Recently on tour with Mastodon in the states Russian Circle continue their journey with them on a European tour. Somewhat underdogs yet masters in their genre, Russian Circles create movie aspiring soundtracks that somehow play on your darkest emotions. The only problem being that the band only manage to fit in four songs into their allowed time. It’s a sneak peak into and hopefully leaves new fans wanting more.
Red Fang emerge on stage and form a group huddle before being welcomed by tonights overly friendly crowd. Grooved fuelled party riffs, they leave a fans with a taste of Mastodon-esque riffs and ready the crowd of a long awaited return from the headliners. They’re sure to of gained some new support tonight.
A sell out first UK show sees Mastodon open with The Last Baron, sliced down from it’s usual epic thirteen minutes, the band have a job to play a variety of tracks whilst keeping track of their time. Pink lights illuminate the band, as every knock and cranny can be seen on the faces of Brent who screams violently towards the crowd whilst screens display hypnotic graphics to accompany their symphonic chaos.
As they charge through their set it seems in recent years it’s been quite vacant of early work, Lifeblood, Remission and even Leviathan seemed distant and forgotten with at times just one track making the cut but tonight we’re treated to Megalodon and sweet but classic Blood and Thunder. Brent’s screams in Megladon is as bloodthirsty as it was years ago.
Sounding to perfection that’d make any OCD fan happy Mastodon play full tilt through their hour and a half set, interacting with each on stage like the best friends they are, infact, more than that can be see with the crowd. They end the show on a high drummer Brann shows up centre stage to take a moment with the crowd – reminiscing about when they last played in Cardiff before correcting a shout out with the right dates. A pure and innocent moment that shows the bands commitment to stay humble, that they still care about their history, about their impact and how being being the best of friends that make music together can succeed.
Having seen them play the underground pits that was Cardiff Barfly it’s joyous to see them headlining the Great Hall.
MastodonGreat Hall Cardiff - 2nd December, 2017
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com