Photo credit: David Martínez
In any person’s life the first time for anything is typically the most unforgettable, be it your first kiss, first car, first job, you name it, smoking weed, getting a speeding ticket. Doesn’t matter, if the inaugural experience was emotionally and physically moving enough, you will likely remember it for the rest of your life. This includes musical experiences, such as hearing a band for the first time, their raddest album, or seeing them live.
As remarkable as it is for me to think about, the first time I saw Mastodon live was only very recently. Thursday, April 30, 2015, in fact, at The Theater in Tempe, AZ. Can’t say exactly why this momentous occasion was so long in happening, it simply turned out that way for me. In any case, as captured in the video posted here, which I recorded with my phone, the band opened with “Tread Lightly,” which they had been doing regularly throughout their current tour. It was also one of my favorite songs off of their 2014 album Once More ‘Round the Sun.
When the band walked onstage around 9pm, it was after Clutch had finished a killer set, so the bar was set pretty high. However, all four band members—Bill Kelliher, Brent Hinds, Troy Sanders, and Bränn Dailor—entered the venue carrying their instruments like titans taking their places above their domain. Then, as the rapid guitar chords began, the musical phenomenon known as Mastodon transformed an otherwise ordinary rock club into the mythic universe evoked in the band’s six studio albums.
Needless to say, I stood transfixed for the duration of the show. I didn’t realize how much I needed to see this band and hear this music live until it was their happening before me. If you get the chance, you should go see them, too. You’ll never forget it, especially your first time.
Video credit: David Martínez