Creed Atlantic City House of Blues, a set on Flickr.It’s been awhile, but here’s some new Creed pics, much more to come soon!
Coolest painting I’ve ever seen. #stp #stonetemplepilots #scottweiland #sextypething #hereicome (Taken with Instagram at Holiday Inn)
She’s all shinny, new strings. All ready for tonight’s gig! (Taken with Instagram)
Meet my little recording buddy #mic (Taken with Instagram)
Creed Beacon Theater 4/19/12, a set on Flickr.Just uploaded some pictures from Creed’s first night at the Beacon Theater in NYC, check em out!
It’s been a busy last few weeks for me. Lot’s of shows, travels, and tons of pictures to share! But before I go into them, I wanted to share an oldie but a goodie. The grand-daddy of all-time amazing stories. I’m talking about meeting Mark where I work, and what came of it. At the time, I was writing about it on the Alter Bridge forums, and I wanted to share my original posts, incorrect spelling, grammar, and all.
So I work for apple, and were used to celebrities coming in, but today, Mark Tremonti, the man himself, came into the store. So of course I had to talk to him, I told him how much of a fan I was, he asked me how to help him on his Mac and iPhone! So cool! And of course we got to talking about ABIII, he told me they’re going to TRY to get it out by either October 6th or 12th, and that it’s going to be on road runner in Europe and EMI in us. He said universal didn’t do shit besides the party at his house. He also said that there’s going to be about 10-15 dates in December and January. Also, I told him I was going to be at the creed show tomorrow, and he told me that he’s going to leave me with VIP passes at will call and that I could GO BACKSTAGE AND LISTEN TO SOME OF THE AB III SONGS!!! this is probably the best day of my life, lol. Well anyway, I thought u would all be interested in knowing the album update, and that if everything works out, I’ll be able to here some new AB songs and let u guys know how awesome they are!
Ok, wow, there to begin. I just got home from the show. It was the most amazing night of my life!!!
Earlier today I got a call from Creed’s tour manager, letting me know that I’m Mark’s guest for tonight’s show, and that I should go pick up two tickets and guest passes at will call. So, bold me, I decide to bring my PRS Tremonti with me, just to see if I could get in. I pick up the passes, they let me in with the guitar, and then I head for backstage. I’ve been to jones beach so many times, and I’ve never come close to having an experience close to this. I ended up going behind the stage. I met up with E rock, his brother, Flip’s brother, and a few other people close to the band. After walking around, taking some pictures of the stage, the guys came out of a band meeting, and Mark came up to me. He said “Hi Donny, what’s up?” I was shocked, and in awe that Mark knew my name. So after talking a little, he takes me back to his dressing room, gives me a little tour, and we sit down in his “jamming room” where he’s got a PRS, some pedals, a tiny amp, and a boombox. First think he does is turn on the boombox, and it’s ABIII. The first song Mark played me was Isolation (I’ll leave out song reviews for now and post em in the spoiler section later), I also got to hear slip into the void, all hope is gone, fallout, show me a sign (mark’s favorite song on the new album), and a b-side called hope. At one point mark left the room, so my friends and I were left in the room, just listening to the new album. That’s when I came on here to post that I was listening to it, lol. Mark then came back, picked up his guitar, started playing with the new album, and eventually just started jamming out. He’s got a blues licks cd that he uses to practice improvising. So since I had my guitar, I asked him if he wanted to try it out, and before I know it, there I am, standing next to Mark Tremonti, and he’s shredding on MY guitar, and I’m standing next to him playing his personal PRS. Wow, I can’t even begin to describe in words the feeling that I had. I did not stop smiling ear to ear the whole time. I felt like I was a kid who woke up on christmas to find out Santa gave him his own candy store. This whole experience, it doesn’t feel real. I still can’t believe that this happened. So there I am, holding mark’s guitar, he’s playing mine. Next thing I know we’re trading off taking blues solo’s over his cd. I was jamming with Mark Tremonti, with him playing MY guitar, and I’m playing HIS. Wholy shit man, life doesn’t get much better than that. This is a guy I’ve looked up to for a long time, and just to be able to play with him was a moment I could never dream of. Of course he whooped my ass, but I did ok, I held my own, and think actually impressed him a little. So after jamming, it was time for warm ups, and Mark was oh-so kind as to let me stay around and watch him practice. Man he is fast!!! He can really fly on that fretboard, and I’ve never seen a pick so quick. He was even nice enough to stop and explain to me his different techniques. Right now, his most challenging exercie is this crazy 5ths pattern. So, then it was show time. I got to watch the show from the side of the stage, right behind Ernie, Mark’s guitar tech, and I was right next to The guys running the monitors and the visuals. It was a great place to watch the show, firstly, because he was raining and it was dry there the whole time. Also, I really got to see what goes on at a creed show besides mark, scott,flip, brian and E-rock playing. Nice little behind the scenes action. After teh show, I got chat some more with the guys, Brian and Flip came out to talk to some fans, and then all of a sudden I get a light punch in the arm. I turn and see Mark, once again coming up to me asking me how I liked the show and whatnot. After that just hung out a bit, chilling with the guys in teh band, and then Mark takes me back into his dressing room to pick up my guitar that he now autographed for me. Sick, I’m so happy right now I can’t even describe it. Oh, and before I left, Mark had me play a prank on his manger who was there at the time. He used to be part of some band, I forget who, but Mark was like “just go up to him and say more than words is all I’ll ever need,” and I did, lol. Got a good laugh out of Mark. Just an awesome dude. Never met somebody more humble, as Mark. I always knew he was a nice guy, but I never expected him to be this nice. I still can’t believe that this really happened to me. I’ve been such a die hard Creed/ALter Bridge/Tremonti fan, I’ve met Mark at autograph signings before, and knew he was a nice guy, but today he went way beyond nice for me, some guy who’s just a fan. It’s really nice to know that he appreciates that. I spent most of my night hanging out with Mark Tremonti, my idol since I was a kid, and the whole time he was making sure I felt as comfortable as possible. Not once did he say he was too busy, or too important to hang with me. He never asked me to leave, even when he had to get ready for the show, and whenever I asked him a question while he was warming up he always stoppped, and explained to be what he was doing. Never complained. And when I asked if I could watch from the side of the stage, instead of saying no, u got orch seats, he calls his tour manager and get’s ti done. Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now. I know I wrote a lot, it’s late, I’m tired, and I might not make sense, but I wanted to share this expereince with you guys, and Mike too, so hopefully you can let Mark know what this means to me. Well I have tons of pictures and some videos to upload, might pass out b4 I do, so they’ll be up by tomorrow. Once again, thank you Mark, for this amazing opportunity. This is beyond my wildest dreams.
If you get to read this, I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again,
also, I know this isn’t really ABIII related, but while jamming with mark, I asked him about dueling guitars, and he was like “oh there was this b-side on blackbird called rifforistic or something like that… I forgot what we named it.” To which I said “Damage Done?” And he said yeah that’s it! And proceeded to tell me that he forgot how to play it, lol. I told him I did, so he said “ok so play it for me.” So I got to play The Damage Done for Mark, lol. Also got to play blackbird with him. He told me that he forgot all the solos, and he has to re-learn them for the new tour. And blackbird will always stay in the setlist.
That pretty much sums up this story. It’s still my favorite, always will be a memory I never forget. And it opened the door to so many more incredible road trips. Until the next one!
It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog on this page. 2012 has been a very busy year, and while I have seen a few shows, nothing compares to the experience I had last week in Chicago. As many of you know, I’m a huge Alter Bridge/Creed/Tremonti fan, so when I got the opportunity from work to take off the same week Creed kicked off their 2012 tour in Chicago, I jumped at the chance to hit the road again.
I instantly fell in love with the Windy City. It’s a beautiful, clean town full of culture, arts, deep dish pizza and a rich history. I can’t wait to return again. I really felt like I got to the best Chicago had to offer, from italian beef to Wrigley Field to the top of the Willis Tower, literally. My girlfriend and I had a fantastic time the entire trip.
One of the reasons we really wanted to see Creed live (again) was that Creed was promoting this tour as “two nights live,” playing their first two albums, “My Own Prison” and “Human Clay” in their entirety (one album per night). I was very excited to hear my favorite albums from my childhood. Some of the songs, like “inside us all” and “pity of a dime” haven’t been played in over 10 years.
Finally, friday night, it was time for the first show. Creed was going to play “My Own Prison” and I was cautiously optimistic. I knew this was a very talented band, but I was also taking into consideration it was their first night of the tour, first time playing these songs in years, I knew there was some rust to be dusted off. The second the band hit the stage, they proved me wrong. They came out with a bang, and ripped flawlessly through the entire album. It was the best Creed show I saw since the “Weathered” tour, back in 2002. It was if the Chicago Theater took a time machine back to 1997. Fantastic show.
The only problem with playing such an amazing show is that you’re setting your expectations so high for the second night. I was wondering how could it get any better than this?
Now before I talk about the second night, I’m going to take a little trip down memory lane. I will never forget what it was like seeing Creed live for the first time, and what it took to get tickets. Long before stubhub, high speed internet, and live nation, you had to call a phone number to get tickets to a show. I kept redialing for over an hour before I got through and was able to get get nose bleed seats. I was the happiest person in the world to sit in the worst possible seats. I really appreciated just being there. It was a very special moment of my childhood.
Fast forward to last saturday, before going to the second night of Creed, my girlfriend and I decide to have a nice steak dinner. Turns out that the manager, George is a friend of Mark Tremonti. He gives me a card, telling me how he knows the whole Tremonti family, and to give them his best. Small world.
As we’re approaching the venue, we happen to bump into Michael Tremonti, Mark’s brother. While I’ve never met him before, we’ve written to each other online through various social media. I explained to him who I was, my story, and after I do he says “hold on, I’ll be right back.” He comes back downstairs with VIP passes, inviting me to come up to see Mark.
Next thing I know I’m standing in a little hallway outside Creed’s dressing room, along side Michael, and pretty much Mark Tremonti’s entire family, who happen to be from Chicago. I met his brothers, father, wife, kids, cousins, you name it. I felt like I was in the middle of a Tremonti reunion. Everybody was so kind, they welcomed my girlfriend and I in like we were part of the family.
Now Mark Tremonti comes up to us, saying “Hi, nice to see you guys again.” Mr Mark world famous guitarist Tremonti couldn’t have been a nicer guy. After talking for a few minutes, he asks me if I’d like to hear his new, unreleased solo project. I felt like a kid who was asked “do you want a lifetime supply of candy?” I was so excited. As a long time Tremonti fan, I always wanted to hear what it would sound like if he fronted a band. And I got an opportunity to hear it months before the world.
At this point I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record, saying the same things over and over. I’m sorry, but it’s only for emphasis. Like I said before, I’ve been a Mark Tremonti fan for a very long time. I’ve listened to his albums a million times, I’ve seen him live dozens of times, I’ve watched his dvds, I’ve seen him shred. I’ve even had the privilege to see him play behind closed doors, and watch him play some stuff he wouldn’t put on a record. Point is, I’ve known he’s more than capable for a solo record, and even since it was announced, I’ve had extremely high expectations. Plus every time I hear a review of the album, all I hear is how “amazing” it is. With expectations like that, I feel like one could be very easily set up for failure. How could you set your expectations that high and live up to it?
I’m here to tell you that once Mark turned on his computer speakers, my expectations were BLOWN AWAY. All that I thought Mark Tremonti could do on guitars, as could as a signer I thought it was, he took it to another level. Even now, as I’m thinking about it, I can’t believe that album is real. Now, while Mark is playing me the album, he’s also sitting down with his guitar, playing along to all the licks, leads, and solos. So I apologize in advance for not having any specific details about this songs, that part, etc, but I was too busy having my mind blown. What I can tell you is that the album is very fast and heavy. There are sections that can be considered “trash metal.” Personally, I’ve always had a deep respect for heavy/trash metal, with all their speed/technique. yet I’ve never actually been a fan, because I never found it particularly interesting. I love heavy licks and speedy solos, but I’m more so into rhythm. On Mark’s solo record, I felt he combined the best elements of metal with his own personal songwriting style, making it a musically intense album thats still enjoyable to listen to. If I had to describe it in two words, I’d call it “ear-crack” because right now I’m fiending to hear it again!
After listening to most of the album, it was time for night two of the show. This time, i was allowed to watch the show from the side of the stage, behind the engineers. At this point, I bumped into Like A Storm, a talented rock band from New Zealand, who were on tour in the area and came to see Creed. So here I am, on the side of the stage watching my favorite childhood band play, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that first concert. Sitting all the way in the top, so many years ago, I would have never even dreams of having the opportunities that have come to me in my life. Once again, I can’t tell you much detail about the second night, aside from that it was another awesome show, and I was too in awe to remember it all.
After the show, I got a chance to spend some more time with the Tremonti family. Poppa Tremonti, Mark’s Dad, was telling my girlfriend and I stories of Creed back when they first hit stardom. All the parties, celebrities, and the jamming. Man what I would have given to be part of an all star jam session at Mark Tremonti’s house.
Turns out that Mark’s birthday was in a few days, and since his family was in town, everybody sung happy birthday to Mark as he cut a cake baring the same image as the cover of his solo album.
As the party was winding down, it was time for us to catch a flight back to New York. After saying goodbye’s to everybody, see that it’s pouring raining outside, and we have nothing but the close on our backs. In a matter of seconds we were drenched. Luckily I was able to hail a cab, so we didn’t have to walk back to our hotel, with my girlfriend literally sliding feet first into the cab. T’was an adventure to never forget.
Road Trippin Rewind’s photostream on Flickr.check out my pictures from Creed’s two nights at the Chicago Theater
Eye Empire is a band risen from the ashes of powerhouse rock bands Dark New Day and Submersed. Oddly enough, being a fan of both bands, I heard of this band through twitter. Once I found their album on iTunes, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop listening to the entire album. Their intensity matches the likes of Sevendust, while their passion is as strong as Alter Bridge. The Sevendust connection is especially profound, with Morgan Rose tracking drums for the album, Lajon Witherspoon lending his vocals on the track “Victim,” and Clint Lowery, brother to bassist Corey Lowery, helping with the songwriting duties. I had to see this band live.
On 2/3/12, I had the honor to see Eye Empire live. It was their first headlining show of 2012, in Poughkeepsie, NY. New York City to Poughkeepsie is about a 2 hour drive. While I’m no stranger to the road (Ohio, Denver, and London to name a few), I’ve never traveled this far for a band I’ve never seen live. The show Eye Empire put on was well worth the exception. I would have never guessed it was their first show. There was 0% rust. Every moment Eye Empire were on stage, they gave 110% to the music. Every song of the night seemed to be better than the song before. Songs like “Victim,” “Idiot,” and “Bull in a China Shop” had fans singing, screaming, and jumping around the whole time. Donald’s vein’s were practically popping out of his head from the intensity of his singing. Corey’s vocals were equally impressive, harmonizing perfectly and even singing leads when needed. B.C. was flying up and down the guitar all night, I almost thought there were two guitars! And Ryan did a great job of bringing Morgan’s studio work live. The set ended with their balls out, bass ass rock anthem “I Pray.” No special effects or lights needed, just kick ass R&R.
After the show I got the chance to meet the guys. They were all nice enough to hangout, have some drinks and take some pictures with fans. 2012 is going to be a good year for the empire. I can’t wait for their next show and to hear some new material. I definitely recommend you pick up their album and see them live. You will not be dissapointed.