The band writes some amazing rock ‘n’ roll, with hooks full of pop appeal amidst the clambering and prancing about. The stage show is fun, fun, fun, but last night the sound at the Main Street Armory was shit, shit, shit. It was a shame; I love the vibe of the joint. But even if you knew songs like “I Want You So Hard” and Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” the lyrics were lost in the steam and echo.
Headliners Mastodon faired a little better: The band’s overall sound has a grand sweep of bigger dynamics; a lot of push and pull with a lot of hairpin turns. Chicago three-piece, heavy, instrumental outfit Russian Circles faired the best overall sound-wise. The show opener’s set didn’t have that headliner decibel bump and there were no words to not discern as the whole room presented itself as a totally appropriate cauldron full of swirling sonics and skull crush.