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Mastodon // 3/17/2017 at Mazda Studio at Empire Garage presented by SPIN // SXSW 2017 // Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Mastodon // 3/17/2017 at Mazda Studio at Empire Garage presented by SPIN // SXSW 2017 // Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

For every artist we decided to catch at SXSW, we decided to review each performance with our own version of “Five Ws and One H” answering the questions: 1) Who are they, 2) What kind of music do they play, 3) When did they play, 4) Where are they from, 5) Why did we decide to catch them play and 6), How was their performance.

FOR OUR COMPLETE SXSW COVERAGE CLICK HERE!

WHO: Mastodon is Brann Dailor (Drums and Vocals), Brent Hinds (Guitar and Vocals), Bill Kelliher (Guitar) and Troy Sanders (Bass and Vocals).

WHAT: Progressive, heavy metal that kicks some serious ass.

WHEN: 3/17/2017 at Mazda Studio at Empire Garage presented by SPIN

WHERE: Atlanta, GA.

WHY: With a new album that was, at the time, about to be released, and being a fan who had never had the chance to see them shred live, I took the great pains to be able to get approved to attend, and shoot, Mastodon at SXSW.

HOW: There’s a reason why Mastodon’s latest album, “Emperor of Sand”, was the top-selling album of the week in traditional albums sales when it was released, selling 41,000 full albums (physical albums or full album downloads) beating out Drake’s “More Life” in pure sales numbers. Mastodon kicks ass.

Their gig at Mazda Studio at Empire Garage presented by SPIN during SXSW kicked ass too. Their first gig of 2017- based on my understanding- it was a chance for hard-core fans to hear the debut of some new cuts from their latest album. They debuted three new songs, opening their performance with “Sultan’s Curse” and rounding out their 9 song set with “Andromeda” and “Show Yourself”. In between the new cuts, they rock their hits like “The Wolf Is Loose” and “Divinations”, and closed their set with “Mother Puncher”.

Mastodon is a well oiled machine. Having been around for almost 20 years, you could tell that they know a thing or two about how to make their live performance as visually exciting and dramatic as their music. Troy Sanders struck majestic poses, center stage with his bass and Bill Kelliher would creep down stage to quietly plant a firm foothold on top of a monitor during his shredding. The band also hit “formations” during certain parts of the performance during Brent Hind’s vocals or guitar solos, which focused attention to Brent even without a spotlight.

Mastodon is a well oiled machine, indeed. A well oiled machine that will punch your earholes with an unrelenting sonic blast of glorious progressive metal.

Follow Mastodon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

FOR OUR COMPLETE SXSW COVERAGE CLICK HERE!

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