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Mastodon with Converge, The Big Easy, September 21

Show Review


Looking and sounding as if they'd just returned from an Alaskan expedition, Mastodon enchanted Boise's finest metal connoisseurs, leaving ear drums temporarily impaired and souls a shade darker.

Breaking the metal mold of classification, it would be proper to say that Mastodon's sound is simply art. Fantastically melodic and enigmatically hypnotizing, they seem to transcend most metal music. Their on-stage presence rendered vigor and passion and though they played each riff effortlessly, their technical abilities were intricate and absolute. They did not come off as flashy or ostentatious, shamefully trying to establish a greater sense of manhood. I am quite confident that their staunch and burly riffs did that on their own.

As a result of their potent sound, I couldn't help but notice the intense energy between the front men as they swayed back and forth in unison while eloquently playing their instruments. With their raw passion and intent, Mastodon could have been mistaken for the band chosen to play the score to the ending of the world.

Boise was also graced with the talents of Converge, a band I feel I've been waiting my entire life to see live. Unparalleled, poetic and admirably heartrending, I felt I was committing the ultimate act of debauchery simply by allowing my ears to partake in bliss so sweet.

Beautifully written lyrics were delivered through high-pitched, distorted screams by Jacob Bannon. Converge possessed carnal and visceral energy, making it a rare and unique treat for all those who were there.

Pulling mostly from the albums You Fail Me and Jane Doe, Converge also treated the audience to two new punishing, drop-G-tuned selections from their forthcoming album No Heroes, driving the crowd into bedlam. The highlight of their set was the song "Last Light," a kind of homage to the late Jack Barsness, who turned many of his friends on to Converge.

Goosebumps and strategically raised neck-hairs were ample throughout the entire show, and it was, most certainly, an ineffable experience for the hearts still beating.