The verdict: Mastodon are the future of metal, and I have proof. All 1100 or so people in the room, whether they knew it or not, were witnessing the belated torch-carriers of the true metal flame. Sabbath handed it to Priest who shared it with Maiden who gave it to Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax who were forced to carry it for far too long; but Mastodon have undoubtedly taken hold of the flame and are carrying true metal into the 21st century. All four men in the band fire on all cylinders and can be considered some of the most talented dudes in metal. Everything about them is lovable to anyone who calls themselves metalheads. Yeah, this is a total press blowjob, but no, none of it is exaggerated. Mastodon own you.
We got to the venue around 7 PM, and we drove by Bill Kelliher crossing the street. I yelled Bill and threw the horns but he didn't notice me. After a little waiting for the doors to open we went inside, grabbed some rail spots (where we stayed all night
), bought some t-shirts and prepared to let the metal flow. The Bronx played for half an hour and were pretty average. They played this groovy, punked-up variation on the riff from "Hot for Teacher" over and over again in every song, and the singer was terrible. He also shook like he was seizuring and pretended to surf. Yeah. I wouldn't buy one of their albums ever, but I could stand them. Their set was as follows (A Converge roadie crumbled it up and threw it out):
I Got Chills
Three Dead Sisters
Senor Hombre De Tamale
Kill My Friends
After some quick tear-down and set-up, Converge hit the stage. I was told by quite a few people that, based on my tastes, I would absolutely hate them. Wrong, they were great. I've never heard such amazing mosh music...songs didn't have "mosh parts", songs were
mosh parts. Incredible energy, they were tight as a group, but it was missing that musicianship (read: progginess) that we all know I love. I didn't get their set, but the last three songs were from the forthcoming album, which I'll be tempted to buy.
Finally came the band everyone was truly there for: The Mighty Mastodon. The backdrop was of the Birchmen from the Blood Mountain booklet, and when the lights went down, the response was deafening. The intro tape played some eerie noises/voices and then Brent and Troy walked out and said "Hello Cincinnati", then launched into Iron Tusk. The musicianship...ohhhh, the musicianship. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Beyond words. I screamed along every word that I knew (probably like 80% of the show) and when I was singing to Mother Puncher ("Love/Love unconditional"), Troy backed off the mic and could obviously hear me singing his part, because he did the "I see you" eye to eye thing, pounded his chest, and gave me the horns. Yes, he had time to do all that. Later in the show he pointed at Cameron and pretended to brush his teeth (we were the only two guys he pointed at the whole show
). I don't get why he did that.
"Bladecatcher" was hilariously awesome...you know the robot noises/turntable sounds? Brent sang them
The band did very little talking during the show, no real introductions to songs, no commentary, just Brent saying when the light came on for awhile "Whoa...fuck. This is the biggest crowd we've played for so far." and Troy saying "Thank you" from time to time. March of the Fire Ants and Blood and Thunder got enormous singalong/shoutalongs from the crowd
Hearts Alive was a fittingly epic closer and hearing Pendulous Skin while we were leaving was a nice luxury too.
March of the Fire Ants
Circle of Cysquatch
Where Strides the Behemoth
The Wolf Is Loose
Colony of Birchmen
I Am Ahab
Blood and Thunder
Outro Music: Pendulous Skin
Go see Mastodon!!!