I Am Ahab
metal now. Metal = Mastodon = Intense Insane Masculine Face-Punching Release.
On Wednesday I trekked back into Osaka to see Extreme the Dojo Vol 11. Arrived just after Isis started, and was amazed at how a band could play for an hour without looking at each other or the crowd, or even speaking. Now that's insularity. Isis were kind of average, even for a metal band. None of their songs really interested the crowd all that much, but some of their hypno-drone things were kind of cool. Incidentally, sorry about the quality of most of these photos. Can someone give me some tips on taking good gig shots? I played with exposure and ISO and stuff, but it just doesn't happen. Help!
Then Mastodon came on. It was like my clone family reunion. Four guys with scruffy red hair and beards and big amps. Somebody near the front said the word "metrosexual" in conversation, and the guitarist reached down and pummeled his face in before sacrificing his skull to Poseidon, or something.
Mastodon were really fucking good. I'm not really in on the scene, but I think they mostly played tracks from their latest moby-dick-crashing-seas-concept-album Leviathan. Blood and Thunder (WHITE WHALE! HOLY GRAIL!!!!) and Megalodon were excellent, the crowd went crazy and it was pretty obvious the band appreciated it; I think they were kind of surprised. Mastodon actually did occasionally look at each other, and the frontman/bassist had some great onstage banter lined up : eg "Let's hear it for ISIS!!!". Also had a strange habit of saluting or doing the namaste thing to the crowd like some cross between the Dalai Lama and Commodore Perry, with a bit of Cro-Magnon man thrown in for full historical span and metal credibility. They were all very good players and I am all about the 'Don from now on.
Went and got a drink and prepared to dash for my last train, but listened to a bit of Converge from the back of the pit first. Kind of glad I wasn't in the mosh, coz suckers must have died. Real hardcore motherfuckers, are Converge. Frontman is like a ADHD kid, jumping around with his hooded jumper and pumping his fist. Hardcore's not really my thing, but it's good as a spectacle.
Anyway, definitely worth going, so cheers for the tip Evo and Scottford. I still expect reimbursement for the ticket, 5000 yen, but I might even send you a souvenir in return.
No more gigs scheduled til Sonic Youth in March. Nice to have a break.
Next on the agenda: Aioi invitational basketball, 4:30 pm today, vs South Himeji. Wish me luck.