Live Review: Mastodon & Clutch at The Hollywood Palladium
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:39:14
Rock saviors do what they do best and keep the genre alive with earth-shaking Hollywood gig...
Last night (April 29), Mastodon and Clutch brought The Missing Link tour to Hollywood at the Palladium. It's a rather gargantuan pairing as both groups both unabashedly keep hard rock alive through consistently delivering greatness every time they hit the studio or the stage, for that matter.
Atlanta's Mastodon—Troy Sanders [vocals, bass], Brent Hinds [guitar, vocals], Brann Dailor [drums, vocals], and Bill Kelliher [guitar]—and Maryland's Clutch—Neil Fallon [vocals, guitar], Tim Sult [lead guitar], Dan Maines [bass], and Jean-Paul Gaster [drums]—have each broken past trends and bent the winds of rock music to their whims. Moreover, they've shared many bills and collaborated with Fallon dropping vocals on "Blood and Thunder" from Mastodon's classic Leviathan. A lineup like this was inevitable again as the Atlanta titans support Once More 'Round the Sun and Clutch gear up for the release of Psychic Warfare this fall. However, what they did last night proved utterly transcendent.
Both groups construct full albums in a day and age where that very art form's extinction is hanging over the industry like impending doom. They also each see success doing so. In that respect, it makes sense that Mastodon's set played out like a movie with a musical narrative threading the songs together. They opened up with the acoustic hum of "Tread Lightly" from Once More 'Round the Sun before it blasted into the overpowering refrain roar of, "Wake up and fight." "Once More 'Round the Sun" took flight from a driving riff into an entrancing refrain. The intergalactic shredding of "Blasteroid" from The Hunter further opened up their world as Crack the Skye opener "Oblivion" felt hauntingly gorgeous as the entire room sang along. "Chimes at Midnight" made for one of the most chilling moments, while "Aqua Dementia" showcased the mind-blowing chops that have been integral's to the band's assault since day one.
Dailor manages to fuel this locomotive with flawless drumming between his own elegant vocals, while Hinds and Kelliher's solos could scorch the earth they're so fiery. Sanders steers the intense moments with a bass rumble and signature scream. The chemistry between them is nothing short of aural wizardry.
The same could be said for Clutch. Whether it was the rollicking "The Mob Goes Wild" and "Profits of Doom" or the energized stomp of "Earth Rocker" and "Crucial Velocity," the foursome tap into a curiously catchy bounce. However, it's when the distortion subsides a bit that Clutch's brilliance really shines through. Blast Tyrant acoustic-laden classic "The Regulator" transfixed with its potent delivery and vibrant balance of heavy and heart-wrenching textures. At the end of the evening, how much heart both of these bands possess remained abundantly apparent.
If you listen to most media, everything's allegedly dead. The album's dead. Rock music is dead. The music industry is dead. The Palladium was packed last night for two bands that make rock records in the purest form that begged to be listened to from beginning to end. Mastodon and Clutch's Missing Link proved this is all very much alive, and it's about to blossom bigger.
See Brann Dailor look back at 'Leviathan' in this exclusive feature!