GOJIRA, MASTODON & LORNA SHORE Bring The Mega-Monsters Tour To Minnesota [Review & Gallery]

It was just a matter time before I would make the drive, about seventy miles from Minneapolis, to one of newest outdoor venues to take in a show. The Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park, Minnesota opened in 2021 and is nestled between two quarries which was a perfect environment to host one of the heaviest tours pounding North America. The Ledge was sold out for The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023 featuring Gojira and Mastodon as co-headliners with Lorna Shore opening.

I had only heard the name Lorna Shore but had never heard the music. Experience told me that if I couldn’t decipher the name by looking at the band logo, it would be a set of knock-out blows that left little confusion of what the band was about. When vocalist Will Ramos hit the stage and the band launched into their deathcore sound, it was on. The five-piece unit blitzed through a thirty-five-minute set and never wavered on their intense onslaught. The band released an album in 2022 called ‘Pain Remains’ and played “Sun/Eater,” “Cursed to Die,” “Into Earth” and three-part series of the title track. 

Mastodon was born twenty-three years ago in Atlanta Georgia. The bands line-up has been unchanged since 2001 with Troy Sanders on bass and lead and backing vocals, Brent Hinds on lead guitar, lead and backing vocals, Bill Kelliher on rhythm guitar and backing vocals and behind the kit sat Brann Dailor who also provided lead and backing vocals. They are band that does not adhere to the saying “one size fits all’ musical genre. They encompass multiple styles that include progressive, alternative, stoner and sludge metal. Opening up with “The Wolf is Loose” and then into “Crystal Skull” got people on their feet and it was very clear how much of following Mastodon has. Behind the band, the screen behind them helped bring the music alive with trippy images in various colors that seemed to carry the music into the crowd. They have released eight studio albums along with various other compilation and live releases so there was plenty of music to choose from. Some of my favorites were “Andromeda,” “Sultan’s Curse,” “Fallen Torches,” “Mother Puncher” and the unforgettable closing crusher “Blood and Thunder.” They sounded fantastic through the entire seventeen song set. This was my first time catching these guys, hard to believe, but the wait was worth it as they surpassed my expectations and really showcased why they have been so successful for so long. I won’t wait another twenty-three years to see them again.

Godzilla was formed in Ondres, France in 1996 but in 2001 the name Gojira was adopted and has now become one of the biggest names in the metal genre. The line-up, the same since 1998, consists of Joe Duplantier on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mario Duplantier on drums, lead guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie.  Opening with “Ocean Planet” there was no denying the amount of musical muscle they can unleash. Like the band that played before them, Gojira cannot be stuck into one box. Technical death metal, progressive, groove and heavy metal all can be heard in their sound that they uniquely blend into a sound that is truly all their own. Songs like “Backbone,” “Flying Whales,” “Silvera” served-up a thunderous sound that the crowd that packed The Ledge was waiting to hear. The lights from the screens danced and weaved through the extreme thickness of the smoke and created a dark and ominous setting that gave the perfect visual effect to play off the music. The smoke cannons at the front of stage along with the confetti canons on the floor in front of the stage offered some really striking visual moments throughout the night.  

The band released ‘Fortitude’ in 2021 and it became a bit of a breakthrough record. Still maintaining the traditional approach of past works, this album also contained more classic rock elements and hooks that caught the ear of people that had not listened to the band before. The album was well represented in the set as they hit on “Another Word,” “Grind,” “The Chant” and one my highlights of the night “Amazonia.”  The band itself was as crisp and on-point as ever and continues to evolve as a must-see band. The catalog they have amassed is fantastic but to truly understand this band, to fully absorb the music and the emotion and strength embodied within the lyrics and guitar chords, it must be heard live. That is where this band and their music truly takes on its Godzilla persona as it is unleashed on you. No matter what genre of metal you want to be in, it’s the live setting where you earn your keep and build equity among metal fans and Gojira has proven to be one of the best. This show at The Ledge was further proof that this upward trend they have been on will keep on building with every show.

EXIT 111 FESTIVAL 2019: Saturday [Review & Photo Gallery]

Day one of Exit 111 (review and pics here) really set the bar high with a great mix of bands like Black Stone Cherry, Anthrax, 10 Years, Slayer, Killswitch Engage and classic rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not to mention the amazing sunny fall Tennessee weather, with highs in the low 80s and the low reaching a cool but comfortable 44 degrees. But with temperatures promising to turn much cooler and steadily drop into the low 30s by nightfall, day two had to turn up the heat on stage in order to keep the campers toasty and the party rolling. So, at noon on Saturday, with college football in full swing at the Mega Sports Bar and a lineup of 18 bands scheduled for the day, the gates opened and the fans started pouring in. Continue reading

COHEED & CAMBRIA, MASTODON Crack The Unheavenly Skye in Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

Coheed & Cambria

In February, one of the many amazing summer tours was announced. In an odd, but somehow fitting bill, Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, and Every Time I Die team up for an epic summer run from the end of May to the beginning of July. To add to the already epic show, it was revealed that Mastodon would be performing their groundbreaking album ‘Crack The Skye’ in its entirety. Getting to see one of the most monumental albums of the 21st century performed in full made the ticket more than worth the price. On top of that, we got treated to a career spanning set by Coheed and Cambria and were witnesses to the insanity that is Every Time I Die. We were fortunate enough to cover the Chicago date on the tour at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Please check out our review of the shows along with our photos of Coheed and Cambria and Mastodon. Continue reading

EXIT 111 Festival: With GUNS N’ ROSES, DEF LEPPARD, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, SLAYER And More [Complete Lineup & Details]

The first ever Exit 111 festival is coming to the Tennessee Bonnaroo grounds this fall and features a monster musical lineup including Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slayer, Megadeth, ZZ Top, Ghost, Mastodon, Deftones, Coheed and Cambria, Lamb of God, and many more. The three-day experience will take place on Friday, October, 11th, Saturday, October 12th, and Sunday, October 13th at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee. Grab your tickets (on sale now) right here. Continue reading

State of the Art – Missouri’s SAVAGELAND [EP Stream]

Hungry and visceral with a hint of southern edge. SavageLand is a beautiful sip of aged bourbon, followed by a punch in the face. Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri they sound more like they are straight from the heart of New Orleans. The band was formed in 2016 and has since released one six song, self-titled EP, with tremendously impressive production value.

Picture groove riffs with guttural stoner vocals. Fans of Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity meet fans of Baroness and also meet a calloused hard working slide guitar player by a campfire. The EP opens with said slide guitar, and a Mastodon quality riffs. SavageLand crafts these pseudo-stoner anthems with such ease. Down and Pantera influences, too, leak into the blueprints of their songwriting. “Animal Kingdom” has a wiry riff strung through the verses, swelling behind the chorus. The kind of jams to smoke a joint and enjoy a beer to. It’s aggressive but not disruptive.

SavageLand teased the early stages of new material mid 2018, after stating in 2017 they are inactive. Fingers crossed that 2019 will be the year the band gets in gear and releases some new music because this stuff is really something.  


PRIMUS, MASTODON, ALL THEM WITCHES In Nashville, TN [Review & Photo Gallery]


The city of Nashville, Tennessee has always been a household name for famous music cities around the globe; as a matter of fact it may just be the music CAPITOL of the world. Legendary venues such as the Grand Ole Opry have hosted some of the most famous names in music like Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins, but there’s no shortage of Metal in the country music capitol of the world. On May 15th, 2018, the Primus rolled into town on their summer tour with support from Mastodon and All Them Witches at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The tour started on May 6th in Denver, Colorado and ends on July 7th in Phoenix, Arizona.

All Them Witches

Getting the night started off the RIGHT way, All Them Witches didn’t hesitate to make their presence felt early. As an opening band, you don’t have a lot of room on stage to perform, but for these three gentlemen, space was not an issue. Sludgy, muddy guitar tones and thunderous drums roaring throughout the venue set the tone for the rest of what was an incredible bill to be a part of. Their set was incredibly well received for an opening band, and if you weren’t a fan going into the show, you definitely were when you left.


Rolling into the second performance, the mighty Mastodon showed Nashville why they are some of the masters of their craft. Intelligent songwriting, cut throat guitar and bass tones, and the bouncing vocals of all the members roar through the speakers and bring Nashville off their feet. Their set was diverse, containing songs from multiple records released through their storied career. From the ominous chimes on the intro of the opening song, “Sultan’s Curse,” to the heavy outro to the final song, “Steambreather,” both off their new record, ‘Emperor of Sand,’ Mastodon proved why hardships in their personal lives served as fuel for them to continue on to make music that pleases them and all their fans, and they proved it with a murky stage presence. Mastodon are veterans of the road and made sure Nashville left this concert with a new favorite artist.


The headliner of the evening, Primus, brought that of what you expect from a band of this stature. Opening their set with, “Too Many Puppies,” every voice in the auditorium was singing along with Les Claypool and moshing along to the complex rhythmic patterns of Primus’ music. At this point, it’s hard to not love this band, or at least heard of them. Technical difficulties on Ler’s end at one point couldn’t even stop them from performing. An impromptu bass solo from Claypool along with comedic stories kept Nashville enthused the entire night. The stage presence of Tim Alexander is astounding even behind his mountain of drums, along with in your face rhythms that are the core part of Primus’ music. All the fans were engaged throughout every song, and even at lower points of the evening, the cheery Nashville crowd were involved with every set, singing along, moshing and pushing, proving why their city is THE music capitol of the world even for this genre.

Supergroup, LEGEND OF THE SEAGULLMEN Featuring Danny Carey Of TOOL And Brent Hinds Of MASTODON Premiere Self-Titled Single

Nautical-themed, psychedelic rock n’ roll supergroup, Legend of the Seagullmen premiere their new single, “Legend of the Seagullmen” from their upcoming self-titled debut album to be released February 9, 2018 on Dine Alone Records.

The whimsically epic concept band sings of ship wrecks and giant mutant squid with the help of a substantial all-star lineup including: Danny Carey (Tool) on drums, Brent Hinds (Mastodon) on guitar, director Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex, Horton Hears a Who) on guitar, David ‘The Doctor’ Dreyer on vocals, Pete Griffin (Zappa Plays Zappa, Dethklok) on bass, Chris DiGiovanni on synth, and Tim Dawson on guitar. Continue reading

PRIMUS And MASTODON To Join Hands For An U.S. Tour This Summer!

Looks like 2018 is MASTODON‘s glory year! Having won the coveted Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance”, it seems the band is having a lot of fun already. MASTODON fans are still reeling from the exuberance of the Grammy win, and they have one more reason to celebrate or look forward to. Especially the US fans. Well, MASTODON along with fellow rockers PRIMUS have joined forces for a massive 45 date United States tour, starting this summer on the May 6th, at Morrison, CO and extending up to Jul 7th, at Phoenix, AZ. 

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Louder Than Life 2017 – Louisville, KY DAY 1 REVIEW

It’s been about two weeks now since one of the biggest music festivals stormed through Louisville, KY and forever stamped the Louder Than Life name on the Bluegrass State, offering one of the best lineups the festival has ever hosted.  2 days, 37 bands, and 60,000+ ‘Loudmouths’ fueled by what seemed like an endless supply of alcohol and a desire to rock.  For many, (myself included) it was the first time attending the festivities, and I can assure you that I will be returning if the chance ever comes around again.  There were people from all walks of life, adults and children, goths, punks, rockers, any type of person you could think of – they were there. Continue reading

MASTODON To Headline Hope For The Day Benefit At Metro (Chicago)

The Metro in Chicago, IL  is pleased to welcome Grammy Award-nominated hard rock juggernauts Mastodon for a very special 35th Anniversary Event on September 9, 2017. One-hundred percent of the show’s proceeds will benefit Hope For The Day, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that promotes proactive suicide prevention by providing outreach and mental health education through self expression platforms. Continue reading