Way back in April, yea I know that wasn’t very long ago, I was fortunate enough to shoot the Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles at The Pageant. For those of you that don’t know, The Pageant is one of my favorite venues and Mastodon, well it has been a while since we’ve had them come through town. So to have them play at one of my favorite venues was sure to be a treat. I had only seen Russian Circles and Eagles of Death Metal once before each. Russian Circles I watched in some random club down in Austin, TX in the wee hours of the morning. . ok it was probably midnight during SXSW ’08 and Eagles of Death Metal was three weeks less than a year ago from the date of the show, also at The Pageant. Needless to say, while one bands performance was fresh in my mind, it was a shot in the dark as to what I should expect from the other.
Russian Circles are the perfect example of an Instrumental Metal band, by that I mean, they aren’t trying to flaunt their talent like some other bands out there, but they are DAMN good at what they do and are groovy as fuck. Throughout their set, which consisted of four whole songs, but god damn if every song didn’t have me going “Holy Shit that would sound amazing on vinyl!” Yes, I am a vinyl nerd and I love it. Seriously, if I could trade all my CDs in for their vinyl equivalent, you’d better believe I would, though I may be a little more picky when it comes to which albums I own on vinyl. Back on track though, their set was mind blowing and even though it was only four songs long, it rebuilt my love for their sound and made me want more! While I didn’t buy any of their albums that night, (they played four songs and none of them were on the same album, I wasn’t gonna buy four albums!) you can damn well bet your sweet ass that I will be at the next headlining show of theirs when they roll through town again!
Being a little more fresh to the stage show and presence that is Eagles of Death Metal, it was great to see them in action again after such a short period of time since we first met. Although, they played a shorter set than their headlining show a few months back, they still managed to keep the crowd happy and cheerful with their wonderful music, goofy stories and a surprise appearance of Mastodon’s Brent Hinds on guitar during their opening track. I think it goes without saying that there were at least a few people that were new fans of EODM when they left that night, they’re pretty persuasive. All I can say after watching their set is “Shit God Damn, I’m a man, I’m a man!” those familiar with their music know exactly what I am talking about.
Finally, on to the reason we were all there, ok I was there to see all the bands, but had it not been for Mastodon I may have thought twice about going, as I am only a casual fan of the other two bands. That being said, it had been something around 6 or 7 years since they last played in St. Louis, NOT COOL Mastodon!! They made up for it and then some by playing a 20 song set filled with classic old songs and many of their new hits, including almost all of the new album, seriously I think only 3 songs weren’t played from the new album. It fucking ruled watching them in action again. If there’s one thing I love about seeing Mastodon perform, they always sound so MASSIVE. By that I mean its like a locomotive is plowing through the venue and I love that. One great thing about seeing a live performance, no matter what band it is, it’s always someone else’s first time and that makes the show that much more special. Sharing that moment with someone, when they play a favorite song or when a song sounds 1 billion times better live, those are things you could never replace by just listening to the album or watching a live dvd. I really hope it isn’t another 6 years before they come back through town, but if it is, I know it will be a show for the books!
As always, I really enjoyed shooting this show, and going through the photos and reliving each moment has been truly amazing this evening. I had the new Svart Crown blasting in the background as I edited photos and wrote up this review, yea I was having a good time! Well as always please feel free to comment on, like and share the photos with your friends and family that love metal. Until next time!