Fængslet, Horsens - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Mastodon was the second and final support band for Metallica as they were playing in Horsens state prison.
After having a pleasant time with the first band, Gojira, I wondered what the much hyped Americans could bring to the table...

To make a long story short – nothing much really.
It seems wherever you go these days its Mastodon this and Mastodon that, and I’m sorry but I just don’t get what the fuzz is all about. I mean, here we have four guys walk on stage in front of a huge audience who is ready to party like there was no tomorrow, they take a stance at their given locations on a grand stage which looks incredible, and while all the time fixing their eyes on their toes they begin to drone out some rather unremarkable songs which does nothing to get in the mood for Metallica.
Fairs fair, bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders quite quickly broke out of the mold of the band and began really living the music through his entire body and performance, but honestly, this was the only thing keeping this vessel above water.
Bill Kelliher began quite early on to mosey about the stage, but it didn’t really add to excitement, and it took something like 2/3 of the show before Brent Hinds stepped away from his spot...

Being so, to put it bluntly, uninteresting, and still have the success that one must acknowledge Mastodon has, can really only mean that they make great music (or pay off their fans, but I don’t think anyone has that amount of money), and this is where the real crack in the story shows up.
You see, they don’t. I went in with as open a mind as I could, and actually really tried to like (bad sign right there) what I heard, but there wasn’t one memorable or catchy tune in the entire 45 minute set!
Sure, when Sanders and Hinds sang in harmony it actually sounded very good, but the songs just seemed to ooze out in one long go, and for the life of me I can’t in retrospect remember where one song ended and the next one began!

But what about the rest of the crowd though?
Well, you will always have your front-line headbangers who support you no matter what, but there was no real emotion to be seen in the rest of the crowd until about 30 minutes in, where the band managed to get people to shout along to and wave their fists for the intro of a song I don’t know. A nice bit of emotion was shown here, but it gave way soon enough for again standing still and listening.
Sure, Mastodon was duly applauded and cheered after their set was done as well, but sadly I never came to understand why...


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