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Just Announced: Get ready to rage with Mastodon at the Electric Factory

Mastodon | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mastodon | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On May 6th a slew of metal / rock bands will descend on the outdoor stage of the Electric Factory for a day-long, international mini-fest. Originally a co-headlining gig for Sweden’s Opeth and France’s Gojira, the one-off event line-up now also features Atlanta heavyweights Mastodon, California’s Eagles of Death Metal, Canada’s Devin Townsend Project, and Chicago’s post-rock/metal duo Russian Circles.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Basecamp at MilkBoy, Elison Jackson at Ortlieb’s, Mastodon at the Electric Factory and more…

Basecamp
Basecamp | Photo by Dylan Reyes | courtesy of the artist

Basecamp headline this month’s Communion Residency at MilkBoy. The Nashville electronic trio released their sophomore EP Greater Than last year, leading with the smoothly chopped single “Watch My Back.” Listen to that track below and pick up tickets for the 21+ showcase here.

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Mastodon rages on for a capacity crowd at The Electric Factory

Mastodon | photo by Pete Troshak | flickr.com/photos/petryfrompa
Mastodon | photo by Pete Troshak | flickr.com/photos/petryfrompa
The best metal band of their generation blasted a capacity crowd at The Electric Factory with an impressive seventeen song career-spanning set on Saturday night. Over the course of fourteen years and five albums Mastodon has unleashed their musical ragings against the dying light and the general frustration of everyday human existence to an ever-increasing audience. Don’t let the “metal” classification scare you off though, theirs is thinking person’s music with complex, constantly shifting song structures and probing, literary lyrics usually provided by drummer Brann Dailor. Mastodon’s albums have frequently been thematic, with subjects like wormholes and being a soul inhabiting the body of the “mad monk” Grigori Rasputin (2009’s Crack The Skye) and Moby Dick (2004’s Leviathan.) Mastodon is on tour leading up to their much anticipated next album Once More Around The Sun that is due out June 24th.

The group took the stage with no fanfare and immediately launched into “Hearts Alive,” a thirteen minute-plus snake-like guitar opus from their breakthrough, Leviathan. Clouds of smoke billowed out from behind the stage, the band was bathed in an eerie grey/green light and the packed floor of the Electric Factory was immediately turned into a bobbing, horn-gesture-throwing, sweaty sea of bodies. At the back of the stage under a huge psychedelic painted backdrop and sandwiched between two huge stacks of amps, Dailor thunderously pounded his drums. Singer/Bassist Troy Saunders bounded around pumping out thudding bass notes and wailing into a mic at center stage. (By the way – Saunders has a Rasputin-like beard, which has it’s own Facebook page.) Guitarist Bill Kelliher and guitarist/singer Brent Hinds anchored the right and left sides of the stage respectively. Kelliher sports an impressive handlebar mustache and an even more impressive array of riffs that he spent ninety minutes dropping on the audience. Hinds is a bearded, burly menacing figure who facially resembles an angry Zeus on stage. He hurled forth lightning bolts from a battered Gibson SG all night long, unleashing blistering volleys of notes and hammering riffs to the crowd’s delight.

As the band played they were constantly bathed in aquatic green and blue lights or sinister red lights. Behind them, three light cannons alternated between blasting out grids of laser lights that segmented the air above the crowd and spewing forth shimmering holographic, 3-D, upside down pyramids of green light. One early musical highlight was “Capillarian Crest” with Dailor constantly leading the shifting gears of the song with his drumming and tight, spiralling interlocked guitar parts from Hinds and Kelliher. Mid-set came two highlights in the form of thrashing speed metal riffs of “Megalodon” and some amazing dark harmonies from Hinds, Saunders and Dailor on the cosmic stoner rock of “Oblivion.” Soon after the fans received a preview of their new album and maybe one of Mastodon’s best songs ever in “High Road,” a chugging rocker with a soaring chorus that manages to sound like something that might be blasting out of radios all this summer while simultaneously still sounding distinctly like Mastodon. They closed with a loud/soft combo of songs. First up was a thrashing rendition of “Aqua Dementia” that whipped the crowd into a moshing frenzy one last time. Mastodon followed it up with the almost prayerful dark beauty of “The Sparrow” which they dedicated to a lost friend before leaving the stage for the night, hopefully to return soon.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mastodon at the Electric Factory, Pine Barons at Vinyl Revival, the Italian Market Festival

mastadon
Mastadon | photo courtesy of the band

American metal/ prog-rock band Mastadon will bring their crushing sound and screaming vocals to the Electric Factory tonight. With a new album, Once More ‘Round the Sun, due out June 24 via Reprise Records, there should be plenty of new material for the show. Get tickets to the event here. Watch “High Road” below.

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This Week’s Contest: Win two tickets to see Mastodon and Opeth perform TONIGHT at Electric Factory (+ posters, CDs, lithographs)

Photo by James Minchin

This week, we’ve got a pair of tickets for Mastodon and Opeth‘s performances TONIGHT at Electric Factory. The contest also includes two limited-edition silkscreen posters, two deluxe copies of Mastodon’s CD The Hunter, and two autographed tour lithographs. However, you have to enter, like, NOW: Leave a comment below by 2 p.m. TODAY (April 9th). We’ll select the winners at random later this afternoon and notify them via email; once you’ve confirmed that you and your guest will be attending the show, your names will be added to the venue’s guest list. (Just make sure to use a valid email address when posting your comment; we promise not to sell your contact info or sign you up for anything—we just want to be able to get in touch with you if you win.)