Live Review

Mastodon, Barrowlands, Glasgow

For all their left-field quirks, this band seem to be on the cusp on becoming huge.

So, where’s the best place to hold a metal gig? Why, a ballroom with a bouncy floor, of course. Thankfully, Glasgow’s famed Barrowland is less Strictly and more scuzz however, with its slimy wooden bar and gargantuan urinal forming a torrent of pee around the edges of the gents’ utilitarian water closet. Perfect, then, for a spot of rowdy rock upstairs.

Main support act tonight is The Dillinger Escape Plan, one of the most intriguing specimens in metal, known for their discordant spasms and, well, penchant for making a bit of a racket. Whilst some ears may quiver, they have consistently proven to be one of the best live acts around, and with tracks like the rampant ‘Milk Lizard’ – which, whisper it, is pretty melodic too – it’s little wonder why.

Whilst Dillinger throw their guitars about as if it’s one gigantic hot potato, Mastodon are somewhat less mobile on stage, choosing to remove crowd banter from the equation too. But by jolly gosh do they have the tunes to mask any stage related shortcomings, with a gargantuan set list seeping with new-age rock anthems. Last year’s sublime album ‘The Hunter’ is naturally a keen source of inspiration tonight, with the likes of ‘Dry Bone Valley’ and ‘Curl Of The Burl’ rousing unashamed fever.

It’s a leaner Mastodon than we have been used to in recent years – the nine minute, wavy prog-outs are slowing being eschewed - but it is with this catchy, concise form that even more fans are being lassoed the Mastodon machine. For all their left-field quirks – such as slabs of crunching tech metal, tsunami like drumming and occasionally dodgy live vocals – this band seem to be on the cusp on becoming huge, much like the great mastodon itself.

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