Mastodon, Gojira + Kvelertak Unleash Brutal Sets in Los Angeles
Mastodon headlined the night, but with their new album still a few months away, the band went heavy on their back catalog. The ‘Leviathan’ favorite ‘Hearts Alive’ opened the show and they relied heavily on their early years, with ‘Crusher Destroyer’ from ‘Remission,’ the ‘Leviathan’ tracks ‘Naked Burn’ and ‘Megalodon,’ and the ‘Blood Mountain’ songs ‘Capillarian Crest,’ the instrumental ‘Bladecatcher,’ ‘Crystal Skull’ and ‘Siberian Vibe’ all making early set appearances.
The back end of their set relied on more modern favorites with the well-received ‘Oblivion’ and ‘The Hunter’ favorites ‘Blasteroid’ and ‘Octopus Has No Friends’ leading into the band’s brand new tracks. The group trotted out ‘Chimes at Midnight’ as well as their new single ‘High Road’ off the upcoming ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun.’ The good news is that both songs flowed perfectly within the set, with ‘High Road’ receiving some of the biggest cheers of the night. The group ended their performance with epic renditions of ‘Aqua Dementia’ and ‘The Sparrow,’ leaving the crowd wanting for more.
Simply put, you can feel the enjoyment Mastodon get out of rocking together and the crowd appreciated the intricacies of their set throughout — whether it be Bill Kelliher’s Billy Zoom-like stance rocking the guitar; Brent Hinds’ mastery of the scales which earned cheers from the crowd and a nod of admiration from his bandmates; Brann Dailor’s heavy hitting one minute followed with intricate style changes the next; and Troy Sanders’ command of the crowd and stellar low end. Mastodon may be short on stage banter, but that just leaves more focus on the performance itself. And for those looking for a little more, they do employ some interesting laser visuals during their set.
Prior to Mastodon, Gojira took the stage for an impressive live performance. Joe Duplantier and the band could barely contain their excitement for having the opportunity to play with Mastodon after admiring them for the past decade. Duplantier also remarked about the support, as you could catch heads nodding in unison throughout the show and chants of “Gojira” rang out through Club Nokia toward the end of their set.
For old school fans, the band started off heavy on their ‘From Mars to Sirius’ album, opening the set with ‘To Sirius,’ ‘The Heaviest Matter of the Universe,’ the loudly cheered ‘Backbone’ and ‘Flying Whales.’ The title track from ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ rocked the house, but it was the pummeling ‘Vacuity’ that brought the crowd into chants. Mario Duplantier just killed the drums behind the kit, while bassist Jean-Michel Labadie played every note as though he felt it was the only thing electrifying his body.
Mastodon have also been touring with Kvelertak, and the Norwegian rockers have been striking a chord with tracks like ‘Bruane Brenn’ and ‘Evig Vandrar’ among others. It’s definitely worth turning out early to check out these metal acts who make up an impressive triple bill. To see where Mastodon, Gojira and Kvelertak are playing, check out their remaining dates here.
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