Mastodon -- San Francisco, CA -- June 26th, 2013
Got to the venue and line was long as hell. I was worried I wouldn't get a prime time viewing spot, but my worries were settled when I got in and promptly stood behind those on the rail. They had tons of Converse advertisements up and cool screens with maps that displayed the demographic of people there based on geographic location and stuff. North Bay had 4%. Swag. First band was Hot Lunch
Hot Lunch were a cool rock 'n' roll band heavy on fuzzy tones. A lot of their songs were really jam oriented and stretched a while but stayed interesting always introducing new ideas that'd they'd groove on for a bit. There was a group of 4 women in front of us, and about one song in one left but another covered her spot so I couldn't sneak in. But this would matter later. Something cool I noticed is that the compilation of screens to the left of the stage was actually being uploaded with photos of the band that photographers just took. So anyways, Hot Lunch were decent. If you like fuzzy jam rock, check it out.
Next up were bay area metal act, Saviours. It was around this time that Tony got in and we met up. Saviours are a solid metal group. They're labeled sludge but they're sludge the same way High on Fire is sludge, so they're not really sludge, just kind of stoner rock. They were a fun band and had some good energy. Again, one of the 4 girls left the front and Tony took her place. But she didn't come back so that way a good thing. Saviours brought out Brent Hinds for a Ted Nugent cover, which was kind of cool. All in all, Saviours were just average.
Next up were the might High on Fire. Their set was probably the most fun and the heaviest for sure. The band sounded great and they got a good response from the crowd with a decent amount of moshing going around. The only thing that was kind of a bummer was that they played the exact same set I got at the Metal Alliance tour. Song for song, the exact. same. thing. But hey, it was free and those songs are heavy as all hell so I can't really complain. Something cool that happened was a photographer snapped a photo of Tony while he was headbanging and it ended up on the screen. All in all, High on Fire delivered a fun and heavy set, even if it was only half an hour.
High on Fire
Rumors of War
Madness of an Architect
Snakes for the Divine
Next up were the almighty Mastodon! I was bummed to find out they were only given 45 minutes, and from that I'm guessing the set they played tonight will be their set at Mayhem. They came out playing Black Tongue, which I expected, then went into Crystal Skull which was awesome and probably the song I enjoyed most of their performance. But from there they just played a bunch of material off the Hunter with the occasional track off Crack the Skye. And I don't mean to come off totally disappointed, since they put on a great performance and it was free, but I was surprised they ignored their first two albums completely. But still, everybody sounded great and it was awesome seeing Mastodon just a few feet away from me, since Tony was a bro and pulled me up to get some rail. Plus rocking out to tunes like Crystal Skull, Spectrelight, Blasteroid and Crack the Skye was awesome. Also, Troy threw his backstage pass sticker thing that they use so people know they're in the band, and I caught it and stuck it on my chest, which was funny. But I'm still bummed that of 11 songs, 8 are from The Hunter and none of the others were from their first two. I could live with nothing off Remission, but we didn't even get Blood and Thunder. Hopefully something chances between now and Mayhem Fest, but I doubt it. Do you guys honestly need to hear Thickening live?
Dry Bone Valley
Octopus Has No Friends
Crack the Skye
They didn't even play Curl of the Burl. That was almost more shocking! So after that my and my friend Ben dipped because he has an early summer class.
Hot Lunch: 7/10
High on Fire: 8/10
9/8 Cult of Luna/Minsk/SUBROSA
10/10-11 California Deathfest