Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two Nights and 20 Years

Slim's, San Francisco
September 25 & 26, 2006

I've already ranted about Mastodon HERE and HERE in this space. Nothing's changed: I still, like, totally dig the band and their new album (Blood Mountain) is fookin' gleat.

Both of the Slim's shows were sold out in advance, but on Night #1 there was an inordinate number of neck tattoos in the crowd... Hmm, I better decide what I want inked on my throat ASAP before The Kidz start calling me "uncool". Night #1 also included a nice contingent from the Umlaut Coven (Timo, Lori Acid King, Dave, and the McBains).

Mastodon have so much going on musically that watching them perform is sometimes overwhelming; they veer from Metal, Prog Rock, Punk, Jazz, and some places not of this world within minutes. They blast a wall of intelligent, bludgeoning volume that reminds me of the glory days of Neurosis.

Trivia: Bill of Mastodon is a huge Star Wars fan. Neurosis sampled the sound of a Tie Fighter from Star Wars at the 4:48 minute mark of their classic song 'Souls At Zero'.

Long story short, as a result of Mastodon's Star Wars geekdom and my address book, I was able to skate into Night #2 via The List. Yeah, yeah.. The Force blah blah blah... Anyway, THANKS to the Rock Godz and Management. For the record, my strictly platonic male +1 for Night #2 was Big Wayne.

We walked in minutes before Mastodon took the stage and Slim's was ridiculously packed... The room was so jammed with humans that we didn't even attempt to make it to the backstage area. However, there were noticeably fewer neck tattoos at Night #2. As for the band, the main difference was (1) a broken snare drum and (2) a snippet of the James Gang's 'Funk #49'.

On the way out, a huge ("huge" as in built like a brick wall) white guy with a skinhead vibe bumped my arm, looked down at me, and said "Excuse me.." with a weird look on his face. A couple of steps later he brushed my arm again, looked down at me, and said "Excuse me.." with a weird look on his face. Was this guy trying to fuck with me??

A couple of steps later, contact was made again, and again I was looked down upon and received an apology and weird look. I thought "Okay, enough of this" and let the dude move in front of me. On the back of his neck was a tattoo that began with an "S".....

Yup, you guessed it: He had the S.F. Giants logo inked over his cervical vertebrae. Big Wayne agreed with me: That dude was the most unreasonably polite Jock we've ever encountered. When I got home I discovered a huge piece of gum (grape flavored) stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

Iron Maiden shirts: 1st night = 1 (mine) and 2nd night = 1 (mine) and 1 hoodie (Ted's). If you bought one of every Mastodon merch item you would have paid around $140. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Oh yeah, today (09/27/06) is the 20th Anniversary of THIS... Damn...20 years.

One time I ran into him in front of a Dio concert in San Jose circa-1983; as I approached he shouted his greeting. He then reached into the Bud 12-pack under his arm and offered me a can in lieu of shaking my hand. He was salt of the Earth and my memory of him is genuinely sacred. Cue the song 'Orion' by his band.

Trivia: Earlier this year, Mastodon recorded a cover version of 'Orion'.