mastodon04.jpg

Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Red Fang

Sunday, Nov. 6

Showbox SoDo

It's been a while since I left a concert with both ringing in

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Mastodon Unearths Prehistoric Prog Metal at Showbox SoDo

mastodon04.jpg

Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Red Fang

Sunday, Nov. 6

Showbox SoDo

It's been a while since I left a concert with both ringing in my ears and whiplash in my neck. Actually, I think the last time that happened was the last time I saw Mastodon.

This time around the physical effect was amplified, along with the volume, at the Atlanta prog-metal gods' headlining set last night at the Showbox SoDo.

Kicking off things was Portland metal quartet Red Fang. I missed their set, as I was busy drinking whiskey across the street at Hooverville. But judging from their music videos and with Seattle's new law OKing musicians drinking on stage, I'm lead to believe there was a lot of beer shotgunning going on.

Next up was New Jersey mathcore veterans The Dillinger Escape Plan--a band that was described by a hefty man standing next to me as the kind that "plays shows then beats the fuck out of people afterward." Indeed, the MMA physiques of the musicians, combined with the ear-splitting aggression of their music and stage presence made it clear you'd probably want to be on their side if a bar brawl broke out.

Mastodon took the stage around 10pm. It was a little disappointing to see that there were no big projector screens up there, as the band's live videos are the stuff of sweet nightmares. But what the stage lacked in visual accessories it made for in stacks and stacks of speakers--something that the four heavily-tattooed Southern lads made great use of.

Playing a majority of tracks off the band's newest studio effort The Hunter like "Curl of the Burl" and "Black Tongue", Mastodon also mixed things up with older classics like "Blood and Thunder" and "Iron Tusk" in a blistering, if somewhat formulaic, hour-and-45-minute set that saw a sea of devil-horned hands raised consistently skyward.

Drummer Brann Dailor should be arrested and charged for the kind of abuse he subjects percussion instruments to. Seriously if there is a better drummer in metal today, please point him out. Meanwhile, the vocal tag team of guitarists/singers Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher takes the concept of melodic harmony versus guttural bellowing to new perfection.

In all the set was a reminder of not only just how good Mastodon is (read: very), but also how far they've come from the ultra-heavy sludge-metal days of Leviathan and Blood Mountain to the easier-listening prog metal of the band's last two releases.

The scene: A healthy mix of metal freaks and music geeks--really a grab bag of people as Mastodon has now safely crossed several genres.

Overheard at the show: Not so much overheard as overseen. A dude walking around in a Janet Jackson "Janet World Tour" hoodie. He was probably trying to be ironic; but whatever, he succeeded.

 
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