Mastodon
Mastodon
Image: Emily Wylde

Mastodon/The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Barrowlands, 7 February

4/5 stars
Live review by Ross Watson.
Published 14 February 2012

It's safe to say that The Dillinger Escape Plan have played a significant part in selling out tonight's show; a touch of anxiety lingers before the inevitable storm erupts, the quintet taking to the stage hard and fast with Panasonic Youth. Though the setlist tends toward relatively 'safer' numbers like Black Bubblegum and Chinese Whispers, the infamy of the band's stage presence is in plain sight: secondary axeman Jeff Tuttle climbs high-stacked amps like it's second nature while lead guitarist Ben Weinman and daredevil vocalist Greg Puciato take turns at stage diving headfirst into the wild masses. There's a few spilt pints and no doubt a minor injury or two, but whatever – it comes with the territory.

In other words, Mastodon have their work cut out for them, but with The Hunter now under their belt, the Atlanta foursome's set is a varied beast, with new songs complementing darker, heavier fan favourites like I Am Ahab and March Of The Fire Ants, which are executed furiously and with the same passion audiences have come to expect. There's some clarity issues early on which lessens the impact of Dry Bone Valley, and there's a feeling that the newer material needs a little time to settle in. But when their execution of the hyper-urgent Blood Mountain-era songs have jaws dropping left, right, and centre, such teething is easily overlooked, particularly when they're joined onstage by members of Dillinger and Red Fang for a tongue-in-cheek, grin-inducing rendition of The Creature Lives. A triumphant return, all told.