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Live Concert Review

Against Me!, Mastodon

Live (May 15th, 2007)

The Kool Haus- Toronto, Ontario
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As torrential rains poured down on Toronto last Tuesday, you could tell there was something more in the air than just a storm. A fantastic tour was also raining down on the Kool Haus that involved These Arms are Snakes, Cursive, Against Me, and Mastodon. I couldn’t wait to see how this mixture of diverse bands was going to play out.

Now because of the intense rains, and the majority of people who can’t drive in the rain, I had to miss the first two bands on the bill due to traffic. But when I finally did arrive, the Kool Haus was filled with hardcore punks, coolest of the cool indie kids, and my favorite, the ass kicking metal heads. One group of fans would scream for Against Me, and the rival Mastodon faithful would chant for Mastadon. It was all in good fun and it kept the energy flowing.

Then our four favorite sons from Gainesville Florida came out, dressed in black, and as the intro drums from Pints of Guinness makes you Strong kicked in the Kool Haus went nuts. Once again I don’t know if it was the storm outside, but I have never seen a Toronto crowd with as much moxie as I did that night. Fists were thrown, and security did not mess around as a steady parade of punkers were marched out the front door, as Against Me ripped through their songs. It got so bad at one point, that front man Tom Gabel had to ask the security “What was going on”?

This is the second time I have seen Against Me playing recently with no noticeable bottles of Budweiser littering the stage. I am not sure if the boys are going alcohol free during their performances, but I have also never seen them as tight as they were that night. This band has been on the road constantly, and even though they haven’t been around all that long, they look like seasoned veteran road warriors up there, and they play like it too.

They focused heavily on their released material but also played three or four new songs that have me physically counting down the days until their latest release “New Wave” drops. There is a reason there is so much buzz around these guys, and they have to be seen live. I find it intriguing how they seem to close themselves off to the audience between songs, never speaking to the crowd, and then as soon as they strike the chords, and Tom begins to sing, it is all about delivering perfection to the audience.

After a short set change, and an exodus of happy pogo’rs, a sea of angry devil horns filled the Kool Haus, as it was now time for a little metal brought to us courtesy of Mastodon. Security was already uptight from the Against Me show, so their intensity was felt by the kids in the front row. Mastodon was touring in support of their latest release Blood Mountain.

Now I am not familiar with the band at all, but I really enjoyed their rootsy, thundering, technical, authentic metal sound, which they created, and the drummer’s kit was painted to tribute Randy Rhodes, which I thought was really cool.

I thought the show was really successful, and nothing was lost with the drastically different music styles the bands played.and gave music fans from all genres something to bang their heads to.

 

Converse Announces Five Day Free Concert Series in San Fran

ConverseConverse Inc. have revealed plans for their second free concert series with this one taking place in San Francisco after their successful run at the 100 Club in London previously.

The five-day concert series begins on June 23rd and features 20 bands including Hot Chip, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Quicksand, Mastodon, Suicidal Tendencies, Rocket From The Crypt, Juicy J, Blackalicious, DIIV, Deltron 3030, Metz and more.

The festival is a build up to the grand opening of the Converse San Francisco retail store on June 28.

Fans can register today for a chance to win tickets to attend one of the five Converse Represent shows. Submissions to win tickets closes June 18 at noon (PST) and winning ticket holders will be notified by email.

You can register here.

West End Motel Release (Mastodon) Sophomore Album

West End Motel, the side project of Mastodon‘s Brett Hinds, have released their second full-length album. Entitled Only Time Can Tell, it is the follow up to the 2011 release, Don’t Shiver, You’re A Winner, which received critical acclaim. The project pre-dates Mastodon and has a distinctly different style, which Hinds elaborates on:

“I grew up listening to Chet Atkins play guitar, and I grew up listening to Brian Setzer play guitar. Jimmy Bryant, Speedy West, all these country-chicken-pickin’-flying-’round-the-guitar-neck guitar players. I got really inspired by it. I’m from way down in the country. It was pretty common to have the interests I had when I was that age. MTV had some hair metal on there, but I was more interested in this rockabilly vibe.”

In support of the album, West End Motel are also touring in the US. Dates are as follows,

Read More…

Mastodon Hits The Festival Circuit

MastodonMastodon have announced plans for an European tour, performing both major festivals, including Pinkpop, Sonisphere, and Nova Rock, as well as headlining shows beginning May 23rd and continuing through the end of June. They will also perform at both the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the U.K. in August. 

Mastodon are touring in support of their critically acclaimed current album The Hunter, which entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in the Top 10 and found its way onto several Year End/Best Of critics’ lists. The band travels to Europe a few days after performing at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival on May 20th.

Tour Dates can be found below.

Read More…

Mark Hoppus, Against Me!, Fat Mike, Mike Ness, A Day To Remember and More Read "A Visit From St. Nicholas"

Blink 182 - Mark HoppusFuse has collected a rather large collection of musicians including Hawthorne Heights, Mark Hoppus, Against Me!, Fishbone, Fat Mike, A Day To Remember, Mike Ness, Mastodon, Forever the Sickest Kids, Sick of It All, and many more to do a rereading of the classic Clement Clarke Moore poem – A Visit From St. Nicholas.

The reading can be seen below.

 

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Mark Hoppus, Against Me!, Fat Mike, Mike Ness, A Day To Remember and More Read “A Visit From St. Nicholas”

Blink 182 - Mark HoppusFuse has collected a rather large collection of musicians including Hawthorne Heights, Mark Hoppus, Against Me!, Fishbone, Fat Mike, A Day To Remember, Mike Ness, Mastodon, Forever the Sickest Kids, Sick of It All, and many more to do a rereading of the classic Clement Clarke Moore poem – A Visit From St. Nicholas.

The reading can be seen below.

 

Read More…

Coheed & Cambria, Mastodon And More Appear On ZZ Top Tribute Album

ZZ TopOn October 11th, Show Dog-Universal Music will be releasing a ZZ Top tribute album entitled A Tribute For Friends.

The album will feature eleven bands covering the Texas rock band including Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Filter, Wyclef Jean and, sigh, Nickleback

After Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, the original–and continuing– members of ZZ Top were informed that A Tribute From Friends was in the offing, they issued the following statement:

“When we were told there was going to be a ZZ Top tribute album a while ago and logically asked, ‘Who are we paying tribute to?’  Then we found out that a bunch of great artists were paying tribute to us and we were in disbelief.  For the past forty or so years, all we’ve done is get out there and crank it and try to have a good time while doing so. To a great extent, we’ve succeeded since we’re still having a good time so that would be reward enough for ‘the same three guys playing the same three chords.’ Now comes A Tribute From Friends and we’re so delighted that our music resonates with these great musicians whom we so admire.” 

Since forming in 1969, ZZ Top has sold over 50 million records. They are recipients of the Texas Cultural Trust’s 2011 Texas Medal of the Art and had previously been named “Official Texas Heroes” by the state’s House of Representatives. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones in 2004 who cited the band’s remarkable consistency and longevity and, first and foremost, the fact that ZZ Top is “steeped in the blues,” calling them “the heartbeat of the whole country and the heartbeat of rock ‘n’ roll.”

The track listing for the tribute album is below. Some songs can be heard on their Facebook page.

Read More…

Coheed & Cambria, Mastodon And More Appear On ZZ Top Tribute Album

ZZ TopOn October 11th, Show Dog-Universal Music will be releasing a ZZ Top tribute album entitled A Tribute For Friends.

The album will feature eleven bands covering the Texas rock band including Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Filter, Wyclef Jean and, sigh, Nickleback

After Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, the original–and continuing– members of ZZ Top were informed that A Tribute From Friends was in the offing, they issued the following statement:

“When we were told there was going to be a ZZ Top tribute album a while ago and logically asked, ‘Who are we paying tribute to?’  Then we found out that a bunch of great artists were paying tribute to us and we were in disbelief.  For the past forty or so years, all we’ve done is get out there and crank it and try to have a good time while doing so. To a great extent, we’ve succeeded since we’re still having a good time so that would be reward enough for ‘the same three guys playing the same three chords.’ Now comes A Tribute From Friends and we’re so delighted that our music resonates with these great musicians whom we so admire.” 

Since forming in 1969, ZZ Top has sold over 50 million records. They are recipients of the Texas Cultural Trust’s 2011 Texas Medal of the Art and had previously been named “Official Texas Heroes” by the state’s House of Representatives. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones in 2004 who cited the band’s remarkable consistency and longevity and, first and foremost, the fact that ZZ Top is “steeped in the blues,” calling them “the heartbeat of the whole country and the heartbeat of rock ‘n’ roll.”

The track listing for the tribute album is below. Some songs can be heard on their Facebook page.

Read More…

Mastodon: Spectrelight Viral Video

Mastodon have posted a viral video for their song, Spectrelight. The song comes from their album The Hunter which will be released on September 27th.

The track feature vocal from Scott Kelly of Spectrelightwho had this to say about this long-standing tradition: 

“Mastodon approaches their sound honestly and from a mind at unity. I am honored to continue to be a part of their creative process, and to once again have the chance to join them on this expression that is undoubtedly their most adventurous work to date.”   

Read More…