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Mastodon, Neurosis: Photos/Show Review (Brooklyn Masonic Temple, New York)

On a bitter cold night on January 24, the gods of metal swung their mighty hammers and bestowed upon us a rare gift: Sludge giants Mastodon and crust godfathers Neurosis playing back-to-back sets at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Fort Greene. A review of the evening, in images and words, is below. 


Photos by Chris Owyoung


The place was filled to capacity by a mixed group of Pratt kids, dirty old metalheads, and Williamsburg nerds. The psychedelic space metal of openers U.S. Christmas, a North Carolina band on the Neurosis-run Neurot label,  echoed throughout the temple’s ballroom, with singer/guitarist Nate Hall screaming through the heavy Sons of Otis-like riffs like an angry Roger Waters.

The set from Atlanta-based Mastodon drew mostly from Blood Mountain, the band’s third and most recent full-length, released via Reprise in 2006, with a couple songs from Leviathan (2004) and Remission (2002) thrown in. The audience responded to the crushing bass laid down by co-howler Troy Sanders and the technical riffs of guitarist/singer Brent Hinds by forming a decent-size pit. When Hinds stepped up to the edge of the stage with his Flying V, the hands reached out and the horns began to fly. The echoing acoustics of the Masonic Temple, which worked nicely for U.S. Christmas, muddled Mastodon’s intricate guitar work. The result was a washed-out cacophony that made it hard to appreciate the complexity of the band's music.

After Mastodon’s set, the members of Neurosis took the stage with little fanfare and dove right into material from Given to Rising, released in May via Neurot. The dubious-smelling smoke permeated the crowd as Neurosis strummed one slow chord after another. Though light was scarce for all three acts, Neurosis was illuminated entirely by bleak-themed projection visuals by acclaimed video director and Battle of Mice member Josh Graham.
The concert was so loud that anyone within fifteen feet of the speakers ran the high risk of sudden digestive distress. Even in the standing-room-only balcony, heavy bass lines vibrated innards in an oddly satisfying way. Backed by images of slow-motion flowers opening, wolves running across snowy fields, and shadowy figures walking back and forth, the band punished the crowd with heavy dirge and commanded heads to bang at the right moments. Neurosis’s last song ended with a ten-minute feedback/drum solo that left everyone exhausted, happy and a little stoned.
Mastodon’s set list:
Hearts Alive
The Wolf Is Loose
Crystal Skull
Capillarian Crest
Hand of Stone
Siberian Divide
Sleeping Giant
Circle of Cysquatch
Aqua Dementia
Where Strides the Behemoth
Mother Puncher

Neurosis’s set list:
Given to the Rising
Hidden Faces
A Season in the Sky
At the End of the Road
To the Wind
Distill (Watching the Swarm)

Water Is Not Enough
The Doorway

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I am so freakin' jealous of Adam Louie right now. What a lineup. And you know, I've seen Mastodon twice now and both times they were playing cavernous venues where the intricate guitarwork is smudged over...might it just be their plight as one of the biggest metal bands in America? I hope note.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/narfish/HeadbangSquare.jpg narfish

Having been right up front, I could see how complicated the guitarwork was. The acoustics just weren't in their favor.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/onelouderphoto/icon.jpg Chris Owyoung

Mastodon's sound sucked....too bad cause I love them.

I was pissed


Great pix of Mastodon!!!

Venus Blue

I heard Scott Kelly perform solo acoustic at the end of '07. It's sorta funny how much his songs sound like Neurosis but without the electricity. Just as heavy, just as gruff and low and despairing and spiritual...those guys just soak up what they do and squeeze it out every which way like some muddy sponge.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/narfish/HeadbangSquare.jpg narfish

photos are sick.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

it was fookin phenomenal i stood on the side of the stage for mastodons set they were on fire but i made the mistake of standing 7 feet from the speakers during neurosis's set my ears were ringing till friday afternoon

one hell of a concert though


Mastodon's set looks awesome. The only time I've ever seen them was at Vegoose and they only had a one hour set so they didn't play anything from Remission. I would have loved to see Where Strides the Behemoth live.


Boo hoo on acoustics...Big stages rarely let a tech band shine. It's lovely to see Mastodon's progress having played several shows with them over the years, with one 6 years ago in the back room of a crappy record store to 20 people...go figure. It's all a Masonic conspiracy anyway.


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