Many well put together tours have already taken place in 2015 and another one of those gems came through Southern California on Wednesday night April 29 as Mastodon, Clutch and Graveyard played the historic Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Blvd. A Co-Headline tour Named “The Missing Link Tour” this is as close as it gets to the ideal Stoner Metal dream tour.
Graveyard opened the show to a large fan base already inside the venue albeit their performance started at 7:00pm on the dot. The band played 45 minutes of psychedelic, stoner metal that grooved as much as it pummeled. The Die-hard Graveyard fans were more than pleased to get a set this long from an opening band and it was a fantastic way to get the night underway. After a fifteen minute set change the stage was ready for Clutch. (not quite alternating every other show but Clutch headlines in certain cities on this tour).
Clutch casually walked onstage and opened the show with “The Mob Goes Wild” as vocalist Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult and the rhythm section of drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist Dan Maines delivered 75 minutes of groove-laden, blues inspired hard rock/heavy metal. Fallon immediately had the crowd in the palm of his hands as he prowled around the stage belting out Clutch’s sometimes whacky lyrics and often reaching out with his signature wiggly fingers move.
Each member of the band displayed precision and skill performing their craft as although the content of the songs may not be very serious, the musicianship and talent is as good as it gets. In addition to supplying the vocals, Fallon also strapped on the guitar a few times as well played the harmonica and some cowbell. The majority of the music was focused on their 2013 release Earth Rocker as well as oldies but goodies “Texan Book Of The Dead” and “A Shogun Named Marcus”. Clutch also treated Los Angeles to two new songs form their forthcoming release Psychic Warfare which according to Fallon will be released in September. The band ended the night with “One Eye Dollar” as the fans became rowdier than at any other time in the set as some moshing and crowd surfing broke out – a GREAT way to end an epic show!
Mastodon had a difficult task ahead of them following Clutch’s performance and although there were plenty of Mastodon die-hards in attendance the band came across very dull and uninspired during their 90 minute set. The band played as various colored spotlights and backlights swirled around the stage making for a groovy visual that matched up well with the music. One aspect of Mastodon that makes them a very exciting band is all four members – Troy Sanders (bass), Bill Kelliher (guitar), Brent Hinds (guitar) and Brann Dailor (drums) all sing lead vocals on various songs throughout their catalog.
Although the presentation was lacking you cannot deny the hugeness of the Mastodon sound. The band focused heavily on tunes from their 2014 release Once More ‘Round The Sun playing several songs from that album. The “The Missing Link Tour” heads east with a stop in Canada and runs through the last week in May – catch it if you can!
The Mob Goes Wild | Profits Of Doom | Earth Rocker | Crucial Velocity | Gravel Road | Unto The Breach | Pure Rock Fury | Texan Book Of The Dead | Cypress Grove | Cyborg Bette | The Regulator | X-Ray Visions | Energy Weapons | D.C. Sound Attack! | A Shogun Named Marcus | Electric Worry | One Eye Dollar