I’ve always had Mastodon in my head as being one of the most unique bands around over the last couple of decades, both musically and visually. Their album art has always been stuff that I would love to blow up and hang on the wall as huge pieces. The sound, while never staying exactly the same, always has that Mastodon sound to it. Mastodon is Mastodon. No one else does it quite like them. I got into them way back in the day with their Leviathan album and then their Crack the Skye album was what made me as big of a fan as I am now.
Musically I love the band as each member is ridiculously talented. But what puts them over the top are their visuals. Just the album covers of Crack the Skye, the deluxe edition of The Hunter, and now their newest record Emperor of Sand, give off such an ambiance and great feeling. So when Mastodon announced a tour and that it was coming here I knew I had to go. I’m so happy I did and so happy that their live show is just as visually stunning as everything else and as stunning as I had hoped. Their lighting was absolutely fantastic and in the background their five LCD screens played just some weird, but beautiful abstract artworks that went with the music perfectly. I’m happy that seven songs from Emperor of Sand were played -“Show Yourself” being the favorite of the night for me, but I do wish more older stuff would have been played. Like “Blasteroid” or if I’m feeling especially greedy because of the length, “The Last Baron.” Overall the setlist was incredibly solid, with a good 17 songs that went by seemingly very fast.
I would say Mastodon is one of the best bands around currently. It’s hard for me to pick anybody that does things better both musically and visually, and both live and in studio. Emperor of Sand is the band’s best record since Crack the Skye, so I’m glad I got to catch of show of their in support of that album. Please go check these guy out live if you get a chance!