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.

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  • Was a good night even though waiting in the crowd wanting to keep a good spot reserved for the partner and I. Kept it in a moderately warm welcome for Red Fang, who managed to bob my head to a few of their sludgy southern sounding riffs and the guitarist boy's beard was epic (of course I have to comment about beards, I am seeing Mastodon, right?) Only defect of the crowd was of course some boy, with a backpack, giving them pity cheers like he grew up listening to them or something but he seemed that he was someone at their first gig since they turned 18 as he was already shitfaced and my stone wore off by this point come to think about it.

    Where do I start with Dillinger? who have fannies for fans who think metal these days is kicking the shit into each other as hard as possible while they fight over who touches the vocalist when he dives into the crowd, like Beatles fans. But also the band themselves think that Metal is acting and jumping around like monkeys on the stage. I wanted to listen and see the members play as I was unfamiliar with their material but they were like those little microogranism - looking things you get in your peripheral vision that you can't directly look at cause they run away every time you try. They can't act like they're gods yet by standing right on the barriers with their feet on (from their eyes) a pedestal of arms of things you can't tell that's male or female or human. But that's all I really want to say as I'm not narrow minded but that was my vision and opinion on that part of the night and I wouldn't think any less of someone I knew who was there for Dillinger. I just don't think they're a summing of how I see metal.

    But for the time that both me and the partner were waiting for our sober selves at the time. Our fuses slightly shortening and shortening with widos in the crowd not pre-thinking that being at the barriers of a metal gig is a bad idea for their pretentiousness. They couldn't handle even if my really long hair would swift past them and turn round looking at me pretty much saying in her eyes that I shouldn't have a good time headbanging wwearing my Rasputin Tee. Using her rear baggage to advantage, grabbed the barrier and pushed me and whoever my partner dominoed into after I went into him, gave me the perfect chance to execute the most perfect flying elbow as an obvious sign to not stand at the front if they can't handle a Mastodon set, imagine a Devildriver or Slayer crowd or something? But after my relief of physically trolling her and pissing her Rob Flynn lookalike fail poser boyfriend off who definitely didn't want to do anything after even admittedly seeing that I was a third her size, I managed to enjoy what was left of the set (not like I wasn't enjoying it already). I did think that it would've made more sense for Black Tongue then Dry Bone Valley, as mentioned before, but the main thing I can say that was the main difference between mastodon and the other sets of the night is that they were a lot more loud which was needed, were more clear and awesome playing with being just feet away from Brent, who's got the most legendary guitar faces pulled, gave me and the partner a wee chuckle for seeing our little situation with the posers. He chucked his pick in a while after it but her fat sweaty arm stuck to it like a squished fly to a swat and he wasn't happy about it. They did have a good spacing between albums but some songs from The Hunter I would've loved to hear and see live like "Octopus has no Friends" but definitely knew about "The creature Lives" encore even before I got to the venue but It was pulled off giving that slight bit feeling of it being a nostalgic moment with Red Fang joining in after the first verse. Some from Blood Mountain Which I was shocked about being played like "Sleeping Giant" and "Capillarian Crest" Which were the songs which made me grow on them more after the well known "Colony of Birchmen". As being respected from my eyes of being skilled musicians but more than musicians, vocalists too. Best part of two hours keeping up with melody and rhythm would definitely be exhausting.

    Even though with the overwhelming wait for the Don (see what I did there, with being Aberdonian), our epic curry with massive naan after our first smoke since before going in was just the cherry on top of the night cake.

    As you can tell, I like describing with being the observational individual I am so enjoy this rant style "comment" for anyone who comes across it.

    Posted by Lina | Thursday 01 March 2012 @ 00:53

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