of skater rock, stoner metal, punk and hard rock. Nearly every song had a familiarity about it, even if it was the first time you ever heard it.

There was absolutely no let up as Mark strode on like a rock god with “As the silence”, “So you’re afraid”, the heavy metal chugging “Flying Monkeys”, and epic “Bringer of War”.

Tremonti’s songs are musical odysseys of pure epic proportions as groove laden heavy riffs and gravely singing give way to harsh aggressive vocals and thick and fast thrashy energetic punk metal before changing up to a wall of noise rolling over you gently pushed on by a smooth lyrical  voice. Its very difficult to pin these guys down to any particular style. 


Then came “Throw them to the Lions” with an incredibly catchy riff rumbling throughout the song that feels like Tremonti took “Keep yourself alive” and added some serious heavy metal into the mix, the title track “A Dying Machine”, and their “Dust”. The sweat was pouring off

The “not an encore” encore saw them rip to shreds what was left of the stage with “Radical Change” and “Wish you Well”.

This was an incredible show from start to finish. The two bands were on point and on top form giving full entertaining performances earning every penny and pound given to buy tickets. Nobody should have left the Limelight short changed. If you get a chance to see either The Fallen State or Tremonti, take that chance with both hands. You will not regret it.

Review by Ivor Whitten, Happy Metal Geek

Photography by Darren McVeigh, Metal Planet Music

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