Mastodon Live in London

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, November 15, 2004 @ 12:01 AM

Mastodon Live at The Garage in

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REVIEW BY: farkpark

You’ve heard of Mastodon, right? You know, that band with a mega slab of metal laid down in the form of Leviathan, one of the year’s (or decade’s) most important albums?

What do you mean, you haven’t got it yet?

Go and buy it!

Mastodon were here to continue their quest to save the world from abject banality and to restore pure metal to the head of the music table with a storming end to their current European jaunt. This show was specially tacked on to the few headlining dates Mastodon had done aside from the Jagermeister tour, which has recently been tearing up most of Northern Europe. Troy told us that there was no way they weren’t going to play their own show whilst they were in London…

The Garage, a venue which holds around 600 people, sits on the precipice between the well-heeled and the down trodden in Islington, North London. Fable says the streets of London are paved with gold: well tonight the bars and clubs sprinkled round the venue were buzzing with golden anticipation.

Fever pitch was attained around 9:45pm, when the lights went down.

Having been restricted to shows with only 20 minutes stage time as part of the Jager tour, Mastodon looked like they were ready to unleash a lot of pent up aggression as well as their three hour plus back catalogue. Kicking off with “Hearts Alive” (the 13-plus minute opus from Leviathan) they held a pretty rabid and already sold crowd in a mixture of aura and excitement. First timers who had heard the reputation of this quartet, but who had yet to sample the vibe at first hand realised that Mastodon are the real deal! You could see their faces – inane grins, popping eyes, slathering chops, screaming out for more… Seriously!

Right there, in your face: Fantastic guitar work from Bill, Brann’s drumming of near perfection and the rasping vocals, this really was pucker metal for the masses.

Breathlessly they piled through soon to be classics like “Seabeast,” “Megalodon” and “Blood and Thunder” as well as returning to their first full length CD, Remission, to belt out tracks like “Crusher Destroyer” and “Where Strides the Behemoth.” They even had time to play “Shadows That Move” from their first EP release Lifesblood.

The whole show was a refreshing change from all of the pseudo-politico-hyperbole-bullshit doing the rounds these days. It also put a lot of pretenders on notice…. Get metal, or get out (I’m talking to you, The Darkness).

Coming out of Atlanta, these guys could have been from anywhere, including another planet. Ok, they were ours tonight and that was amazing: they had landed right here, right now. They had set foot here in this place to blow us away. No other agenda, no fucking silly speeches. Isn’t this how it used to be?

I felt privileged to have been there tonight, two arms lengths away from Brent – the man was immense, punching his flying V – bullying the fuck out of his instrument to give us the maximum.

Collectively, they achieved their aim... they literally blew the heads off the rows of delighted headbangers and left us all in no doubt that the future is bright: the future is a woolly mammoth whale shaped mega sound called Mastodon.

Troy promised us they’d be back in a few months: but by then, they will rule and such intimate venues won’t be hosting the ‘Don. They’ll be in the rock stratosphere: the streets of London will be paved in gold for Mastodon. That is a fact.

Hey to my Skol drinking buddies:

Steve, ‘Big’ Jon, ‘Bigger than Big Jon’ Gaz, Simon, Ben, Ntrosxo, Chester, and the beautiful Coctaeus... (amongst others!)

Cheers and Horns up for METAL!

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