Made it back home a couple of hours ago and have had some time to unwind, relax, and collect my thoughts after a very long weekend. It was all a blur, so forgive the rambling but here’s my stream of thoughts looking back on the past few days. WARNING: it will be lengthy and all over the place
Before The LP
Drove down to Orlando with two of my bandmates Thursday morning and stayed with our former drummer. Had a nice night of drinks and the pool before the weekend really started. The next day, we started by hitting up a really famous local restaurant that has the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life. If you’re ever in the Orlando area, check out Yellow Dog Eats, you won’t regret it. From there, spent a couple of hours kayaking in the sun at the springs with some drinks and ended up seeing a couple of gators before immediately heading downtown to World of Beer for the Army of 12 get together. Big thanks to Maggie for putting it together, met some awesome AB/Tremonti fans whose names I totally forgot but were great to drink and hang out with. Unfortunately couldn’t make it to the concert afterwards but it heard it was a great time as well!
Day of The Show
Got a chance to sleep in before heading to a nice little French café for lunch and immediately went over the The Social for the LP. Finally got to meet another forum member, which was awesome. Chris (C3PO) is an awesome dude, get to meet him if you haven’t already! We waited outside the venue with his group of friends and a couple others for a few hours before the doors opened. Heard the band soundchecking the songs and man did that get us hyped. A couple of us acted like huge nerds and pressed our faces up against the glass to see what was going on. From what I remember, they soundchecked Another Heart, Bringer of War (twice), A Dying Machine, Take You With Me, Betray Me, and Dust. A meaty soundcheck for sure, but it helped pass the time along for us outside. We were the first 5-6 in line, which was a first for me. 5:00 finally rolled around and they let us in for Meet and Greet and pictures with the band, always great getting to talk to the guys. So humble and down to earth, it’s really encouraging to me. And now on to the good stuff...
A DYING MACHINE LISTENING PARTY
After pizza was dished out and all the photos had been taken, Supa Dave came out and ran down the flow of the night and introduced each song as they went through the album. A couple of thoughts that I can remember about each song before going into the album overall...
BRINGER OF WAR: This song really is a great album opener. Was bummed it came out before the LP, would’ve been nice for this one to have been a surprise to start the night. The crowd was REALLY into this one as it was fresh in our minds. Wasn’t sold on it at first, but after hearing it here and being performed live, it’s really grown on me and I can say I love it
FROM THE SKY: This one is from the teaser they put out a few months ago, and it got a great reception as well. It’s soaring melodically, but what I thought was a pre-chorus or tag is just the song’s chorus (if you can call it that) which was kind of disappointing. Would have liked them to take that melody and build on it to make a full chorus. There is a cool rhythmic change in the bridge that caught me off guard. Big song, a lot of people will like this one
A DYING MACHINE: This was so much fun to listen to in a group. Everybody knew all the words and sang along at the top of their lungs. Huge clap going along with the hi hat in the buildup to the chorus that made Eric happy from the side of the stage. Really captures the vibe of the overall album very well
TRUST: This one felt like a pretty standard mid-tempo AB/Tremonti song to me. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but it didn’t come off as overly memorable. Remember wishing more from the chorus, but Chris really liked the song so take it with a grain of salt
THROW THEM TO THE LIONS: This one is HEAVY. Possibly the heaviest on the album. I think this is one of the songs that had a filtered drum intro that gradually built into a cannon explosion. I remember being very impressed by Garrett and by Mark’s vocals in this one. A LOT of people liked this one
MAKE IT HURT: I kind of feel bad for this one being placed where it was. It felt VERY similar to the previous song as far as the vibe, so in a crowded room at high volumes and hearing it for the first time, it didn’t stand out as much some of the other ones. Will need to hear it again for sure, might have stood out better coming after a different song
TRAIPSE: This one starts broken down on acoustic and I could swear I’ve heard the line before but can’t remember where from. Very nice vocal performance from Mark, and this song gradually builds and gets big in certain sections. Wish I could remember more about the melody, but at this point ear fatigue was already starting to set in
THE FIRST THE LAST: I remember being REALLY impressed by this song, and I know a lot of people liked this one too. I believe there’s a poll going around for favorite song from the new record and this is the one. It’s another one that starts on acoustic, and is for sure more of the Tremonti ballad type that either you like or don’t like. I was really impressed by Mark’s vocals here as well, beautiful song. A lot of you are going to really enjoy this one.
-At this point, my ears were REALLY taking a beating and the next 3 songs were starting to blend together. A Lot Like Sin, The Day When Legions Burned, and As The Silence Becomes Me were cool and one of them was one of my favorites instrumentally, but I can’t pick it out from memory. Will need to re-listen for sure to get a more solid opinion on these songs. I do remember thinking “As The Silence Becomes Me” wouldn’t have been my choice as the last pre-release song, though. That would go to either “The First The Last” or one that comes up really soon...
TAKE YOU WITH ME: I know this song has people divided, but I’m on the side of people who absolutely adore this song. I love the pop-punk genre to begin with and this song reminds me of that. This one is a LOT of fun to listen to with a group of people and sing along with. I’ve gotten used to that key change and actually really enjoy the bridge. I hope this song does well for Mark and the guys, I think it was a perfect lead single and one of my favorites from the album.
DESOLATION: And now to the other song that I think should be the final pre-release. This song is AWESOME and would have been a great way to end the album on it’s own right. Starts acoustically and builds to so many ups and downs, starts and stops. Mark’s and Eric’s vocals here are KILLER, I remember some really cool harmonies happening towards the end of the song. Probably my second favorite of the unheard songs, and a lot of people enjoyed it as well.
FOUND: This might disappoint some people, but this is NOT the “Tremonti instrumental” you think you’re gonna get. Chris summed this up perfectly immediately after hearing it, this song is what you would hear in the end credits of the “A Dying Machine” movie after the story has been told. After having my ears blown out for an hour, this song is quiet and hard to make out what was going on, but think something similar to the intros and outros from Breaking Benjamin's last two albums, just twice the length. Sounded like there was a lot of filters/atmospheric production things going on, this song felt like it was building to a big explosion but never gets there.
I thought this was a REALLY solid album. No way in hell for me to rank it with the others right now, the listening environment was less than ideal with 300 people around at ear splitting volumes and bass shaking the room. So a lot of it was hard to make out and started to sound similar after a while, but this for sure is a good album. Cannot wait to hear it again.
-It’s Mark’s heaviest album for sure overall, but there is a LOT of diversity here. You have all the genres of rock covered here from AB/Tremonti anthemic rock, thrash metal, pop punk, etc, but also a ton of sonic variety as of well. There are a couple of cool song intros/outros with some neat production happening with high pass filtering and such, from what I could tell Elvis did a good job on this one.
-There is more acoustic on this album than any of his previous solo records, and it really hints back to when Mark said he wanted to make a double album with one of the albums being heavy songs and then the other one being acoustic-based. This had that concept all over it, and the variety helps ensure that there is something for everyone.
This band keeps getting better and better, it feels like a very mature album and the guys keep stepping up their game. I specifically need to highlight Garrett’s drumming and Mark’s vocals, they were both constantly blowing me away.
My favorites after one listen: Bringer of War, From the Sky, A Dying Machine, The First The Last, Take You With Me, Desolation
After a short break, the guys came up on stage to a crowd very eager to see them. After seeing AB/Tremonti shows for 4 years now, I finally got on the rail (or in this case, right against the stage), dead center in front of Mark’s monitors and his two 4x12. It was absolute surreal seeing my favorite musician perform 3 feet in front of me. They started the show with Bringer of War, and it was a BANGER. They need to start every show with this until the end of time, it sounds fantastic and the crowd loved it. The guys were on point all night, every song could have been considered a highlight. I had a funny moment with Mark before one of the songs when he didn’t quite have his cable plugged in as it started and we both had a look at each other and laughed. A really cool moment was when he brought his wife on stage (who they modeled the character on the T-shirts, album, and lyric video after) which I thought was very interesting. Hearing Dust live was surreal for me. It was a huge song for me when it came out and I never got to see them during the Dust cycle, so I had goosebumps the whole time during that song. They only played the 3 released songs from the new album, but I was still happy with the set overall. I lost my voice, blew out my ears (still ringing loudly), and was completely drained but it was so worth it to experience the show that I did.
It was an incredible weekend and one that I’ll never forget. It was an honor to meet so many awesome AB/Tremonti fans and get to be a part of something very special. You guys are all in for a treat, this album kicks major ass! And to anyone seeing the guys live the next few months, enjoy because they are firing on all cylinders. Sorry for rambling, thanks for reading all this!
Last edited by AHart96
on Mon May 14, 2018 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.