|Mega Monsters Tour 2023 - ATL|
Had the privilege of seeing the co-headlining Gojira and Mastodon show last night. And what a show it was! A few concluding remarks...
...And I Return to Nothingness
Had never heard of this band prior to the show...and I can't say that I am a fan of deathcore. But after seeing them live - I can see the appeal. Vocalist William Ramos' harsh vocals were deep and punishing. And the intermittent symphonic metal interludes/flourishes were a nice touch. And not to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but it was cool seeing the youth at the show (i.e., the next generation of metal heads) really into this band. To the Hellfire was an obvious favorite.
Gojira opened for Mastodon in ATL - makes sense as ATL is Mastodon's home. Kicked off their set with a pulverizing version of Born for One Thing with a huge Amazonia backdrop behind them. Actually - most of the tracks off Fortitude helped make their show. Gojira provided a verbal intro to, and pulled in snippets from their Another World video, to make that song really stand out for its meaning (i.e., this is the only Earth we have). See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rs0pb2iqR8. Amazonia hit hard, with visual backdrops of fire and scorned earth. And The Chant led to arena-wide choruses, as distorted panoramic visions of forrest and nature scenes flashed behind the band.
The Way of All Flesh
Only one track was played off this album - The Art of Dying. And it was fucking spectacular. Started off with a huge backdrop of a Tree - and morphed into a human body. Over the course of the end of the track - the human body became more and more engulfed in light, until it morphed into the form of a bird. Just badass. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XqZnAIvNRI
Similarly - only one track was played off this album - The Gift of Guilt. And this ended the show, following the sing-along of The Chant. And what a spectacular visual ending it was. The show ended with visuals of a father to son, that son to daughter, and that daughter to son passing a locked box of guilt - the box ultimately erupting and consuming the last son at the end. Once consumed - the guilt grew into a tree with a new human life on a swing, swinging from a tree branch. A good visual of this can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg0DAaaVqC0
Mastodon started their set off with The Wolf is Loose and Crystall Skull off of this landmark album. A strong start. Another Blood Mountain staple, Circle of Cysquatch, showed up towards the end of the show.
Mastodon put on an incredible show, leaning heavily on Leviathan material. The Leviathan tracks (Megalodon early on, Aqua Dementia and Iron Tusk towards the middle, and Blood and Thunder in the end) made their set - as they were the most technical instrumentally and had similar (and their best) visual backdrops. Blood and Thunder as a send-off at the end of their set was spectacular. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRRGR56yfs0
Mastodon was pummeling - just punishing. Most of this was due to inclusion of March of the Fire Ants and Mother Puncher towards the end of the Set. Felt like I was hit with a hammer - had to take a sit after this series of tracks.
Emperor of Sand
Mastodon played heaviest off of Leviathan and Blood Mountain, but several Emperor of Sand tracks made their presence known. Most notably - Steambreather provided a nice break from the pummeling around midway through the set.
In brief - an incredible show. Both bands had great sets - Gojira pulling more from recent albums (Magma, Fortitude) and Mastodon celebrating their landmark, historic albums (Leviathan and Blood Mountain). Although the back-drop visuals were great for both bands - Gojira's were really something to see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD8-BPsMXO0). A key example of that was the track The Cell (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfqYI47IgqY), with lightning flashing across the three main and multiple smaller video screens - pretty sick.