TVD Live Shots: Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, and Russian Circles at The Fillmore Silver Spring, 5/02

Around 9:30 this past Tuesday evening, Mastodon took the stage at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD. Following openers Eagles of Death Metal would a daunting task for any band, but Mastodon embraced the challenge head first… and from the initial chord, the band went for the gut with a punch of heavy, yet immensely intricate, guitar work.

Touring to promote their 2017 release, Emperor of Sand, the Atlanta-based Mastodon is “stoner rock / sludge metal” at its finest. The riff heavy guitar attack from band members Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher is driven by the thunderous rhythm section of drummer Brann Dailor and Troy Sanders on bass. Sanders also splits vocal duties with Hinds pretty evenly throughout their set as well as on their recordings.

Mastodon’s sound could be described pretty easily—they rock… and hard. Their musicianship alone is immense and is rich in beautiful textures, rhythmic undertones, and super tight harmonic guitar runs that blaze over the top. I’ve seen Mastodon at larger venues and amphitheaters and I have to say, watching them perform in a club was a real treat. The band takes their stage volume to sonic levels and you can literally feel Sanders’ bass pass right through your chest.

Before Mastodon blew out my eardrums with their performance, their special guests, Eagles of Death Metal walked onto the venue’s stage to an immediate eruption of applause. With little adieu and wasting no time, Jessie Hughes and his fellow EODM personnel took to their instruments and rammed right into “I Only Want You,” with Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds filling in on rhythm guitar.

EODM’s hard rocking set featured a mix of hits. Hughes even pulled out a cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” from his bag of tricks. The amazing thing about watching EODM perform (besides their straight forward rock and roll approach) is their earnestness. Hughes is emphatically comfortable in his own skin and his persona is mesmerizing, filling a gaping rock and roll void. They’re always fun, hypnotic, and have a unique energy.

The Chicago based trio, Russian Circles opened the night with a heavy, yet intricate set of instrumental offerings. From quiet to full on heavy sludge, their 30 minute set showcased some stellar dynamics.

MASTODON

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL

RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Mastodon Setlist:
Sultan’s Curse
Divinations
The Wolf Is Loose
Crystal Skull
Ancient Kingdom
Bladecatcher
Black Tonuge
Colony of Birchen
Ember City
Megalodon
Andromeda
Oblivion
Show Yourself
Precious Stones
Roots Remain
Chimes at Midnight
Steambreather
Mother Puncher
Circle od Cysquatch
March of the Fire Ants

Eagles Death Metal Setlist:
I Only Want You
Don’t Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)
So Easy
Whorehopping’ (Shit Goddamn)
The Reverend
Moonage Daydream  (David Bowie cover)
I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)
Speaking in Tongues

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