Keeping Rock Alive in Charlotte
On a night where most of Charlotte’s citizens were at Bank of America Stadium, or at home watching the Panthers play the Patriots in a pre-season game, a handful of rock ‘n’ roll fans gathered at Tremont Music Hall. Those people were treated to a night full of great music performed by three local bands that put on a helluva show.
Deep Sky was the first group of the night to hit the stage. It didn’t take long for the trio to get the attention of the audience as they blasted out a deafening set that seemed to please most of those in attendance. They blended old school and new school with grunge, hard rock and alternative just being a few of the styles featured in their music.
Frontman/guitarist Mike McNeely has a voice that stands out among other rock acts in the area, but the songs seemed to be driven by the riffs he produced with his guitar.
The guys played a mix of tunes ranging from tracks off of their debut album that was released last year, (my favorite being the upbeat tune “Wait!”) as well as a few newer songs thrown in the mix. McNeely had announced that the band is working on a new album before going into the newer material, so fans of the group have that to look forward to.
Up next were the modern hard rock quartet A Course of Action. The band obviously had a lot of fans in the house, looking around you could see many people dancing and singing along to many if the groups songs.
What really caught my attention was the drumming of JT Silvestri though. The way he swung his arms crazily around before slamming the sticks into the cymbals and blasting the drum heads was a show in itself. Along with the way guitarist Jonathan Byrd’s hands sped up and down the fretboard bending and tapping the strings of his guitar with passion, vocalist John Culberson had a voice that fit perfectly with the group’s music.
The band played through a set mixed with slower tunes full of emotional lyrics as well as heavy and fast tracks fueled by catchy vocal melodies and metal influenced guitar riffs. It was a set that easily got the audience pumped up for the headliners, a set that was actually good enough for ACOA to be the headliners. This is a group that just has something special about them, I would highly recommend catching them at an upcoming show.
When it was finally time for the headliners to play, everyone that had been hanging out at the bar had moved to the front of the stage anxiously awaiting the band’s arrival. Fiftywatt Freight Train has a loyal following in the Charlotte area, and it showed at Tremont that night. Their style of southern hard rock is pleasing to the ears and easy to dance along to, as were the majority of those in the crowd. From the time the guys played the first note until their rockin’ set had came to an end, they ran around the stage full of energy with the intent on giving their fans the best show possible.
Kirk Christner has a wild and thunderous drumming style that draws attention, and the bone rattling bass lines of Roey Haviv keep the songs tight. Add that to the grooving guitar riffs played by Darby Adkins and Thomas Dow and you have a band capable to putting on some really great shows, as was this performance. After going through a set of original tunes that were crowd pleasers, they closed out the night with a medley of Metallica classics, featuring a few of their female fans dancing on stage, and a cover of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.” This is a band that plays out a lot in the Queen City, you have plenty of chances to catch them live.
Some of the best rock ‘n’ roll shows I’ve ever seen have been at Tremont Music Hall, and this may be added to that list. Three of Charlotte’s own groups took to the stage with intensity, passion and some great music that kept the crowd rocking all night. Deep Sky, A Course of Action and Deep Sky are all bands that fans of rock and hard rock should check out, you will not be disappointed.