Something beyond description
A couple of months ago I saw Mastodon support Tool at the Manchester MEN arena, they had the worst sound I have ever heard in there and came across as one big bass wall of noise without form or substance. Tool then came on to perfect sound and played a great gig. I read a report about the Tool show in London that said exactly the same thing which beggars the question, did Tool stitch them up every night? Your guess is as good as mine.
If you listen to Blood Mountain you'll be treated to an incredibly complex full-on slab of metal that almost defies your ears to sort it out, I had it on in the car on the way to the gig tonight and thought to myself that if they had poor sound again there was no way they would come across well.
Mastodon were awesome. Their sound was up to the job and whilst you couldn't pick out every detail what do you expect, there's no way live they're going to sound like the album and you probably wouldn't want them to, what would be the point.
Frontman Troy Sanders isn't a particularly chatty bloke, he doesn't say anything to the audience until the intro to 'Blood & Thunder' which is an hour into the set but he still manages to connect with everyone, smiling, pointing and urging people on whilst playing like a demon. They all play like demons, all the time, they just turn it up to 11 and let rip. I remember the first time I saw 'Strapping Young Lad' live and felt like I'd been trapped in a wind tunnel with a madman at the controls, well Mastodon don't sound like SYL but the effect is roughly the same, I came out at the end almost dazed and bewildered but certain I'd seen something special.
These guys must be exhausted by the end of the night because they play like they're on a tight schedule, finish a song and you have twenty seconds to tune your guitar or grab a drink and then it's back to blasting the crowd with superlative, and finely crafted metal insanity.
Manchester academy is sold out, the place is so packed you couldn't have fitted a size zero model in and I thought that the crowd would be throwing themselves all over the place, strangely the crowd is quite still throughout the gig, they cheered very loudly and waved their hands in the air at the end of the songs but there was no crowd surfing or mosh pits that I could see. Lots of heads bobbing in time with me though, this stuff just demands it.
So all in all a fantastic night in the company of a very talented and unique band, there are still some dates to be played around the country yet so if there's one near you and you can get a ticket, do so.
Oh while I'm on, if you and your girlfriend feel you have to talk to each other throughout the entire gig by shouting in each others ear every five minutes like the couple in front of me, could you piss off home and do it instead, then you can have a nice cup of tea with your chat. Cheers.