18 November 2009
Dethklok/Mastodon/Converge/High on Fire @ The Marquee 11/17/2009
High on Fire is one of the better bands around currently in my opinion, and thankfully that opinion has led to me seeing them headline or play more prominent positions on a few tours, since there was no possible way for me to arrive at 5:30 for their set (a time made even more ridiculous given that the entire show was aver by about 10). I will assume they rocked as usual though and plan to catch them on their next trip through.
Converge played a fairly lengthy set considering their lower slot on the tour, but I was glad to see it. As one of the only metalcore bands who releases CDs I consistently enjoy, it was interesting to see them live. In some ways the music seemed even more aggressive live, but I believe that in part that was due to the muddling of the instruments live which made it even more of a wall of sound (also the kick drum was ridiculously powerful). It was disappointing but not surprising to see so little of the sold-out or nearly so venue really getting into the music. It feels a little cheap seeing these guys on such a commercial tour.
Mastodon played a similar set to what they did when they last came through on a headlining tour, with the entirety of Crack the Skye followed by a couple of old songs. Given that they were not headlining though, the second set of songs was smaller and, frankly, the ones chosen were a bit of a disappointment. The background videos have been improved since last time and are much more coherent and involved in the songs. It's a shame they didn't have as good a video background on the last tour so that both elements of good could have occurred in the same set.
Dethklok was absolutely entertaining start to finish. Though I expected only a screen with music being performed off stage, I was surprised to see the screen going the entire time, but with the full band also on stage, though not interacting with the crowd at all (though Brendan Smalls got into characters for that which was fun). The videos were great, though possibly less entertaining for those who watch the show (I do not, so I have no idea if it was all excerpts or if it was original material). The inter-song videos were also quite fun and helped maintain continuity in the show while the musicians got their rest...much more effectively than most bands are able to pull it off in fact. This felt like a complete show start to finish. Quite cool, I'd see these guys live again even though I don't love the music as much as many other bands just for the show.