When Mastodon announced they would be hitting the road with Gojia and Kvelertak back in February, the tour quickly jumped to the top of many metalheads’ “must see” list. The thick bearded rockers are coming off back-to-back top 10 albums in 2009 and 2011 and have a new one on the way in 2014. While Gojira released arguably one of the best metal records of the decade in 2012, “L’Enfant Sauvage” and Kvelertak, the Norwegian thrashers, continue to make a name for themselves in the US. It was clear that this tour was one that most self-respecting metalheads would not miss.
The tour made it’s way to Worcester, MA on Friday night where a packed house awaited the stellar triple bill. Kvelertak had the honors of taking the stage first, and wasted no time in getting the crowd revved up. Frontman Erlend Hjelvik took the stage in an owl headdress, getting the night off to a very interesting start. Pits broke out almost as soon as the first notes were struck. Kvelertak delivered a blistering, high energy set, blending thrash metal and hardcore punk seamlessly much to the crowd’s delight.
Gojira hit the stage next, still flying high after their wildly successful 2012 release “L’Enfant Sauvage” the French metal band took the opportunity to introduce their new fans to their older material. Gojira is not a new band, but many first discovered them via their 2012 release, and are now looking into their back catalog. Many bands in that spot, would just give the crowd the popular material, but not Gojira. Their older tracks such as “To Sirius,” “Orobus,” and “In the Forest” seemed to strike a chord with those in the crowd who weren’t already familiar with this band’s exceptional sound. Gojira are finally finding the success they have long deserved on the United States metal scene.
Finally it was Mastodon’s turn to take the stage, and after the two stellar opening performances, the bar was set high. Opening with the lengthy “Hearts Alive” from their sophomore album “Leviathan” Mastodon wasted no time in drawing the crowd’s undivided attention. Classic tracks like “Crusher Destroyer” and “Crystal Skull” were found early in the set, much to the thrill of the long time Mastodon fans. As they progressed through their set, they got to their more recent material, including “Blasteroid” and “The Sparrow”. Mastodon past turned into Mastodon future briefly when the band broke out two songs from the upcoming album “Chimes at Midnight” and “High Road” are sure to become future staples in Mastodon sets after their new album hits the shelves.
Mastodon were on point during the entire set, never missing a beat, and adding new dimensions to their music that brought the older songs new life, and built a legacy for the newer songs. Headlining this tour, with such stellar support, really brought out the best in Mastodon, they rose to the challenge and delivered a headline a set that was more than worthy of the headline slot they posses.