Heavy metal titans Mastodon make a welcome return to Tyneside for their first show in the region
since 2014.

A wintery evening in Newcastle does not stop the North East’s metal fraternity from braving the cold to witness the return of the US-based award-winning quartet. The city’s Northumbria Institute is packed to the rafters this evening; the temperature inside the room very quickly gets hot and sweaty.

As Mastodon hit the stage they set the scene for the night ahead with an incredible 13 minute progressive-metal masterpiece in the shape of “The Last Baron”.

Earlier this year Mastodon released their impressive seventh long player Emperor of Sand; an album which has garnered widespread critical acclaim from both fans and the media alike. The band’s latest offering has subsequently been recognised with a Grammy nomination for both ‘Best Rock Album’ and also ‘Best Metal Performance’ for the track “Sultan’s Curse”. The latter of which features early in the set.

Tonight Mastodon chooses to showcase Emperor of Sand with the lion’s share of the album featuring in the set. This includes the band’s incredibly infectious single “Show Yourself”, which features drummer Brann Dailor on vocals and also “Steambreather”, which has the crowd hanging on every word.

Mastodon are incredibly tight this evening. From the twin part guitar harmonies, complex arrangements and blistering solos of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher through to the devastating underlying groove of the band’s formidable rhythm section of Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor. There is no weak link in this ultra-talented four-piece. Throughout the course of the evening Hinds, Sanders and Dailor frequently rotate lead vocal duties.

Mastodon has become well renowned for delivering unique and deeply creative visual content, particularly in their music videos. Throughout tonight’s show, many large vertical screens positioned behind the foursome act as a stage backdrop whilst displaying evocative and stimulating content which perfectly complements the band’s setlist.

Despite the focus upon Mastodon’s latest material, there is still plenty of room for old favourites including the likes of their monolithic classic “Oblivion”, the thunderous “Black Tongue” and the fast and furious “Megalodon”.

Mastodon largely let their music do the talking this evening, with many of their tracks seamlessly interwoven together. Towards the end of the set Sanders informs the fans that they had been battling flu, but like true champions, they carry on regardless.

Tonight there is no encore, Mastodon plays straight through their 17 song/90 minute set. The band brings this monumental night of metal to a close with fan favourite “Blood and Thunder” from their 2004 album Leviathan before leaving the stage to whoops of appreciation from the Geordie faithful.

With each album and subsequent tour that follows Mastodon continues to go from strength to strength.

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Event Date: 06-Dec-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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