Coach came up from Illinois to see what was sure to be one of the best shows of the year at the Fine Line Music Café. We’ve been Mastodon fans since the beginning, seeing them on their EP album release tour and then on their next album tour when we saw them with 12 other people in Milwaukee. Combined with Intronaut, it was going to be an awesome show.
We started the night at Popeye’s which is always a treat, even though I live 10 minutes from it now. Just a lot of memories of pre-concert gorging at Popeye’s for both of us. We headed downtown and planned to walk a couple of blocks in the downpour. We saw a huge line since the show was sold out, but by the time we got there, the line had gone inside and we got right in.
Intronaut played first, which was unfortunate since they’re an incredible band. Amazing. I had seen them before in Des Moines with HotGirlsBrother, but even though he lives in Minneapolis, he was on his death bed and decided to give his ticket to another friend, TheDoctor, one of the coolest guys in the history of cool guys. Intronaut’s bass player (Luis Guzman’s twin brother) plays a 6-string fretless bass and uses all of the strings to their fullest extent. Fantastically creative and groovy while there’s a good mix of metal and chordy music. To top it all off, the drummer is phenomenal – really fast and creative, and able to play incredibly technical parts along with the guitars. They’re just awesome.
Kylesa played next and I can’t say enough awful things about them. They’re like a terrible garage rock band. The vocals (from the female frontwoman or the other guitarist) were raspy and not strong or like the thing that held the band together and made them good. They had two drummers, who both played the exact same thing, which is stupid and redundant. And if *I* can play guitar better than either your lead or rhythm guitarist, then your band sucks. The guitarist’s comb-over really irritated me as well. I would have liked to miss these guys. While Kylesa was playing, this super drunk girl came up and stared bumping against Coach. then she started bumping against this girl next to Coach. Then she started grinding up against Rug, one of our friends). Rug was visibly uncomfortable and kept scooting back to dodge her. But she kept scooting back with him. Classic. This girl was L O A D E D. I was going to try rubbing her hind-end so she thought it was Rug, but I was laughing so hard I couldn't even do it. The look on Rug's face was hilarious.
I could go on and on about Mastodon, but I’ll try to keep it reasonable. Mastodon just released a new album so they played it in its entirety – start to finish. They took a quick break and then played 12 more songs from their other albums. That’s a LOT of metal and totally unexpected. I would have been happy with the first set which was different from their usual stuff in that they sing more, but it’s a story-album. To wrap it all together, they had a movie playing in the background from an old black and white knight and castle movie with spacey scenes sumperimposed over it. Very cool and trip-py, without being a dirty hippy drug thing. They swapped out instruments a couple of times which was cool because it allowed them to play the entire album exactly as the CD. The singers don’t have good voices, but they accommodate it by singing kind of whiny and morphing it to the music which is cool. I would love to go on about this, but the band is one of the best bands I’ve ever heard. The drums are amazing and the rhythm guitarist has the best hair and facial hair I’ve ever seen.
I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the fine line. They must have overbooked because it was painfully crowded – like the fire marshal would have shut it down if he showed up. You literally couldn’t move. People were getting drunk and angry about it as well. Oh well, I’m sure the venue owners were happy the show sold out – it was a great show regardless.
Top 5 things about the show
1. Mastodon - playing an hour longer than I expected them to
3. Drunk girl with Rug
4. Mastodon’s guitarist’s facial and scalp hair
5. Sound quality was great
Bottom 5 things
2. Best game in the world – “Who would you let live?” – did not make it to 10 *
3. Oversold show and waaaay too packed (fire marshall would have shut us down)
4. HotGirlsBrother missed the show – I’m assuming swine flu
5. Intronaut should not have been the opening act
* “Who would you let live” is played when you are at a show and you try to decide who you would let live if someone was going to blow up the building. You are allowed 10 people for each participant with only two disagreements. Coach and I have never made it to 10 – hopefully that tells you the caliber of people that attend these shows. Yes, we’re elitists. Ha ha ha