Mastodon - Sonisphere 2009

The sun is baking hot when the opening riff of 'Oblivion' graces our ears. This is it! This is what I've been looking forward to all weekend. Not Metallica, nor Machine Head. I wanted to see the awesome Mastodon, the Grammy Award nominated metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, performing tracks from their amazing 'Crack the Skye' record released earlier this year; and probably my album of the year! So when Brent Hines breaks into the guitar solo, you can feel his passion for his music. Brent notoriously wrote the music for 'Crack the Skye' whilst recovering from an incident. He claims to have locked himself up in a room with his acoustic guitar. He has done an amazing job!

Brann Dailor is busy behind the fairly basic drum set in his typical non-metal baby blue top. The album was dedicated to his sister, Skye, who committed suicide at the very young age of 14. The story is basically about a quadriplegic that travel to the sun by means of astral projection and when his umbilical chord was burned off, he floated around in space until the Russian cult put his soul back into Rasputin's body and he is returned to earth.

After the stunning 'Oblivion', it is time to break out some earlier and heavier songs with 'Megalodon' and the awesome 'Blood and Thunder' from their Moby Dick concept album, 'Leviathan'. They then returned to the amazing 'Crack the Skye' with 'The Czar'. The vocals for Mastodon are shared between all members of the band, but the melodic blend achieved between Brent and Troy Sanders, on the bass, is absolutely fantastic. The title track from 'Crack the Skye' is the fifth song in this fantastic experience and the crowd is now really picking up. Brent is totally absorbed by the songs they are playing today. It would have been a great to have heard 'Crack the Skye' in its entirety today, but there was no time.

The last two tracks were heavier Sludge Metal tracks with 'Iron Tusk' from 'Leviathan' and 'March of the Fire Ants' from their debut, 'Remission'. Nice touch with Brent playing an extended guitar solo over his head.

All and all a fantastic show and nice touch with Troy greeting the crowd with "Gracias" at the end, who knows why......