The Missing Link tour made it’s way to Boston, MA on Sunday night, and brought with it a night of loud music and thick beards. Co-headlined by Grammy nominated metal band Mastodon, and venerable hard rockers Clutch, the tour has been garnering plenty of critical acclaim and selling out shows since it began on April 16th in St. Paul, MN. Sunday night was no different as the groups played to a sold out crowd of over 2,500 at the House of Blues.
First to the stage were the Swedish metal band Graveyard, a group whose sound immediately brought to mind the heavier side of Led Zeppelin. Their bluesy, slow paced rock is heavily influenced by the bands of the 60’s & 70’s, but still maintains a refreshing, modern edge all its own. They blistered though a 45 minute set that drew the audience’s attention as the reception for them grew with each song. A particular standout was the song “Uncomfortably Numb” an extended blues rock jam that had the room’s undivided attention.
On this particular co-headline run Mastodon and Clutch have been taking turns closing the show each night, it was Clutch’s turn to hit the stage first on this night. Opening with the fast paced tune “Earth Rocker” they set the tone for their early and continued to deliver. Songs like “The Mob Goes Wild” “Electric Worry” and “Profits of Doom” kept the energy level in the room at a high. A song listed on the setlist as “Monsters” was played, it was introduced as a song from their upcoming album, due out this fall. Clutch’s loyal fan base was in attendance and supporting the band in full throat the whole time.
After Clutch’s stellar set Mastodon took the stage at approximately 9:50 to a thunderous crowd reception. They kicked their set off with two songs from their 2014 release Once More ‘Round the Sun before touching on a couple of Mastodon live staples, “Blasteroid” and “Oblivion.” Mastodon’s visual presentation was as top notch as their sound, with production evoking thoughts of Pink Floyd if they had large beards and played heavy metal. A few other standout tracks from their set was their Grammy nominated single “High Road” and “Megalodon,” a song from their breakthrough 2004 album Leviathan.
Mastodon and Clutch are two bands that fit that old expression “similar but different.” While their sounds share some of the same elements the bands and their approaches couldn’t be more different. Clutch are a hard working, blue collar band that keep things simple with a bare bones approach. Playing in virtually the same lighting their entire set, playing whatever songs they decide to play that night, their show is a raw one. Meanwhile Mastodon runs like a well oiled machine, an incredibly professional operation with intricate instrumentation, captivating stage presence, and a visual experience above most in the genre. Together, they put on one hell of a rock show.
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