The Carnival of Madness made a stop at the Kentucky State Fair last Friday night. This concert featured new comers Emphatic, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge and Theory of a Deadman. Unlike the east coast that was getting hammered with high speed winds and torrential rainfall from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, it was a perfect night for a rock show in Louisville, Ky. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The show started like clock work and every band pretty much started at their scheduled time.
Emphatic took the stage at promptly at 6:30, and the first thing I noticed is they had a different singer. I saw Emphatic earlier this year at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville, KY, and met their singer Patrick Wilson after the show. I wondered all night what had happened to Patrick. Thanks to HRH reader Shaylee, I found out that Emphatic’s singer Patrick Wilson was unable to tour with the Emphatic due to an injury to his vocal chords. Grant Kendrick from the Omaha, NE band, The Wreckage is filling in for Patrick while he heals. To my ears, Kendrick is doing a fine job. Emphatic played several songs off of their newly released self titled CD including: “Do I”, “Get Paid”, “Beg”, “Put Down The Drink”, “Original Sin” and my personal favorite, “Bounce”.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Adelitas Way was the second act on the Carnival of Madness bill. This was the first time I have seen Adelitas Way perform live. I didn’t have any expectations for this band, and I liked their tunes quite a bit. They played songs from their self titled CD, as well as their new disc Home School Valedictorian. Judging from the tunes they played Friday night, I am going to have to break their CD’s out and give them another listen. They performed a tight set, and were pretty good, however neither Emphatic or Adelitas Way could even come close to the performance put on by Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry.
The Kentucky State Fair was a home coming performance for Black Stone Cherry. They were the headliner at the Kentucky State Fair one year ago, and quite honestly, I thought they should have been again in 2011. Black Stone Cherry put on a high energy set which included their songs,”Maybe Someday”, “Blame in on the Boom Boom”, “White Trash Millionaire”, “Blind Man”, and “Lonely Train”. They were excellent, and a whole lot of fun to watch. I wish they could have played longer. I have seen BSC perform several times over the years, and they never disappoint. They were easily the highlight of this Carnival of Madness concert.
The last time I saw Alter Bridge perform was in 2008, so I they were the second band that I was looking forward to most on this night. Myles Kennedy and company did not disappoint. Their set included the songs: “Slip to the Void”, “Find the Real”, “White Knuckles”, “Ghost of Days Gone By”, “Ties That Bind”, “Blackbird”, “Come To Life”, “Isolation” and “Rise Today”. The last time I saw Alter Bridge, I remember them being good, but they left a much bigger impression on me this time. Mark Tremonti was excellent on lead guitar all night. Myles Kennedy got to show off his guitar playing prowess, when he traded off guitar solos with Tremonti. I had no idea that Myles Kennedy was THIS good of a guitar player. Who Knew? I hope I can see Alter Bridge again, when they can play a longer set. Their performance was second only to Black Stone Cherry on this evening.
I must admit that I haven’t had a lot of love for Theory of a Deadman over the years. Every time I have seen them live, they have been disappointing at best. On Friday night, they surprised me. They sounded and performed better than any other time I have seen them. Singer Tyler Connolly did his best to interact with the crowd (and not look at his shoes). While I still didn’t think Theory of a A Deadman had a lot of energy, I thought their were much better than I have seen them previously. I don’t know if having Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge open up for them puts more pressure on T.O.A.D., but they definitely brought their “A” game to the old Cardinal Stadium. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Gentlemen”, “Got it Made”, “All or Nothing”, “So Happy”, “Bitch Came Back”,”Not Meant To Be”, “Lowlife”, their cover of the J.J. Cale classic “Cocaine”, “Bad Girlfriend” and more.
If you take one thing from this review, take this, go see the Carnival of Madness on one of the remaining dates. It is well worth your hard earned cash, and is fun night of rock and roll.
The following dates remain in the 2011 Carnival of Madness:
Thursday, September 1 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
Saturday, September 3 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Wednesday, September 7 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Concert Pavilion
Friday, September 9 Big Flats, NY Tag’s Summer Stage
Saturday, September 10 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sunday, September 11 Huntington, WV Harris Riverfront Park
Tuesday, September 13 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown Amp.
Wednesday, September 14 Fayetteville, NC Crown Coliseum
Friday, September 16 Tulsa, OK Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
Saturday, September 17 Poplar Bluff, MO Black River Coliseum
Sunday, September 18 Dayton, Oh Montgomery County Fairgrounds
MARK TREMONTI is a founding member and lead guitarist of both Creed and Alter Bridge. To be a part of two successful Rock bands that are embraced by fans worldwide is an accomplishment that most of us nine to fivers can only dream about. Mark Tremonti is certainly living this Rock ‘n’ Roll dream and he has done so throughout his career with the upmost dedication to his music and bands, with more than a touch of class. The songs Mark has written have become benchmarks for generations of aspiring Rock musicians, while the guitar he plays resonates his very own sound and style that is Creed and Alter Bridge.
With the release of AB III back on November 9th, 2010, the critics and fans have spoken with unparalleled approval. Achieving their first number one single with “Isolation”, AB III has been widely accepted as a tremendous album of Hard Rock from a group of musicians that have more than paid their dues. January 11th, 2011 saw the release of the highly anticipated: Alter Bridge “Live From Amsterdam” CD/DVD. With so many great things happening in the world of Alter Bridge, the timing could never be more perfect to interview Mark Tremonti. During his extremely busy schedule, Mark took the time to answer some questions that Hard Rock Hideout threw at him. Here is what Mark had to say:
HRH: Congratulations on your bands first #1 single! (Isolation had hit #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S.). How Satisfying does this feel?
MARK: Oh, it’s great! We’ve been working long and hard over these years. It’s hard to get a number one single. We’ve had a couple of number two singles in the past, so getting our first number one is really fun!
HRH: Who have you turned to throughout your career, for the most advice and support?
MARK: I would say my bandmates and managers. They are the only ones who know what we’re really going through. The guys I “look up to” I only speak with for a couple of hours now and again.
HRH: When you began writing songs for AB III, were there any pre-determined themes you wanted to cover or did the lyrical and writing process fall into place naturally?
MARK: It went the same way as our other records. Myles (Kennedy) and I always go back and forth with each other. It’s just like putting together pieces of a puzzle. We like to keep our songs open-ended while we both share in the process. This time around, with AB III, we wrote a darker and heavier record. I just did not want to consider radio or record sales this time around, with our new record. I just knew this time not to “play it safe”, it just hinders the entire writing process.
HRH: Did you ever perceive “Wonderful Life” (from AB III) to sound so moving once it was recorded?
MARK: That song really translated really well on record. When I heard Myles singing that tune on tour, I said I have to remember this song for our new record! I think this song is a shining moment vocally for Myles.
HRH: I’ll agree with you!
HRH: Was “Slip To The Void” (from AB III) written about anyone the band knows personally?
MARK: Myles has had his troubles, losing faith in recent years and not believing in the material world, so this was what Myles was going through personally.
HRH: Can you reveal the secret to Myles taking care of his amazing voice?
MARK: There’s no secret. Myles works hard and he has studied in L.A. with Ron Anderson. Myles warms up one and a half hours before a show and warms down afterwards. He doesn’t smoke or eat any foods high in sugar. Myles is very conscientious in taking care of himself.
HRH Note: Ron Anderson is a renowned vocal coach.
HRH: Being that Alter Bridge played their very first live show in Amsterdam, was there a special vibe you guys received from the fans there, while you recorded “Live From Amsterdam”?
MARK: Oh yeah! They were a great crowd! We’d do anything and the fans in Amsterdam would be all over it! I’m really glad we chose Amsterdam to record our live record.
HRH: Do you stockpile guitar parts you’ve written for future albums or do you take it as it comes?
MARK: No, I stockpile lots of stuff all the time. If I’m bored, I go through my guitar parts for new ideas. I label them for the part that it is, say, bridge, lead, solo, with 4/4 timing and so on. The sad truth is, most of my material, about seventy percent of it, I’ll never use.
HRH: Wow, Mark, that is a lot of parts that will never be heard.
MARK: That’s why I’m doing a solo record. I’m trying not to waste anything I’ve written over the years.
HRH: What does the schedule look like for your solo record?
MARK: I’ve revisited it in February and it will take a couple of years to finish. It will take downtime off touring to get the work done on this solo album. Then, family does keep me busy during downtime!
HRH: Brace yourself Mark, this is an important question coming. Do you watch American Idol?
MARK: I don’t. My wife is watching it though. After all these years, I’ve kind of lost track of it all. The first four seasons were good and it was advertised all over the place.
HRH: If you could travel back to the 70′s, what band would you want to try out for on guitar?
MARK: Oh gee, that’s a tough one. Maybe as a rhythm guitarist for Led Zeppelin. Black Sabbath too. Those are two great bands, you can’t get any better than that!
HRH: Do you have a message to share to your fans?
MARK: I really want to thank them for their support over the years.
For more information on Mark Tremonti & Alter Bridge, check out the Alter Bridge website at this link!
I can’t think of may rock releases in 2010 that I have been looking more forward to than Alter Bridge’s third effort AB III. Alter Bridge’s previous release Blackbird was excellent, and one of my favorite CD’s of 2007. My hopes were high that AB III would be at that same high level. After hearing Myles Kennedy’s fine work on Slash’s CD earlier this year, it only whet my appetite even more to hear some new Alter Bridge music.
AB III has a ton of new music to digest, and chances are, you won’t do it in one sitting. The regular version of the CD has over an hour of music, and the Best Buy Edition , with its two bonus tracks, clocks in at over 70 minutes. With that being said, I believe AB III is more of a grower type of CD, but there are many flashes of brilliance on this disc that will take several spins to fully absorb.
First and Foremost, Myles Kennedy’s vocals on this disc are AWESOME. Kennedy is easily one of the most talented singers in rock today, and his voice shines big on AB III.
The opening song, “Slip To The Void” is a powerful number that may just be one of the heaviest Alter Bridge songs to date. Chances are you have heard this first single off of AB III, “Isolation”, and you already know how heavy this song this. “Isolation” and “Slip To The Void” offer up two great, heavy songs right out of the gate, and set the tone for AB III. This easily Alter Bridge’s heaviest and darkest album to date.
“Ghost of Days Gone By” is much like a spark that turns into a roaring wildfire. At first it seemed that this song was mixed in as a pace breaker for the first two heavy cuts. The song starts slow but builds into yet another heavy number. I have mixed feelings on this tune. I think it could have stood out better without the heavy rocker it morphs into.
“Make It Right” is one of the more catchy songs on AB III. I hope Alter Bridge releases this as a single. It could be a big hit for the band.
“Wonderful Life” shows a different side of Alter Bridge. This is a slower number that showcases the powerful voice of Myles Kennedy. Kennedy shows his impressive range, on this incredible number. This is a well written number that will make even the non Alter Bridge fan say “WOW”! Anyone that has ever been in a relationship will relate to this song.
Some of the other highlights on this album are “Coeur D’alene”, “Life Must Go On”, “Words Darker Than Their Wings”. Both of the bonus tracks, “Zero” and “Home” are pretty solid tunes making the Best Buy version of the disc the best overall value.
I have played AB III heavily over the last couple of weeks, and while it has some great songs, it does not surpass its predecessor Blackbird. It is still a very solid album, and one that Alter Bridge, or Myles Kennedy fans should not miss.
For more information Alter Bridge and to hear songs from AB III please visit the band’s website.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Slip To The Void
03. Ghost Of Days Gone By
04. All Hope Is Gone
05. Still Remains
06. Make It Right
07. Wonderful Life
08. I Know It Hurts
09. Show Me A Sign
11. Breathe Again
12. Coeur D’alene
13. Life Must Go On
14. Words Darker Than Their Wings
15. Zero* (Bonus Track)
16. Home* (Bonus Track)
Alter Bridge is:
Myles Kennedy — lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, keyboards
Mark Tremonti — lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals
Brian Marshall — bass guitar
Scott Phillips — drums, percussion
Another Animal and Alter Bridge came to Cincinnati Wednesday Night. A late work night kept me from getting to the show on time, and I missed Another Animal all together! I was looking forward to seeing the band featuring Whitfield Crane on vocals. I have listened to Another Animal and Alter Bridge quite a bit as of late, and was also interested in seeing what the AB boys had to offer.
I am very impressed with the new Alter Bridge CD, Blackbird, and I am happy to report that band is doing a ton of songs off of the new disc.
I can’t recall the entire list, but the set list included: Before Tomorrow Comes, Brand New Start, Buried Alive, Broken Wings, Coming Home, Blackbird, White Knuckles and the first time the band has every played Break Me Down live.
The band did an Encore with a Led Zeppelin cover of Traveling Riverside Blues and an the songs Rise Today and Open Your Eyes.
I wondered if Myles Kennedy could handle some of the higher pitched vocals live, and let me tell you, this guy is the real deal. He hit every note, and was quite impressive. He is great singer, that is second to very few. Mark Tremonti was kicking everyone’s ass on the lead guitar. I think this guy must have a guitar for every new song that Alter Bridge plays.
Alter Bridge played an incredibly tight set, and had the crowd of 300 people singing along all night. It was a very good live show, and one that I would definitely go see again.
Here is a video so you can see what you are missing!
The band has a ton of dates left on this tour! Don’t miss them if they hit your town!
Date Time Location City
Oct 12 2007 9:00P Mill Point Park Hampton, Virginia
Oct 13 2007 8:00P Starland Ballroom Sayreville, New Jersey
Oct 14 2007 7:00P The Roxy Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 16 2007 7:00P The Fillmore NY @ Irving Plaza New York City, New York
Oct 17 2007 7:00P Webster Theatre Hartford, Connecticut
Oct 19 2007 6:00P Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Oct 20 2007 10:30A Downtown Live Music & Arts Festival Hagerstown, Maryland
Oct 21 2007 7:00P Electric Factory Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 24 2007 7:00P The Cotillion Wichita, Kansas
Oct 26 2007 2:00P Sunken Gardens Amphitheatre San Antonio, Texas
Oct 27 2007 3:00P Concrete Street Amphitheater Corpus Christi, Texas
Oct 28 2007 12:00P Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion The Woodlands, Texas
Oct 30 2007 7:00P The Palladium Ballroom Dallas, Texas
Oct 31 2007 7:00P Midnight Rodeo Amarillo, Texas
Nov 2 2007 7:00P Marquee Theatre Tempe, Arizona
Nov 3 2007 6:00P House of Blues Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov 4 2007 7:00P Majestic Ventura Theatre Ventura, California
Nov 6 2007 7:00P The Grove of Anaheim Anaheim, California
Nov 7 2007 7:30P House Of Blues West Hollywood, California
Nov 9 2007 7:30P Showbox SoDo Seattle
Nov 10 2007 7:00P The Big Easy Concert Hall Spokane, Washington
Nov 11 2007 7:00P Big Easy Concert House Boise, Idaho
Nov 13 2007 7:00P Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Nov 15 2007 6:00P Myth St. Paul, Minnesota
Nov 16 2007 7:00P Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
Nov 17 2007 7:00P The Rave Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 19 2007 7:00P Newport Music Hall Columbus, Ohio
Nov 20 2007 7:00P Wedgewood Entertainment Center Youngstown, Ohio
Nov 21 2007 7:00P Clutch Cargo’s Pontiac, Michigan
Nov 23 2007 8:00P The Machine Shop Flint, Michigan
Nov 24 2007 8:00P Piere’s Entertainment Center Fort Wayne, Indiana
Jan 18 2008 7:00P QMU Glasgow, Scotland
Jan 19 2008 7:00P Newcastle Academy Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northeast
Jan 20 2008 7:00P The Academy Manchester, Northeast
Jan 22 2008 7:00P The Academy Birmingham, Midlands
Jan 24 2008 7:00P South Hampton Guildhall South Hampton, South
Jan 25 2008 7:00P Bristol Academy Bristol, South
Jan 26 2008 7:00P The Astoria London, London and South East
Jan 29 2008 7:00P Hof Ter Lo Antwerp
Jan 30 2008 7:00P 013 Tilburg
Feb 1 2008 7:00P Rohstofflager Zurich
Feb 2 2008 7:00P Backstage Werk Munich
Feb 3 2008 7:00P Arena Vienna
Feb 5 2008 7:00P Batshkapp Frankfurt
Feb 6 2008 7:00P Live Music Hall Cologne
Feb 7 2008 7:00P Postbahnof Berlin
Feb 9 2008 7:00P Docks Hamburg
Feb 10 2008 7:00P Amager Bio Copenhagen
Feb 11 2008 7:00P Klubben Stockholm
If you are a fan of the band Creed, then Alter Bridge probably needs no introduction. Alter Bridge consists of 3 former members of platinum recording artist Creed, and ex-Mayfield Four singer, Myles Kennedy.
With the new CD Blackbird, not only has the band crafted their finest work since the breakup of Creed, but they have also created what could be one of the best new hard rock records of 2007. Yes, It really is that good!
Blackbird starts off with a crushing rocker, Ties That Bind. This song sets the stage immediately for what I knew was going to be an incredible listening experience.
Come To Life has a cool groove, a heavy bass line, sing along lyrics, and killer guitar work. GREAT!!
The pace slows down a bit with Brand New Start. Myles Kennedy excellent voice shines almost as much as his guitar work on this track. More Great Stuff!
I have listened to Buried Alive a few times now and this song hasn’t impressed me as much as some of the others. It is slowly growing on me.
Coming Home has a very heavy bass line. This is another headbanging track that has a Tool like feel about it. Cool!
Before Tomorrow Comes will be a monster radio hit! This song is exactly the type of tune that Creed had some hits off. Soaring vocals and sing along lyrics. I love this song!
Rise Today is the first single and video from Blackbird. If you like this song, you are going to love this disc. This was the first song that I heard, and I knew that I had to hear more after listening to this one. Check out the video below:
Blackbird is the longest song on this disc, clocking in at nearly 8 minutes in length. This is like 2 or 3 songs wrapped up in one. At times, it has a stoner rock like feel, but then the music slows down, and Myles Kennedy’s voice takes off. The guitars really howl on this track. This is an extremely cool song that does not feel too long. In fact, you will find yourself replaying this one to pick up on things that you didn’t catch the first time around. Amazing!
The bass riff that starts off on One By One sounds like something that Tony Iommi would write. The song itself has a slightly darker feel to it, but once again the voice of Myles Kennedy powers this song to new heights. This song has some hit potential.
Watch Over You slows the tempo back down again. At this point Myles Kennedy has me saying Scott who? This guy has a killer voice!
Break Me Down is a song that I think could have had much more potential with a little different arrangement on the music. It is still a solid tune though.
White Knuckles is one of the heavier songs on Blackbird. Be prepared to headbang to this one!
Wayward One is a mid tempo, moody sounding song. It is a solid track, but not the strongest one on Blackbird. I probably would have mixed this song higher in the playing order, but that is just my personal taste.
Don’t even hesitate in picking this disc up! Blackbird is nothing short of a brilliant listening experience. You don’t even have to take my word for it! Alter Bridge have launched a special listening party for their fans a chance to check out the album in its entirety. Click this link to listen to Blackbird in its entirety. Warning…..you will be heading to store to purchase this one, if you take the time out to preview it!
1. Ties That Bind
2. Come To Life
3. Brand New Start
4. Buried Alive
5. Coming Home
6. Before Tomorrow Comes
7. Rise Today
10. Watch Over You
11. Break Me Down
12. White Knuckles
13. Wayward One
Alter Bridge is:
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Mark Tremonti – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Brian Marshall – Bass
Scott Phillips – Drums