Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
There was good reason I didn’t sweat it back in August when Graveyard announced a round of US tour dates that covered the Midwest and some of the West Coast and that was it. It was because it would only be a matter of time before the Swedish heavy rockers let loose another round of touring. What, you thought Graveyard just wasn’t gonna come around? They’ve put in an awful lot of work over the last couple years to let their new album, Innocence and Decadence (review here), go unsupported. Sometimes these things require patience.
So Graveyard will indeed hit another slew of North American markets — including the Eastern Seaboard — and whenever they get here, they’re sure to find welcome.
The PR wire tells it like it is:
Graveyard Announces Winter 2016 U.S. Headlining Tour
Award-winning Swedish rock band GRAVEYARD has announced a winter 2016 U.S. headlining tour in support of its critically acclaimed new album Innocence & Decadence. The three week major market trek will kick off on January 22 in Cambridge, MA and run through February 13 in Philadelphia, with stops in NYC, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington, DC and more along the way. Support on the GRAVEYARD tour will come from fellow Swedish rockers Spiders.
In advance of the 2016 tour, GRAVEYARD will headline North America this December, launching the late autumn jaunt on December 4 in Columbus, OH. Support on the two week run will come from California psych-rock trio Earthless.
GRAVEYARD tour dates:
Dec. 4-19 featuring support from Earthless.
December 4 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups December 5 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall December 6 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe December 8 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall December 9 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue December 10 Missoula, MT Top Hat Lounge December 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey December 12 Vancouver, BC VENUE December 14 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom December 15 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore December 17 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom December 19 Austin, TX Mohawk
Jan. 22 – Feb. 13 featuring support from Spiders.
January 22 Cambridge, MA The Middle East Downstairs January 23 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom January 24 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall January 26 Millvale, PA Mr. Small’s Theatre January 27 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop January 28 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall January 29 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall January 30 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel January 31 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre February 2 New Orleans, LA Gasa Gasa February 4 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre February 5 Atlanta, GA Terminal West February 6 Chattanooga, TN Revelry Room February 9 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage February 10 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl February 11 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom February 12 Washington, DC 9:30 Club February 13 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
Posted in Reviews on October 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
The fanbase of Sweden’s Graveyard — who, going into their fourth album and third for Nuclear Blast, Innocence and Decadence, can rightly be considered among the most influential heavy rock acts of their generation in Europe — seems to be becoming more divided over time between those who wish the four-piece would get down exclusively to the raw shuffle that made their 2007 self-titled the landmark it has become, and those more given to appreciate the melancholy sensibility that has emerged to diversify their approach over the course of the two subsequent full-lengths, 2011’s Hisingen Blues (review here) and 2012’s Lights Out (review here) — the very title of which seemed to hint at the moodiness within.
For what it’s worth, if it’s one or the other, I’m in the latter camp. The progression undertaken by Graveyard — guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson, guitarist Jonathan Ramm, rejoined bassist Truls Mörck and drummer Axel Sjöberg — toward a more soulful sound has been the very thing distinguishing them from the legion of acts following in their retro-styled wake, and the 43-minute/11-track Innocence and Decadence makes a lasting impression in its subdued moments, but true to the two-pronged aspect hinted at in the name of the record, that’s not the entire story, and songs like opener “Magnetic Shunk,” “Never Theirs to Sell” — a spiritual successor to “The Suits, the Law and the Uniforms,” from the last album — “From a Hole in the Wall” and “Hard-Headed” provide some of the most chaotic churn Graveyard have enacted to-date. Don’t believe me? “From a Hole in the Wall” has blastbeats. Stick that in your ’70s boogie.
One of Innocence and Decadence‘s greatest strengths is that even as it plays to one side or the other, delving into wistful longing on “Exit 97,” proffering soul-rock mastery on “Too Much is Not Enough,” complete with backup singers delivering the hook lines “Can’t keep/A promise never made,” and rounding out with the minimalist “Stay for a Song” long after the “Did all the rest now I gotta do you” testosterone chicanery of “Magnetic Shunk” has subsided, it also finds middle ground between them. A mid-paced cut like “The Apple and the Tree,” the drum-fueled semi-psych spaciousness of “Can’t Walk Out,” the ultra-swinging “Cause and Defect” or the languid Ramm-led sing-along of the penultimate “Far too Close” provide moments of fluid transition en route to one extreme or the other. Now, I don’t think Graveyard sat down with a chart and said, “Okay, we’re going to start fast, then slow down, then speed up, so let’s write this and this and this,” but it’s emblematic of a varied (yet of consistent quality) approach to songwriting, their maturity as a band now approaching their 10th year, and their skill for placing each song on the album to maximize the overarching flow.
The end result is that Graveyard don’t simply jump from one end to the other — except where it suits them, as in the sharp cut from “Exit 97” to “Never Theirs to Sell” — but rely on organic fluidity every bit as integral to their sound as recording live or the the analog feel that remains strong in their material. Split into vinyl sides between “Too Much is Not Enough” and “From a Hole in the Wall” — which features a shift in vocal approach that brings Mörck to the lead-singer role — Innocence and Decadence emerges as a logical step forward from where Graveyard were three years ago on Lights Out and finds them maintaining the level of output that has let their reach expand so far. They come across committed less to the superficial trappings of a retro aesthetic than to their own songcraft, and that allows them to carry over these tracks in their given aesthetic as it would even had they undergone a stylistic shift as drastic as that of fellow Örebro natives and labelmates Witchcraft, whose most recent offering was a marked departure toward modern production.
Performance-wise, Sjöberg puts on a show across these cuts that deserves to enter his name into the conversation for best active drummers in heavy rock. He does more with a closing hi-hat and ride cymbal on “Exit 97” than most drummers can pull off with an entire kit, and is just as at home ghost-noting Ramm‘s stellar lead work on “Hard-Headed” as he is stick-clicking and slow-jazz rolling on “Far too Close,” tossing off frenetic snare fills in the meantime that are pure class and always seem to find their way back into the pocket right on time. Similarly, Nilsson‘s voice proves more able than ever to carry an entire track, as it does most notably on the quiet, sweet “Stay for a Song,” which finishes Innocence and Decadence not with riotous shuffle, but with keys so soft they’re barely there. His post-Plant high-register howl is in effect for the end of “The Apple and the Tree” and “Never Theirs to Sell,” but true to the spirit of the album as a whole, he’s not limited at all to one or the other, and as noted, there’s exploration of pushing his limits even further on “From a Hole in the Wall,” as well as “Can’t Walk Out” and “Cause and Defect,” that only emphasizes the level of frontman he’s become.
That’s not to take away from what Ramm brings to the guitar or what Mörck(who played guitar on the self-titled prior to parting ways with the band and then rejoining on bass) adds on bass — a song like “Cause and Defect” would be severely lacking swagger without him — just that particularly on initial listens, the vocals and drums offer several striking accomplishments. For the band as a whole, Innocence and Decadence does likewise, be it the perfectly patient “Too Much is Not Enough” or the catchy sway of “Far too Close” pushing toward the album’s conclusion, and it leaves little mystery as to why Graveyard have become the band they have, working their way toward an institution and toward statesmanship, but still ready to tear it up when the occasion arises, as it does at several well-timed junctures here.
Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video
Best song on the record. Graveyard‘s fourth, Innocence and Decadence (review pending), has a few real gems on it. Enough that in a couple months it’ll likely be a top-tenner, at least for me if not in the readers poll — and probably there too — but from where I sit, the soul-rock vibe of “Too Much is Not Enough” completely pays off the spirit of songs like “Hard Times Lovin'” and “Slow Motion Countdown” from 2012’s Lights Out (review here), while also expanding the form into raw soul rock complete with backing singers, Abbey Road-tone leads and a total understanding that this kind of thing not only works within the context of what the Swedish ’70s-style rock forerunners do, but is essential to it. Again, Innocence and Decadence has a few really good songs. I wouldn’t say there’s a clunker in the bunch. Best song on the record.
The album is available now — I haven’t bought a copy yet, but I’ll get there and I have my download to review — and to coincide with the release, the band have unveiled a clip for “Too Much is Not Enough” that follows suit in its cinematic feel from “The Apple and the Tree,” which came out last month. Not sure where Graveyard came into such a video budget — if that’s Nuclear Blast, kudos to Nuclear Blast — but they’re putting it to excellent use, as this new video follows a narrative thread, features the band jamming out in suitably classy surroundings and echoes the melancholy of the song gorgeously.
Graveyard tour the US in December. Dates and PR wire info follow the clip.
Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video
Award-winning Swedish rock band GRAVEYARD releases its new album Innocence & Decadence via Nuclear Blast Records. The acclaimed group’s fourth album was recorded live in the studio, directly to analog tape, with producer Johan Lindström and builds on the solid foundation and formidable reputation that GRAVEYARD has cultivated since its formation in 2006, providing the most shining example to date of a sound the band calls “classic rock with a modern roll”.
“We all know how it goes,” the band comments on the song. “There’s ying and there’s yang. Too little and too much and neither one is enough. Somewhere, there is love and the universe finds it’s balance in a perfect ballad.” The “Too Much Is Not Enough” video was shot on location at Sweden’s historic Stadshotell.
GRAVEYARD will embark on fall U.S. tour dates in support of Innocence & Decadence beginning December 4 in Columbus, OH. The live dates are as follows:
GRAVEYARD tour dates: December 4 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups December 5 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall December 6 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe December 8 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall December 9 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue December 10 Missoula, MT Stage 112 December 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey December 12 Vancouver, BC VENUE December 14 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom December 15 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore December 17 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom December 19 Austin, TX Mohawk
Just in case your anticipation for Graveyard‘s forthcoming LP, Innocence and Decadence, had yet to hit fever-pitch, the Swedish foursome have unveiled a new video for the track “The Apple and the Tree” that boasts, among other things, choice groove and shoveling shit. Want some context on that one? Yeah, you’re just gonna have to watch the clip.
The song itself answers a few key questions about where the band would go following their third album, 2012’s Lights Out (review here), most notably about where they’d wind up production-wise. There’s a lot of their core ’70s methodology maintained in “The Apple and the Tree” — which like “Cause and Defect” and the album’s title itself, hints at a theme of duality — but like Lights Out, you wouldn’t necessarily call the vibe here retro or vintage in terms of its overall sound, classic as that groove is.
Also notable is the dynamic of the song itself, which saves its real push toward the end of a satisfying three-minute run, guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson — joined in the band by guitarist Jonathan Ramm bassist Truls Mörck and drummer Axel Sjöberg — shifting into his bluesy higher register at just the right moment to drive the point home. As to whether or not that’s emblematic of a songwriting progression across the board on Innocence and Decadence, I don’t know — haven’t heard the album yet — but I’m sure as hell interested to find out.
Video below, followed by recently-announced tour dates and more info from the PR wire. Enjoy:
Graveyard, “The Apple and the Tree” official video
Award-winning Swedish rock band GRAVEYARD will release its new album Innocence & Decadence, on September 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The acclaimed group’s fourth album was recorded live in the studio, directly to analog tape, with producer Johan Lindström and is the follow-up to GRAVEYARD’s 2012 release, Lights Out. Innocence & Decadence builds on the solid foundation and formidable reputation that GRAVEYARD has cultivated since its formation in 2006, providing the most shining example to date of a sound the band calls “classic rock with a modern roll”. The quartet describes the record as a blend of “everything from old 20’s Blues to Krautrock with synthesizers, Irma Thomas, blast beats and Psych Rock.”
Today, GRAVEYARD premieres the first music video from Innocence & Decadence, for the album’s lead single, “The Apple and the Tree.” Directed by Jonas Petersson and shot outside Fagersta, Sweden (hometown of The Hives), the video depicts the band working and enjoying life on a countryside farm.
“Just like life in general, it depends on what you choose to see and hear,” said the band. “Innocence & Decadence is built on thousands of layers of love, fury and being alive in the year 2015.” Check out a trailer for the record, featuring interactive album art, at this location.
GRAVEYARD will embark on fall U.S. tour dates in support of Innocence & Decadence beginning December 4 in Columbus, OH. The just-released live dates are as follows:
GRAVEYARD tour dates:
December 4 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups December 5 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall December 6 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe December 8 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall December 9 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue December 10 Missoula, MT Stage 112 December 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey December 14 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom December 15 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore December 17 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom December 19 Austin, TX Mohawk
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
One imagines this headlining run along the West Coast and in the Midwest is just the beginning of Graveyard‘s album cycle for their fourth album, Innocence and Decadence, which is out Sept. 25, but it’s enough to get a longer party started anyway. Their last album, 2012’s Lights Out (review here), took them around the world and it seems only fair to assume this one will do likewise. Still, I’ve never been to Columbus or Chicago in December, but considering how frickin’ cold I can imagine it being, it doesn’t seem like they’re exactly starting off easy. Probably being from Sweden helps.
Dates and info off the PR wire:
GRAVEYARD Announces U.S. Headlining Tour
Swedish Hard Rock Stalwarts to Release New Album Innocence & Decadence September 25
Scandinavian Hi-Fi heroes GRAVEYARD will release their new album, Innocence & Decadence, on September 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The acclaimed rock band’s fourth album, Innocence & Decadence was recorded live in the studio, directly to analog tape, with producer Johan Lindström and is the follow-up to GRAVEYARD’s 2012 release, Lights Out.
Innocence & Decadence builds on the solid foundation and formidable reputation that GRAVEYARD has cultivated since its formation in 2006, providing the most shining example to date of a sound the band calls “classic rock with a modern roll”. The quartet describes the record as a blend of “everything from old 20’s Blues to Krautrock with synthesizers, Irma Thomas, blast beats and Psych Rock.” Check out a trailer for the record, featuring interactive album art, at this location.
“Just like life in general, it depends on what you choose to see and hear,” said the band in a statement. “Innocence & Decadence is built on thousands of layers of love, fury and being alive in the year 2015.” Innocence & Decadence is available for pre-order nowat this location.
Today, GRAVEYARD announces fall U.S. tour dates in support of Innocence & Decadence. The headlining run will launch on December 4 in Columbus, OH and run through December 19 in Austin, TX with support to be announced. The just-released live dates are as follows:
GRAVEYARD tour dates: December 4 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups December 5 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall December 6 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe December 8 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall December 9 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue December 10 Missoula, MT Stage 112 December 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey December 14 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom December 15 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore December 17 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom December 19 Austin, TX Mohawk
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
News hasn’t been quick in arriving about Graveyard‘s fourth album, which we now know is titled Innocence and Decadence — perhaps for its dealings with the bluesy demons that seem to have haunted the Swedish outfit since their 2007 self-titled debut — but confirmation came of the record’s existence on their tour with Clutch last month (review here) and the new song, “Shunken,” which they played to herald the upcoming offering’s arrival. Sept. 25 is the release date, and it will be their third outing for Nuclear Blast after 2012’s Lights Out (review here) and 2011’s Hisingen Blues (review here), duty-bound to answer some questions about where their sound is heading after their last time out and just what direction their massively influential ’70s stylizations will take.
Very much looking forward to finding out. If you are as well, preorders are up now. This from the PR wire:
GRAYEYARD Reveal Details to Upcoming Album!
Swedish grandmasters of classic rock, GRAVEYARD, have announced that they will be releasing their fourth full-length album, Innocence & Decadence on September 25, 2015 worldwide via Nuclear Blast.
Innocence & Decadence was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden at Atlantis Studios with Janne Hansson (ABBA, THE HIVES, OPETH) and Johan Lindström (TONBRUKET).
Commented the band: “Got a new album coming your way in September called Innocence & Decadence. It’s gonna be an album filled to the rim with a little bit of this – and for all of those who might wonder or worry – there will be quite a lot of that on it as well. We’ve had a great time recording the album at the ‘gemytliga’ Atlantis Studios in Stockholm together with Janne Hansson and Johan Lindström. And after kinda being away from our daily routine as a touring band and the thrill of a new album on its way …we wanna leave you with.
“Good to be gone, great to be back and let there be September!“ – Axel, Joakim, Jonathan & Truls aka Graveyard
Innocence & Decadence will be released in various formats (vinyl look digipak, digital download, black/clear/splatter/orange/green/bi-colored vinyl as well as a T-Shirt/CD bundle) – pre-order your copy here:http://nblast.de/GRAVEYARDdecadence
A European headlining tour will be announced shortly.
Posted in Reviews on May 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
A mixed bag of a crowd at House of Blues in Boston, and between Mastodon, Clutch and Graveyard on the three-band bill, it’s not much of a surprise. One can draw a thread easily enough from one to the other to the other, but the reality of watching them on stage makes plain the differences between them, emphasizing Graveyard‘s ’70s boogie, Clutch‘s bluesy groove and the noodly progressive overload of Mastodon, who were the evening’s headliners. Accordingly, there were those who were there to see one or the other. Kids for Mastodon, dudes who look like me for Clutch and/or Graveyard, metal heads, rockers, whatever. I wouldn’t call it diverse exactly, but not everybody had a beard.
“The Missing Link Tour,” as it’s been dubbed, started just over a month earlier, mid-April in Minnesota, and it will end in Columbus, Ohio, on May 24. With a week to go, maybe the three bands were thinking “home stretch” or “last throes,” but if so, it wasn’t evident from the crowd. Big Business did the initial couple weeks, but Graveyard stepped in on April 29 for the rest of the run, and they were a major draw for me. I hadn’t seen them since the beginning of 2013 and knew they had a new album in the works, so was hoping for some yet-unreleased material in the set from Swedish retroist forerunners, and got what I came for in a driving, one-int0-the-next mix with tracks culled from 2012’s Lights Out (review here), their landmark 2011 sophomore outing, Hisingen Blues (review here) and even their 2007 self-titled debut.
It was “As the Years Pass by, the Hours Bend” as the sole inclusion from the latter, and while Lights Out cuts “Seven Seven,” “Hard Times Lovin'” and “The Suits, the Law and the Uniforms” represented the latest outing, and “Hisingen Blues,” “The Siren,” “Buying Truth” and finale “Uncomfortably Numb” the second album. A full set, maybe, an opening one nonetheless, and as much of an impact as the Gothenburg four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson guitarist Jonathan Ramm bassist Truls Mörck (who played guitar on the self-titled and is returned to the band handling low end) and drummer Axel Sjöberg have had on the course of European heavy rock — Sweden abounds in ’70s riffing and much of it is Graveyard‘s fault — they stood almost in a horizontal line on stage with Clutch and Mastodon‘s gear behind them. For what it’s worth, from that opener’s position, they also put on the best show I’ve seen play and I’ve seen them four or five times now.
Their new album, yet untitled, is due in the fall, and the new song they played from it was called “Shunken.” A big question as regards their sound is whether they’ll stick to the tonal warmth of their output thus far or, à la their Nuclear Blast labelmates and countrymen in Witchcraft — whose roots also trace back to the mid-’90s nexus outfit Norrsken, whose demos and compilation tracks beg immediate reissue — if they’ll attempt to modernize their style, sacrificing aesthetic to center on songwriting. Hard to tell live, but “Shunken” had an evening’s worth of shuffle packed into its relatively brief course, so I’d say Graveyard‘s Graveyardery is alive and well at least as far as that song goes. Lights Out was a moodier offering, and “Hard Times Lovin'” brought that to bear on stage between “Buying Truth” and “The Suits, the Law and the Uniforms,” but Nilsson‘s growth as a vocalist was evident in how thoroughly and soulfully the material was nailed, and their set provided a reminder that one of the joys of watching them play is how much it seems at any moment like the songs are going to come flying apart and how tight the band shows itself to be when they never actually do and everyone comes back together on the next measure.
As I’m sure they have all along their time on tour, Graveyard won over the crowd at House of Blues. Clutch, on the other hand, had the room from the word go. They’ve also got a new record coming this fall, in September, specifically, and they’ve been brandying around new songs either from it or not for a while now, titles on YouTube clips like “ZZ,” “Energy Weapons,” “Motörhead,” “Sucker for the Witch,” and so on, popping up whether or not that’s how they’ll actually be titled when the recording hits. Their last outing, Earth Rocker (review here), was hands-down the best release of 2013, and the rock-solid, semper-professional four-piece of frontman Neil Fallon (interview here), guitarist Tim Sult (interview here), bassist Dan Maines (interview here) and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster (interview here) have obviously taken steps to ensure the follow-up arrives sooner than the four years it took for Earth Rocker to answer 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West.
Knowing a different member picks the setlist each night, I never see Clutch play that I don’t wonder whose choices they’re running through. I wouldn’t hazard a guess this time, but I’d like to send them a thank-you card for including “The Regulator,” a perennial favorite, and “Cypress Grove” from 2004’s Blast Tyrant, from which “The Mob Goes Wild” and “Profits of Doom” were also aired, the latter coming late in the set prior to “The Wolfman Kindly Requests…” from Earth Rocker and a finale of “Electric Worry/One Eye Dollar” from 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion. New cut “Son of Virginia” seemed directly in bluesy conversation with both “Electric Worry” and even more so “The Regulator,” but emerged into a heavier push from its subdued, twang-laden bounce, Fallon less the preacher than he is at times but no less imperative in telling the crowd, “You gotta know your history/Son of Virginia,” in the chorus. A faster new song, titled “Monsters” according to the setlist, boasted Earth Rocker-style thrust and shout-outs to the Cyclops and other creatures out of mythology, very much in Clutch‘s wheelhouse.
Something of a surprise to think it had been more than a year since I last saw them play, that show in New Hampshire Fall 2013 following Fallon‘s back surgery — gotta know your history — but they were, as ever, engaged in the delivery of a sound quintessentially their own and seemingly unbreakable. They are among the finest and most enduring live acts of their generation, and I didn’t envy Mastodon having to follow them. That said, there was a point at which I couldn’t go more than two weeks without having to put on Clutch, and after not seeing them for so long, I wondered if the spell had been broken. Nope. Still very much a Clutch fan, as it turns out, and can’t wait to hear the new record, from which “Our Lady of Electric Light” was the third and final song to be aired, quieter and moodier even than “Son of Virginia,” but easing well into “D.C. Sound Attack” and its extended jam driven by Gaster‘s well-established percussive brilliance and unflinching funk.
There’s been footage kicked around online of Fallon joining Mastodon during their set for “Blood and Thunder” as he did on the latter’s 2004 sophomore breakthrough, Leviathan, but it wasn’t to be. My evening was pretty much over when Clutch finished, but I’ll say that while I’ve seen Mastodon hit and miss live — back-to-back nights in Brooklyn with Neurosis in 2008 come to mind as examples for both — they were absolutely on fire at House of Blues, and while they lost me years ago as they traded in the visceral rhythmic push of 2002’s Remission and the subsequent Leviathan — what was, at the time, a genuinely new take on sonic heft — for the progged-out technical showcasing of Blood Mountainand Crack the Skye, I did my time as a Mastodon fan, had a nostalgic moment when I saw a dude walking through the crowd in the same Leviathan t-shirt I wore to my wedding reception, and it was fun to watch them kick ass across material new and old, be it “High Road” from last year’s Once More ‘Round the Sun or “Megalodon” from Leviathan.
And while I don’t really follow them at this point — obviously hasn’t hurt the band any, if their draw is something to go by — they put on a more than solid show, laser beams emanating from the stage and all as Bill Kelliher held his guitar aloft, drummer Brann Dailor held down the cleaner choruses of new songs, guitarist Brent Hinds tore into those or that solo and bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders skirted a line between cartoonish metal frontman and genius conceptualist in the middle of the stage. They didn’t become the band they were expected to, but they obviously became the band they wanted to be, which is more admirable in its way. When their sprawling encore of “The Czar” from Crack the Skye was done, Dailor got on mic and took a moment to profusely and sincerely thank the crowd before handing out his drumsticks and a drum head that had apparently been busted during the course of the set. One imagines he goes through them on the regular.
After that, there was nothing to do but shuffle slowly out of the venue and into the warm Sunday night and listen to the familiar chorus of drunken wildlings shouting epithets at passing cars; as much a cultural staple of Boston as anything that happens across the street from House of Blues at Fenway Park, I should think. Nothing quite like a town that loves its traditions.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
You’ve probably already seen this news everywhere, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about the fact that Mastodon and Clutch are touring together and that Big Business and Graveyard will switch off in the support role. Some things are just too badass not to post, no matter how ubiquitous they might be.
The tour starts April 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and all that’s really left to wonder is if Clutch‘s new album — which is being recorded this month — will be released by the time the run ends on May 24. Either way, it’s pretty astounding that these two have come together, so I’ll get out of the way and defer to the PR wire, which has dates and details:
MASTODON & CLUTCH JOIN FORCES TO PUMMEL THROUGH THE MISSING LINK TOUR
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD FOR SPRING CO-HEADLINE TOUR
GRAVEYARD WILL SUPPORT / BIG BUSINESS TO SUPPORT WHERE NOTED
Two of the world’s most respected and influential hard rock bands Mastodon and Clutch are proud to announce THE MISSING LINK TOUR, which brings together both bands as they join forces along with special guests Graveyard and Big Business – each taking part of the tour as support.Together, this night of heavy rock will be one of the heaviest and most exciting concert events of the year.
THE MISSING LINK TOUR kicks off on April 16th in St. Paul, MN. with support provided by Big Business, who recently supported Mastodon throughout a sold-out European tour. Sweden’s Graveyard will then take over the main support slot starting in Los Angeles on April 29th for the remaining dates, closing out the tour in Columbus, OH on May 24th. Tickets are on sale now.
Mastodon and Clutch share a longtime friendship as fans will recall Clutch front man Neil Fallon contributed vocals to “Blood And Thunder” (from Mastodon’s 2004’s Leviathan) so fans can expect surprises in store for fans throughout the tour rumbling across North America. THE MISSING LINK TOUR will feature full sets from both Mastodon and Clutch. Clutch will close the show on April 24th in Vancouver, May 10th in Pittsburgh, May 15th in Bethlehem, May 16th in Baltimore and also the final night of the tour, May 24th in Columbus. Mastodon will close all other shows.
Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster had this to say about the tour.”We are very much looking forward to our US tour with our friends in Mastodon. We always enjoy playing live but when we have the opportunity to share the stage with a band as inspiring as Mastodon we know each evening will be that much more special. See ya out there!”
Mark your calendars, as THE MISSING LINK TOUR will roll into Denver’s prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 3rd, and joins the stellar line up for Atlanta’s Shaky Knee’s Festival on May 8th. The New York City show will take over the celebrated Central Park Summer Stage annual concert series on May 19th. General tickets on-sale Friday, January 23rd.
As previously announced, Mastodon have been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for “High Road,” from ONCE MORE ‘ROUND THE SUN. This is the band’s third Grammy nomination. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 8th. Tune into CBS TV.
Revered Maryland rockers Clutch have been pushing the boundaries that define heavy rock music since the 4 original members got together in high school. Clutch is an unmatched musical force that has been best described as “the quintessential American Rock Band”. Clutch released their tenth and latest studio album Earth Rocker via their own label Weathermaker Music on March 16, 2013. The album entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #15 giving the band their highest chart position to date.
Clutch is currently working on their follow up to Earth Rocker which will be released in 2015.
Do not miss THE MISSING LINK TOUR this spring. Confirmed dates are as follows:
*Mastodon Closes The Evening. **Clutch Closes The Evening
Apr 16 *St. Paul, MN Myth Apr 17 * Winnipeg, MB The Burton Cummings Theatre Apr 18 *Saskatoon, SK O’Brian’s Events Center Apr 19 * Edmonton, AB Expo Centre Apr 21 * Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall Apr 23 * Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom Apr 24 **Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom Apr 25 *Portland, OR Roseland Apr 26 *Seattle, WA Showbox SODO Apr 28 *Oakland, CA Fox Theater Apr 29 *Los Angeles, CA Palladium Apr 30 *Tempe, AZ Marquee Theater May 01 *Las Vegas, NV House of Blues May 02 *Salt Lake City, UT The Complex May 03 *Denver, CO Red Rock’s Amphitheatre May 05 *San Antonio, TX Kapone’s Ballroom May 06 *Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom May 08 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees Festival May 09 *Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre Street Stage May 10 **Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE May 12 *Clive, IA (Des Moines) 7 Flags May 13 *Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom Club Stage May 15 **Bethlehem, PA Sands Event Center May 16 **Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion May 17 *Boston, MA House of Blues May 19 *New York, NY Central Park Summerstage May 20 *Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre May 21 *London, ON London Music Hall May 24 **Columbus, OH LC Pavilion