It seems there are two types of bands; those who tour in support of an album, putting massive sums of money into over-the-top production knowing, and those who basically live on the road. It’s safe to say South African rock band Seether falls in to the latter group, as they venture across the country, and often the world, multiple times a year, new album or not, simply as a way of life. These guys are tried and tested road warriors.
They also have a history of hand-picking some pretty stellar up-and-coming artists to open their shows, as was the case for the first half of their current run with Tremonti where they were supported by Red Sun Rising from Akron, Ohio. Opening bands are always a mixed bag, but it’s safe to say no one in the crowd was expecting the show Red Sun Rising had in store for their Indianapolis crowd.
Mike Protich’s vocals are strong, reminiscent of a lower-toned Scott Weiland in his better days. Their power on the vocal front is only strengthened when their bassist harmonizes with Protich. The combination of the two voices gives Red Sun Rising’s sound a timeless quality that hasn’t been commonplace in the rock world for far too long.
Protich mentioned it was the band’s last night on the tour, as they were heading to Rock on the Range and then starting a tour with Nothing More- a truly enviable schedule for many opening bands. The guys of Red Sun Rising shouldn’t get too comfortable in their opening-band slot though. If crowd reaction from their Indianapolis show is any indication things are going to blow up for the band once their album Polyester Zeal releases this August.
Following a performance like that of Red Sun Rising isn’t exactly an easy task, but alt-rock legend Mark Tremonti was more than prepared to face the challenge. A key member of two of the biggest bands of the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Tremonti is now staring down the rock world as a solo artist…a solo artist with a world-class backing band.
Always a strong technical player, Mark Tremonti has the freedom the stretch out his guitar solos, following wherever they may lead, something he seems to relish during his live show.
Tremonti cuts an imposing figure as he stands almost statuesque with his foot resting on a monitor at the edge of the stage as he looks upon the sea of devil horns rising and falling to the beat.
A high point of the set came as the band played “Another Heart” which was released in March of this year. If this is any sign of the direction Tremonti is taking his sound, fans will be in for a real treat when the full album drops June 9.
Brutal guitar riffs, soaring chorus melodies, and a blistering double bass that makes you wonder if they’re on the verge of breaking out into a performance of Metallica’s “One”, “Another Heart” has everything a rock fan could want from a song, especially when performed live.
Fresh on the heels from the Yahoo! Live stream of their Cleveland show the previous night, Seether hit the stage at 9:30, beer in hand, indicating they were primed and ready to squeeze out every last bit of energy that remained in the Indiana crowd. Lead singer Shaun Morgan screamed out the opening line to their mainstay opener “Gasoline” and fans went wild.
In a somewhat surprising move the band played “Same Damn Life”, a cheeky song famous for its comical geriatric-themed music video, immediately before “Driven Under”, a brooding track off their debut album. Such an extreme shake-up in mood and sound was a risky move, but it seemed to carry over well enough.
Of course, even if the energy had dipped it would have been quickly revived as the band headed in to the two songs that started their career in America- their first major-label single “Fine Again” and the ballad “Broken,” both of which the crowd sung along to at a level nearly over-powering the band at times.
The end of the set read like a radio station playlist, “Words As Weapons,” “Country Song,” “Fake It,” and “Remedy”- all of which got fans jumping and dancing- even the bartenders at the venue couldn’t resist dancing around as they shut down their area for the night.
Authenticity is a term thrown around quite a bit, but there was a simple understated authenticity on display the entire night- authentic musical chops. Each band on this tour is able to stand on their own, completely stripped of any of the bells and whistles that most artists rely on nowadays, and all three of these artists will sound just as good, if not better, than their studio material.
If you’re looking for some flashy show full of off-the-wall production, the Seether tour might not be the best choice for you, but if you’re wanting to go to an old fashioned, no-frills-necessary rock show in the hopes of sweating out your demons and showing up to work without a voice the next morning, then this tour will more than deliver.
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