Mastodon, the Grammy-Nominated Kings of Metal, Bring Live Show to New York

May 18, 2007 1:31 PM ET

New York City got its ass kicked last night, when a killer three-band bill -- including Saddle Creek indie-shredders Cursive, Gainesville punks Against Me! and Atlanta metal kings Mastodon -- descended on Roseland Ballroom. Each group turned in quick, knockout sets, but the clear highlights went to the two top-billed bands.

Against Me! proved once again that they're one of the most versatile hard-rock bands around these days. A rock-solid version of the new song "Ocean" sounded like a jacked-up version of Modest Mouse, even down to frontman Tom Gabel's nautical-themed lyrics. Later on, "Problems" mixed goth-punk scuzz -- that riff totally rips the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Honey" -- with the reckless fury of a punk anthem.

Mastodon turned in an equally ear-splitting set of glorious metal doom-and-gloom. For just over an hour, they churned out songs from their three albums, including one of 2006's best metal records, Blood Mountain. Don't let the tats and beards fool you. With this kind of musicianship, the group proved they're basically a classical orchestra on tunes like the killer "Colony of Birchmen": songs changed time signatures every couple bars, and Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher's textured, sludgy riffage sounded like symphonic strings with gobs of distortion piled on. But the crowd of shirtless dudes (and a couple of brave chicks) was too busy whipping itself up into a moshing, crowd-surfing frenzy to notice such details.

Mastodon barely acknowledged the audience, except at the end when bassist Troy Sanders shouted, "Thanks for making this a dream come true," before launching into the nuclear "Blood and Thunder." When the lights went up and Mastodon exited the stage, the sweaty crowd filed out to the soothing strains of -- shit you not -- Lucinda Williams' "Are You Alright?"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »