Mastodon Take the ‘High Road’ to New York City With Gojira + Kvelertak
The bill of Mastodon, Gojira and Kvelertak is undoubtedly one of the most exciting tour packages to be put together this year. All three bands complement each other in unique ways while sharing a large, intertwining fan base. The three modern metal leaders teamed up to invade New York City last night (May 15) and the energy within the city’s Terminal 5 venue was buzzing with elation throughout.
Kvelertak took the stage first and did more than just warm up the crowd. Going on first isn’t easy for any band. It’s not unlikely to witness metalheads save their energy for the headliner or just cross their arms and half-listen, but Kvelertak got the crowd moving almost immediately. The Norwegian six-piece kept the vibe heavy while injecting energy into concertgoers with the act’s party rock edge. Tracks such as ‘Bruane Brenn’ and ‘Blodtørst’ kept the audience spinning, while vocalist Erlend Hjelvik was held up and passed around by eager fans for a round of crowd surfing.
Following Kvelertak’s infectious set, Gojira emerged and absolutely crushed with their blend of progressive and groove-oriented death metal. It’s been said before, but Gojira’s sonic presence is like hearing a herd of elephants marching past. The band was practically flawless, busting out a set list filled with Gojira essentials such as ‘Oroborus’ and ‘Flying Whales.’ The Duplantier brothers hit their mark again and again as frontman Joe’s goosebump-raising screams filled the large venue while drummer Mario’s technical skill and percussive character highlighted each measure brilliantly.
Finally, Mastodon took the Terminal 5 stage, commanding the crowd’s attention from note one. Of course as headliners, that’s what tends to happen, but this night provided something extra. Mastodon performed what was possibly their weirdest set to date, highlighting the most experimental aspects of their five studio albums. Although simpler tracks such as ‘Crusher Destroyer’ and ‘Black Tongue’ were performed, the heavily instrumental and Brent Hinds-heavy focus of Mastodon’s set was absolutely mind-blowing.
Mastodon kicked off their set with the near 14-minute epic ‘Hearts Alive’ — a foreshadowing of what metal’s mad scientists had in store. Heavy on material from ‘Blood Mountain,’ ‘Leviathan’ and ‘The Hunter,’ the balance was experimental yet catchy as hell. The Georgia natives even busted out the insane ‘Bladecatcher,’ scrambling the brains of concertgoers while remaining impressively tight. Mastodon also introduced fans to the new track ‘Chimes at Midnight’ before going into current single ‘High Road,’ which is sure to become a new fan favorite after the June 24 release of ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun.’
While Mastodon have sometimes been criticized for their vocal prowess during their live shows, the boys absolutely nailed it last night. Troy Sanders sounded as monstrous as ever while exploring his full range, Brent Hinds attacked his melodic parts at album-quality and Brann Dailor came out strong vocally while simultaneously demonstrating why he’s known as one of metal’s greatest drummers.
We’re still daydreaming about this concert, and there are only a few shows left on this tour’s run. So check out the list of dates and make your way a remaining gig if you can. Also, check out some exclusive pics from the event below!
Photos of Mastodon, Gojira and Kvelertak in NYC