Tremonti and Man the Mighty Take Over the Bottom Lounge in Chicago – Live Review

I’ve often wondered if booking agents ever take into consideration what’s going on in the sports world when they book shows. Tremonti (Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and Creed has a third band) stopped by Chicago on an NFL Sunday. The St. Louis Rams were in town; the Bears played like crap and still got an easy win. I wonder if the boys in Tremonti got out the schedule and said, ‘hey, the Rams are playing in Chicago that should be an easy win for Da Bears, let’s play Chicago that day.’ That probably didn’t happen, but you know what else didn’t happen? They didn’t take into consideration that Prince was going to be in town for the week, when they were bumped from the House of Blues at the last minute. The good news is that it didn’t matter.

 I’ve been a Mark Tremonti fan since I was in college. My roommate (whom I took to the show with me) was a huge Creed fan, this was before Creed became either the most loved or hated band in the world (depending on who you were). I loved his playing style and I loved that even though they were being accused of being a Christian band, Mark was in "Guitar World" talking about his love of Slayer, Metallica, Iron Maiden, King Diamond etc etc. But he’s never really played metal music. He’s played heavy songs, but not consistently…until now.

The new Tremonti album is heavy. John Connolly from Sevendust told me that he thinks Tremonti could go play a show with Lamb of God with that album. I have to agree that I think the album is heavy, but at the same time there are some great melodies that are very accessible to your average music fan. If you are one of those assholes saying that the album is not that heavy…go see Tremonti live and not only will you change your mind, you’ll leave there a fan.

Man the Mighty was the opening act, I had never heard of them, but I will say this, by the time they were done with their set, I thought Mark must really have some balls putting that band on in front of him. I had never heard the songs before, so it’s hard to say how good the songs are, but the guitar playing in that band was phenomenal. Supposedly the bass player can really shred on guitar too. There is nothing like being blown away by a band you’d never heard of and Man the Mighty did just that. Definitely go and check them out if you get the chance. 

Tremonti, featuring Wolfgang Van Halen hit the stage next. Mark is the front man and was supposedly fighting off a cold, but you’d have never known it had he not told us. He sounded great. The band was even heavier than on the album. Any thoughts of Man the Mighty blowing them off stage went away with in seconds of Tremonti hitting the stage. The guy knows how to put on a show.

Wolfie Van Halen, whom I ran into with guitarist Eric (Eroch) Friedman across the street at McDonalds, joined the band for the tour after Brian Marshall had to drop out at the last minute. Check out my interview with Mark Tremonti, because how Van Halen ended up in the band is a pretty cool story (the interview is not posted yet, so come back). Wolfie is an amazing musician and could have easily taken over some of the spotlight and he didn’t.

The band as a whole sounded better live than they did on the album and I thought they sounded great on the album. If you haven’t picked up the debut album by Tremonti called "All I Was" do it now, especially if you’re into heavy music or Alter Bridge. The album will not let you down. After you get the album, find out when Tremonti is coming to a town near you and go see them, you will not be disappointed. Or better yet, go see them, buy the album at the venue and maybe the band will come out and sign it.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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Anonymous said...

Awesome review they both Man The mighty and Mark Tremonti. Kicked ass Sunday the best 2 band show in years in Chicago check both bands out if you can you won't be disapointed


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