“You’ve got the only two things that really get me,” Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes confessed to a fan in the front row after she tossed a bra, presumably hers, into his arms about 10 minutes into the band's set. That’s about when the show really started.
EODM is currently on a lengthy American and European tour opening for metal giants Mastodon, who headlined the sold-out 17th Blaze Birthday Bash at the Wilma on Friday, April 14 along with a second opener, Chicago's Russian Circles. The show was Mastodon’s kickoff gig for the tour.
Russian Circles played a roughly 30-minute set of relentless instrumental doom metal that, while heavy and delicious, was nothing compared to the sexually charged flamboyant rock of EODM. The California-based lovechild of longtime friends Hughes and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) danced and thrusted through an exhilarating set that included a great cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” and an energetic extended version of their own “Speaking in Tongues.”
Once the stage crew wiped up after EODM, Mastodon played, leading with “Sultan’s Curse,” the opening track on their new album, Emperor of Sand.
Mastodon’s music is hard to pull off live. Much of its sound derives from unstable harmonies, sludgy tones and the complicated and one-of-a-kind interplay between guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher. And a lot of that is simply lost in a live setting. Luckily, underneath all the brutal nuance lies an unshakeable foundation. Mastodon delivered a powerful performance sampling its entire career including some of their most beloved early tracks like “Megalodon” and “March of the Fire Ants.”
The show closed with drummer Brann Dailor, whose recent bout of the flu had a slightly negative impact on his vocals (everyone in Mastodon lends their voice to the sound in one way or another), wishing everyone a pleasant evening and a goodnight as he raced off to his bunk and a shot of Nyquil.