After releasing their latest album “Emperor of Sand” earlier this year, Mastodon return to Glasgow to play to a sold out Barrowlands
Only managing to catch the last 10 minutes of opening band Russian Circles, they only had a short time to make an impression, but what I did catch was impressive and tight. The Chicago three piece play as an instrumental band without vocals, but their music was enough to deliver satisfaction. Building up to a crescendo of sound during set closer “Deficit” they left the stage to a very large cheer and was clear that they had been a hit amongst the gathering crowd.
Next up were Red Fang, who I’d previously heard good things about regarding their live show, and boy did they deliver. Playing a set mainly backlit, their music went down a treat and were an incredible fit as main support to Mastodon. Thunderous and energetic, they had the crowd entirely on their side and with songs such as “Wires” and set closer “Prehistoric Dog” being particular highlights. Front man and bassist Aaron Beam was clearly enjoying the reaction to their music and wasn’t afraid to crack a smile and encourage more chaos.
Finally though we reach the main event, an hour and a half of fantastic progressive rock and metal from Mastodon. The band take to the stage without too much flair and kick straight in to “The Last Baron” to start off a huge setlist with something from across all eras of the band. Tracks like “Megalodon” and “Bladecatcher” from past releases take on a new life on stage especially with the stage props and lighting showing artwork and moving images that transport you to each era and make it all more atmospheric. Tracks from latest album “Emperor of Sand” fit in well and are given an ambient red and orange stage when each one arrived, with “Ancient Kingdom” and “Show Yourself” being particular highlights. Trading vocals throughout the evening, drummer Brann Dailor, guitarist Brent Hinds and bassist Troy Sanders effortlessly deliver a tight package, with the latter two members moving around stage and getting involved with the crowd interaction. Closing off the set with “Blood and Thunder” with the crowd shouting back the lyrics, Mastodon proved their musicianship and are definitely at the top of their game.