The Fillmore Charlotte
May 10, 2012
The show, part of the band's headlining Heritage Hunter tour, was top-heavy with tunes from its excellent, recent CD, The Hunter. No surprise and no problem. These tracks were made for the stage - more economical, bigger riffs, strong melodies, knife-edge energy. Aces, in other words.
Highlights included the well-named "Blasteroid," "Dry Bone Valley," "Curl of the Burl" (biggest applause-getter), "Stargasm" ("You're on fiiiiiiiii-re... ") and "The Hunter," which opened with Brent Hinds picking out the intro on the 12-string neck of a double-neck guitar.
Just one minor quibble. They weren't loud enough - at least standing about three-quarters of the way back in the Fillmore, which was about 80 percent full. Seriously. As my boy Art Buckle said, "Them uptown suckers don't think folks can handle volume. They shouldn't get power rock bands if they ain't gonna let it bleed, for the peoples!" (Buckle, I think you're on to something, babe.).
Mastodon at any volume is good Mastodon. And the cranked-down volume was probably better for this particular gig: As (the incredible) drummer Brann Dailor told the crowd at the end of the show, after thanking Charlotte fans and mentioning it was good to be back in the South, "My grandpa's here in the back. Say 'Hello Grandpa!'" Right on, Grandpa!
Tonight, neither really. Kind of a bummer. They had the right "look" - Sunn0))) druid style (robes) via Scandinavia black ice - but the music was, dare I say, almost sunny, a kind of unoffending Euro-power
metal type affair. I mean, no disrespect, but Venom's probably tut-tutting your shit right now. We want MORE Evil. MORE Satan. Go big or go home, ya know? (And that's not a xenophobic comment towards Sweden, love you guys. Mean it.)