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Headbanging Good Times at SummerStage

May 20th, 2015

Mastodon and Clutch – SummerStage – May 19, 2015

Mastodon – SummerStage – May 19, 2015
About 30 minutes into their set last night at SummerStage, Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor pulled a classic rock-concert move during a Brent Hinds guitar solo: He stood up, with one foot on his stool and one on the kick drum and begged the crowd to get louder. To be fair to the Central Park crowd, it’s not like they weren’t already going crazy for the Atlanta metal band. But this was a rock show, and this was Mastodon—you can always give them a little more.

Mastodon have been around for 15 years or so now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost a step. In fact, the opposite is the case because the band members are playing better than they ever have. And while precision might not be the sexiest thing to crave at a metal show, Mastodon have got it in spades. Their four-part vocal harmonies and dueling guitar parts are as crisp as ever.

There’s just no hesitation in the way that the guys in Mastodon play, which is why that precision didn’t cost any fun. Hinds and guitarist teammate Bill Kelliher spent plenty of time headbanging on the edge of the stage with bassist Troy Sanders. The set still felt loose and was about as loud as you’ll ever hear SummerStage get. That pleased the longtime fans who, when they weren’t popping balloons with cigarettes or playing Ring Around the Rosie with their heavy metal–T-shirt-wearing kids, were still banging their heads along with the band. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1

Photos courtesy of Greg Pallante | gregpallante.com