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Mastodon, Bandito - Mastodon's songs are still brilliant although the show was painful to watch
In between the festivals Mastodon is visiting Doornroosje for their 25th show in the Netherlands. After their brilliant last album ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’ a packed venue is eager to welcome the band. As support Primate (containing members of Mastodon and Brutal Truthwas used to play . They canceled the gig so the Stoner Rock band Bandito opens the evening in their hometown. 
 
When Metalrage arrives the band is already at the end of their show for a packed venue. The first song we hear is a portion of decent stoner with easy to recognize riffs. In the next song the vocalist picks up a tambourine and screams loudly ‘Mexico City' and a typical bluesy part is played. Surprise, surprise (not!); after a break a stoner cruisin riff is played by the enthusiastic band and ends the song. One song is left and that's also a cheesy one; nope Bandito is not the next Red Fang from the lowlands. 
 
Half an hour later Mastodon steps into the ring and starts off with the new album. With a good sound in the pocket (Doornroosje’s trademark nowadays) it’s easy to conclude the vocals are not the best thing we are going to hear tonightOn the new album the vocals are the biggest improvement however on stage the band struggles with the cleaner ones. Especially Brent Hinds has a hard time to sing his vocal lines in range and not out of key. When they start ‘The Motherload’ with drummer Brann Dailor singing everything seems to fell on its place. 
 
The rougher vocals from Troy Sanders are also at the quality level you'll expect.  However during the show there is something missing. There is almost no energy between the four guys on stage and there is no a team spirit like they still had a couple of years ago. It’s remarkable there is barely any eye contact between the members. Brent Hinds seems a bit drunk and in his own world he's jamming on his guitar with the occasional guitar solos present. Still I miss the eagerness of the boys; if they are busy finishing their late shift.
 
Only the quality of the songs keeps the show enjoyable. As a fan from the early work and the last album it’s almost painful to watch. Where are the backwards bendings from Troy Sanders when he almost reaches the ground with his hair during the most intense moments of a song? Because they don’t reach that level of intensity anymore? Only during the funny song ‘Circle of Sasquatch’ the fun and fire is back. Not for long because the newbie ‘Ember City’ has the same cheesiness as before. 
 
The only member that passes the exam tonight is drummer Brann Dailor. ‘The Last Baron’ from Crack the Skye ends the night and is a small highlight due to the always impressive guitar work. After the set the guitarists leave the stage immediately. Notable is the fact that Dailor is the only guy who thanks the crowd and makes a funny talk afterwards. He still seems to enjoy playing live. I don’t hope this will continue for Mastodon otherwise I foresee a doomy future for my heroes.