Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Fish Tacos » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:35 pm

Yeah especially with Another Heart in the track list.
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Fish Tacos » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:38 pm

SHEAKENBAKEN wrote:
Ryan wrote:They're shooting for May.


If it is in May then what a great birthday present! My birthday is in May!


They were like "fuck that Shea guy, let's move it" :lol
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby SHEAKENBAKEN » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:51 pm

Fish Tacos wrote:
SHEAKENBAKEN wrote:
Ryan wrote:They're shooting for May.


If it is in May then what a great birthday present! My birthday is in May!


They were like "fuck that Shea guy, let's move it" :lol

IKR!
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:48 am

abw1987 wrote:Where to even begin?

The lead-up (feel free to skip this part)

My flight got in around 9:00 on Friday evening. Ryan & Cameron picked Greg and I up at the airport, we dropped our stuff at the hotel, and then headed into town. Everyone was hanging out at The Lodge, which has become the de facto hangout for shows like this since it's right across the street from The Social. Reunited with a bunch of old friends and got to meet some new faces as well. Half of the folks on the main floor were Tremonti fans, so the DJ was kind enough to play a bunch of Tremonti-related songs, including "All That I Got", "Metalingus", and "One". Never before have I been in a bar where they played a Tremonti b-side and the whole place sang along... it was awesome. We stayed until about 2am and then turned in for the night.

Woke up on Saturday fairly hung over, though not as bad as Ryan :lol. We met up with Fish Tacos (great to finally meet you man!) and hit up IHOP for brunch. Thoroughly stuffed myself with pancakes and a giant steak omelette, which made me feel better... then worse. Went back to the hotel to chill out and get some rest in anticipation of a long, high-energy evening.

Headed to The Social mid-afternoon, and met up the crowd of fans who had started to gather around the doors. Tremonti were soundchecking inside. It was pretty hard to hear, but they were practicing some new songs. Later on, after we had dinner at Sideshow -- this giant bar with an elaborate funhouse theme -- we dropped our phones off at the car, and headed back to the venue.

The Listening Party

Doors opened around 7:15 (I think) and everyone made their way inside. It was really nice not having to worry about everyone rushing to get a rail spot; people just calmly walked around and chatted while we waited for the show to start. I met a few more folks--old and new--including one of our newer members, drod1985. I bought a t-shirt ("Tremonti Orlando Lockdown 2015") and picked up a song rating sheet. As you can see from the previously-posted photo, it listed all 20 songs and asked us to rate them as input for deciding the next single.

At 8:00ish a local rock radio DJ kicked things off and began playing the songs in the order listed on the sheet. The crowd listened intently to each song, and cheered loudly after each one. Throughout the playback I tried to take a few notes, which I have summarized below.

  • Radical Change - an upbeat song that quickly gets right into the verse. The verse combines speed metal drumming/riffs with a more regular-style vocal melody. The beats vaty throughout, often switching between double and regular time to mix things up. Cool breakdown after the first verse. The arrangement was unpredictable, and I couldn't tell whether the song was long or just had a lot of different parts. It's littered with leads. Later on during the live performance, we would learn Erock plays the main solo.
  • Flying Monkeys - as others have mentioned, this song was named after the main riff, which Ernie told Mark reminded him of the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. The idea had been sitting in his computer under the name "Flying Monkeys" for years, so at this point there's no way it could be named anything else. So yes, this is the real name! I would describe the riff as slow and brooding. The main thing I noted about this song is that the key completely changes in the chorus, which just knocked me off of my feet. It also has a sort of swirling, psychadelic ending.
  • Cauterize - starts off with a speed metal intro (my notes say "drums!!") The verse riff reminded me of "So You're Afraid". I thought this was more of a straightforward song. At some point the guitars go clean, except for a prominent phaser effect, and Mark throws in a bunch of bluesey fingering. Later on during the live performance, I noticed that Wolfie noodles all over the fretboard, which adds a whole other dimension to the song.
  • Arm Yourself - another song with fast and slow drumming patterns. The vocal style is more "shouty" -- not in a screaming metal way, but more like a primal style of singing. Greg mentioned to me that the song had a Pantera vibe. Later on there's a dark, vibey section with metal drums and clean(ish) guitars.
  • Dark Trip -- the verse features clean, atmospheric guitars. A dreamy vibe throughout, and a slow chorus. The solo really impressed me. I remember thinking "this is the kind of solo that Mark has been trying to write for years. He's finally arrived."
  • Another Heart - the intro & verse are more straightforward, with a heavy riff going into a clean part. Fairly standard chorus too. The bridge breakdown is a major headbanger.
  • Fall Again - starts off with a creepy intro, highlighted by clean guitars using volume knob tricks reminiscent of Gn'R's "Estranged". Mark's vocals in the verse are exceptionally tender compared to how he usually sings. Erock throws in epic harmonies at various points throughout. I counted two solos, one short (and inventive sounding) and one long.
  • Tie the Noose - the DJ introduced this song as his favorite. The chorus contained a few too many major notes for my liking. Solo is mental. Overall a straightforward song.
  • Sympathy - as Zaz mentioned, this song actually starts off sounding like The Killers' "Mr. Brightside", but luckily the similarities end there. It has this really cool drum beat full of snare hits on the 16th notes. It's a ballad, but leave it to Tremonti to find a way to make a ballad interesting. The chorus consists of one of Mark's signature melodies, as well as some beautiful harmonies.
  • Providence - starts off with a finger-picked intro that reminded me of "Away in Silence". I missed a good portion of this song because I went up to get my photo with the band, but I wrote that the melody stood out as being very strong. Speaking of that photo, I got to shake all the guys' hands, Erock & Garrett commented on my Silvertide t-shirt, I gave Mark a hug (?), and I told them how much they had raised the bar with this new material.

Before the next song began, the DJ said "now we're going to play some tracks that won't be on the initial release, but you'll get to hear some time later." I took that to mean that the album will only be 10 tracks long, consisting of the titles listed above, and the remaining 10 will be released later per the original plan of one per month.

  • My Last Mistake - I don't have much on this song since Ernie came out and started testing out Mark's rig, which basically drowned out the music. I recall the song contained a lot of strums that Mark would let ring for a while (kind of like the verses in "You Waste Your Time"), and the melody was pretty sick.
  • Betray Me - this is the second song to feature a totally unexpected key change for the chorus. Unfortunately Ernie was still fiddling with Mark's rig, but there was a sick solo containing one of Mark's typical legato runs.
  • Tore My Heart Out - written in a very low tuning (perhaps standard downtuned to B?), this track contains lots of bluesey fills. Another solo that made me think, "Mark has finally arrived!", and a very speedy ending. Later on during the concert portion, Mark introduced this song by saying "I think we're gonna call it something else." I'm kind of glad since the working title is kind of cheesy, but I guess he realizes that.
  • Catching Fire - no, this is not Mark's attempt to score a Hunger Games soundtrack deal. This one starts with a dirty, ominous meginning, and contains some really cool palm mute picking in the bridge. The ending was "All I Was"-esque (think "so unlike the waaaaaayyyyy").
  • Once Dead - a speedier song in the vein of "Wish You Well" that features yet another awesome chorus key change. Bridge has a groovy rhythm.
  • Never Wrong - the intro to this song had AC/DC written all over it. Try to imagine if you combined the tone and chords of the intro to "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the picking pattern of the intro to "For Those About to Rock". I couldn't be sure, but I think this song may contain an evolution of the first riff that Mark was jamming in that video where he was playing his T-Rex Phaser pedal. (You may remember the latter half of that video made it into Alter Bridge's "Home".) The chorus has a classic rock n' roll style melody.
  • The Cage - a very metal song. Features a sort of "White Knuckles"-ey riff utilizing the octave points on the fret board.
  • Unable to See - starts off with some finger picking that could be at home in a lullaby. Vocals are very pulled back, much like we first heard in "Fall Again". This one is a total ballad, and Garrett is uncharacteristically soft on the drums during the verses. (Probably the only place on the album we hear that, as everywhere else he's beating the shit out of them.)
  • Rising Storm - Really hard intro. A clean interlude leads into a charging solo. You can see I had lost motivation to take notes at this point.
  • Dust - I was a big fan of this one. The intro reminded me of "On My Sleeve" or "Home". The song felt dark, yet hopeful; kind of apocalyptic. Features a catchy chorus and an awesome ending. Also one of my favorite solos on the album.

The Show

Before very long at all, the band came out to play the live portion of the show. The crowd was pretty amped up at this point. You can imagine how much passion there was in a room containing many of the biggest die-hards from around the world.

One funny thing: as soon as Ernie took Mark's amps out of standby, we could suddenly hear an AM radio station coming through loud and clear. Apparently his Bogner had a faulty ground wire, and there was nothing they could do. Luckily this was drowned out by whatever the guys were playing at the time, but between songs we all got to hear what was apparently a Christian worship station. It made it a bit tough for Mark to talk to the crowd -- the point that one time he even went and flipped the amp back into standby so he could introduce a song -- but the guys all took it in stride and laughed it off.

You guys have seen the set list already, but they didn't play everything as planned.

  • Brains - actually took them a few measures to coalesce, but they get a free pass since they haven't played a show in so long. This song just rocks so hard; it's always a stand-out.
  • Cauterize - hearing this again cemented the chorus melody in my head. I can't wait to hear this one again.
  • Leave it Alone - they started this one off a bit differently than usual. I can't remember exactly how, but they didn't do their usual faded-in slowly-bending guitar thing.
  • So You're Afraid
  • Tore My Heart Out - they didn't end up playing this. Apparently there was some mix-up with the guitar tunings, and Mark ended up trying like 3 different guitars before giving up. In the meantime, the other 3 guys did a quick jam, and we even got a short drum solo from Garrett. He must have planned for the possibility, because this is the first time I've seen him actually say yes when the crowd starts chanting to hear a drum solo. Yes, it was sick.
  • You Waste Your Time - great audience sing-along action on this one.
  • Another Heart
  • All I Was
  • Flying Monkeys - I remember this being even more impressive live than it was on the album. The chorus is still in my head.
  • The Things I've Seen - Mark introduced this as his wife's favorite off of All I Was, and Erock got to do his bluesey improv solo after the bridge.
  • Radical Change - "It's a radical change!" Another chorus snipped stuck in my head.
  • Decay - Mark did his crowd sing-along thing during the bridge again, which is always a good time.
  • Arm Yourself
  • Wish You Well - I think they ran out of time so this was the final song. The crowd was pretty nuts for this one.
  • All That I Got - not played (bummer -- I was looking forward to seeing this one live)
  • Giving Up - not played. Would have been interesting to see this as the closer.

The guys were in really good form. Mark mentioned that he was nervous to play the new songs for the first time, and one of them (maybe "Arm Yourself"?) was particularly tough for him to sing, but I think he handled it well. I think he's been working on his vocals; he seemed to have improved his ability to control his voice, especially when transitioning between heavy and soft parts.

Erock was on point as well. He had some great leads throughout, and his harmonies were rock solid.

Wolfgang really adds a whole new dimension to the band. He incorporates so many flourishes throughout each song. He's a really talented bassist. And as Zaz mentioned, he's a great singer too, which makes for some incredible 3-part harmonies. I was hoping that would happen, since he fills a similar role in Van Halen.

Garrett, my goodness, the guy is an unstobbable bombster. The new material definitely contains some more challenging parts, but he handled them like the professional he is. He's such an intense player, and he looks like he's constantly pushing himself to the limit. The way he plays looks seriously exhausting. It's super entertaining to watch.

Overall, it was a fantastic show. The guys honestly looked like they were having a good time on stage. Even if they were nervous about the new material, they seemed relaxed, maybe because the nature of the event was less of a concert and more of a showcase amongst friends and family. And as someone else pointed out, it was really cool to see a show where cameras and phones were banned. Everyone just rocked out and enjoyed the music rather than trying to capture photos and videos.

After the Show

After a quick break, the guys came out to the merch booth for a meet-and-greet. They shook people's hands, gave out signed posters, and autographed anything else that people brought. I got Mark to sign the back plate off of my Tremonti SE Custom, so I couldn't be happier.

Afterwards we headed back across the street to The Lodge, along with seemingly most of the folks who were at the show. There was no sign of Mark, but Erock, Garrett, Wolfie, and even Flip were there. After a couple hours we headed back to the hotel.

Got up this morning feeling surprisingly good, went for a run (1kmi2k15woooo!), and left for the airport. My flight was scheduled for like 7pm but luckily I was able to get on the 2:00 (from which I am writing this review), so I'll make it home in time for the superbowl.

All in all I had a great time. I am so grateful to have been amongst the first to hear the new material, and generally to be part of such a wonderful fan base. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new folks as well, including many from the boards -- Ryan, Greg, Cameron, Ashlee, Stijn, Dave, Mike, and whomever else I may have missed. I see now that a few other TABNers whom I haven't met were in attendance as well, but hopefully we'll catch up next time!

Can't wait for this album to drop...



Don't know why but I love reading this post. It reminds me of that night. Also reading first impressions of the album are always cool
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby vChris » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:08 am

AllC392Was wrote:Don't know why but I love reading this post. It reminds me of that night. Also reading first impressions of the album are always cool


So what you honestly meant to say was this:

Fish Tacos wrote:The further they push it out, the more value I get from having gone to the listening party and the longer I can hold it over the peasants :shifty


Thanks a bunch :P

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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Ryan » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:29 am

I'm not gonna lie...I haven't even read all of Alex's post. It's a novel!!! One of these days I'll get through it though.......or not.

:lol
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:40 am

I just read the song reviews
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Timotheus » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:45 am

I read it all :D
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Ryan » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:50 am

I just finished. Started at 7am and it's now 7:50am...:shifty

Good read and nice to remember some stuff from his review. :)
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:18 am

I know I stated this in this thread earlier but if I'm not mistaken.. The beginning of providence is one of the acoustic examples on the first sound and the story
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby austinjhnsn » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:43 am

Which one?
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Thanks Timo!

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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby abw1987 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:48 am

Lol - glad to see my magnum opus getting some love. Given how long it takes to read, you can imagine how long it took to write. I spent my whole flight back from Orlando working on it, and only got halfway through. It's utterly shit writing -- little more than a mass brain dump -- but I wanted to include all the details before I forgot them. And somehow I still neglected to mention our server at IHOP who knew exactly who Mark Tremonti was, and much to our delight even turned out to be a Myles Kennedy fan.
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:05 pm

austinjhnsn wrote:Which one?


For the life of me I can't remember. Even with watching the youtube vid over and over again.

All I remember is that it reminded me of Life Must Go On. It just had the clean guitar in the beginning and then the band played.
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:06 pm

Mr. Slash wrote:Flying Monkeys is going to be the best metal song ever.


Still feel this way?
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Ryan » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:26 pm

abw1987 wrote:Lol - glad to see my magnum opus getting some love. Given how long it takes to read, you can imagine how long it took to write. I spent my whole flight back from Orlando working on it, and only got halfway through. It's utterly shit writing -- little more than a mass brain dump -- but I wanted to include all the details before I forgot them. And somehow I still neglected to mention our server at IHOP who knew exactly who Mark Tremonti was, and much to our delight even turned out to be a Myles Kennedy fan.

Of course I'm messing with you.

You should go back and edit that Ernie didn't call the riff Flying Monkeys, it was Tony, Flip's old drum tech (Mark said Tony, but said he was a guitar tech not a drum tech).
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby abw1987 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Ah, thanks for clarifying. Consider it done.

Not gonna edit all the posts in which I was quoted, though. :lol I reserve my ninja-editing rights for fixing posts where people failed to use the YouTube tag correctly.
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Ryan » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:03 pm

:lol
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Mr. Slash » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:04 pm

AllC392Was wrote:
Mr. Slash wrote:Flying Monkeys is going to be the best metal song ever.


Still feel this way?

Kinda, yea. Why are you asking?

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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby AllC392Was » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:23 pm

Mr. Slash wrote:
AllC392Was wrote:
Mr. Slash wrote:Flying Monkeys is going to be the best metal song ever.


Still feel this way?

Kinda, yea. Why are you asking?


Just asking!
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Re: Tremonti II VIP Listening Party

Postby Fish Tacos » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:36 pm

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