SCROLL DOWN FOR ARCHIVED FOOTAGE
Well, it’s over. Mastodon took the “stage” and played the first few songs off of Crack the Skye. There was a single webcam set up about 15 yards from the tiny platform that would barely hold a baby mastodon. Bill was off at the far end, Troy and Brann in the middle, and Brent closest to the camera. This wasn’t a soundboard feed, it sounded like the mic was probably with the camera, and there was a lot of buzzing and other shit that is likely to piss us audiophiles off.
Why am I such a fucking critic?
I have to be honest. The first song, Oblivion, fucking sucked. Something was terribly wrong. I THINK Brent’s guitar was out of tune, or completely tuned wrong, my friend thinks that it was the angle of the amplifier, either way something was bad. I’m leaning toward my thought because after the song, Brent traded out for the 12 string and it sounded fine after that…although he was having some tuning issues with that too at one point. It reminded me of that Van Halen footage when the Jump synth was in the wrong key. Okay, maybe not THAT bad.
The rest of the set was actually pretty good. Some of the higher vocal lines, like “fire in the eye, realm of mystic majesty”, were cringe inducing, BUT, I wasn’t in the room, and I KNOW there is a lot to be said for the live experience.
Brent’s kick ass guitar solo in The Czar was basically drowned out. Why couldn’t we get a mix from the board guys? My guess is that it’s too dry and they are a little insecure about it still. I totally respect that, but at the same time, I hope they are more comfortable with it by the time April 19th rolls around, coz I’m looking for perfection! And by perfection I mean a show that the band will remember…one they are proud of. I think they would agree that this in-store was rough.
Side note: at like 8:19 in The Last Baron, this awesome TOOL-ish jam kicks in. Dope.
So, I was a bit disappointed, but, considering the conditions, I’m going to be happy and thank the band for letting us watch. So, Thanks Mastodon! You gotta have balls the size of a mastodon to do what you guys do.
*UPDATE* Just found this new footage from TheSilverTongue…different camera angle. The guitar sounds fine…I think it’s just the vocals that are off key in Oblivion…and really hard to hear. It gets better after the solo
**Footage removed at the request of TheSilverTongue. Watch it here.