Residents of the Hawaiian Islands were keeping their eyes on Hurricane Lane which was scheduled to hit the islands later in the week. An air of concern permeated daily life due to the predicted path and intensity of the storm. Residents have not forgotten the devastation Hurricane Iniki brought the island of Kauai in 1992.
What music lovers should have been concerned about was the bombardment of the islands by the Atlanta based metal band Mastodon. Maybe it was the weather but the show at The Republik, in Honolulu, Hawaii was massively under attended. Curtains were set up to mask the empty space but that did not seem to deter the band or fans in attendance.
The band, Troy Sanders (bass/vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar/vocals), Bill Kelliher (guitar), and Brann Dailor (drums/vocals) were visiting the islands after entertaining fans in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The heavy metal outfit was promoting their album Emperor of Sand.
The lights dimmed and immediately the band hit the stage and belted out the chords to “Sultan’s Curse”. The band was backlit with a barrage of flashing lights which only highlighted the blitzkrieg of noise. The songs “Divinations” and “Crystal Skull” followed. During the set the band combined every genre metal has to offer. Easily switching between progressive, sludge rock, and hardcore. Most impressive and surprising to me were the vocal combinations of the band. Each member sang and/or harmonized all through the set.
The duration of the set the band confessed their love for the islands. Drummer, Brann Dailor commented on who wouldn’t want to go to Cheese Cake Factory on the beach and then play a show. Guitarist, Brent Hinds, seemed enamored the word “mahalo”. Repeating his thanks to the audience multiple times during the show.
The set list favored Emperor of The Sun, but at least one song was played from each album including the bombastic “Mother Puncher” from their first album Remission. The accumulation of the band’s and crowd’s energy exploded during the encore; “Blood and Thunder”. On cue with the band, a pit started instantaneously that had been absent during the entire show. The entire club was thrown in to a maelstrom of bodies. Three minutes later fans were left smiling and wondering what had just happened. Mastodon had burst through the island and caught everyone off guard.
Sultan’s Curse / Divinations / Crystal Skull / Ancient Kingdom / Bladcatcher / Black Tongue / Ember City / Megalodon / Andromeda / Toe To Toes / Sleeping Giant / Show Yourself / Precious Stone / Roots Remain / Ghost of Karelia / Mother Puncher / Steam Breather / Blood and Thunder