Brixton Academy is sold-out tonight, Mastodon are hot property & the place is packed way before the band even take the stage. The air is electric & anticipation is high as the lights go down & the band wander out.
With roars of appreciation the band kicks into Tread Lightly, it’s not the cleanest of starts thanks to a dusty sound system but it doesn’t take long to clear up. Once More ‘Round The Sun is well received with the crowd singing along happily. Many bands might take a moment here to start yammering on but Mastodon are not a band who like to talk. Instead they just bang out song after song while looking incredibly at ease on stage.
An epic double-header of Blasteriod & Oblivion change things up a bit before the single, The Motherload (The controversial twerking video) is dropped. It has to be noted here just how tight Mastodon are…not a dropped note, not a screw-up in sight. It is quite something to see a band at the top of their game & clearly enjoying what they’re doing.
Another new song, Chimes at Midnight is well received before the band go back to some of their early work. Aqua Dementia & Ol’e Nessie get an airing with the latter being a welcome surprise. What is consistently impressive is just how the band just get on with it…a little bit of banter here & there but mostly it’s just playing great song after great song.
Being a new album tour you have to expect a set-list peppered with new material, 8 songs in & the band have already played 3 off the new record. They double that number with an insanely good High Road, an even better Halloween & an impressive Aunt Lisa. Any doubts a person might have had about the album is all but dismissed hearing it live. It is epic & works well live…
Divinations gets an airing & being one of my personal favourites is immense before we’re treated to the instrumental, Bladecatcher. It’s amazing that the band & the crowd still have the energy to go on but it has been light on ‘The Hunter’ album material. Thankfully we get Black Tongue, not the strongest but still a welcome addition.
The final new album song of the night is aired, Ember City before we get the briefest stage walk-off…Mastodon don’t hang about. Megalodon, Crystal Skull & Blood & Thunder bring the proceedings to an end. Men of few words they troop off stage leaving Brann, the drummer, to say a few words. It’s well received as has been everything they’ve said or played tonight.
Impressive doesn’t quite cut it…it felt like tonight Mastodon can only get bigger…writing consistently great albums with even greater live shows. This is a band at their absolute best.
Mastodon @ Brixton Academy, London (28/11/14)