Gig Review: Mastodon, Clutch & Graveyard storm the Central Park SummerStage

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Atlanta, GA metal/rock giants Mastodon and Frederick, MD heavy rock favorites Clutch recently completed a lengthly co-headlining North American outing dubbed “The Missing Link Tour,” which also featured support (on select dates) from Seattle sludgesters Big Business and Swedish psych-rockers Graveyard. The trip landed in New York City at the SummerStage (who are celebrating 30 years) in Central Park two Tuesdays ago (5/19).

Graveyard kicked off the show promptly at 6pm, as a sea of beards and black shirts trekked across 5th Avenue and through the park towards the swank 5,000 capacity grounds that is SummerStage. With the scorching evening sun blaring upon the massive Central Park stage, the bluesy rock Swedes ripped through a filling 45-minute set that included a healthy mix of tracks off of their last two LPs, Hisingen Blues and Lights Out, such as “Ain’t Fit to Live Here,” “The Siren,” “Seven Seven” and “Hard Times Lovin’.” The foursome also played a new song called “Shunken” from their upcoming 4th studio full-length.

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With the sun slowly setting, the crowd roared as the veterans Clutch exploded on stage and launched straight into classic hits like “The House That Peterbilt,” “The Mob Goes Wild” and “Cypress Grove.” As bodies crash into one another, it was apparent that NYC fans had been eagerly waiting Clutch‘s grand return to The Big Apple. Frontman Neil Fallon and Co. did not disappoint, following through with other fan-favorite tracks such as “Mice and Gods,” “Burning Beard” and “Spacegrass,” along with newer anthems off of their latest album like “Earth Rocker,” “Crucial Velocity” and “D.C. Sound Attack!,” and even a pair of brand new songs; “Decapitation Blues” and “Son of Virginia” from their impending 11th studio album Psychic Warfare.

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After a much necessary beer break and with the night finally upon us, metal heavyweights and Atlanta’s finest Mastodon hit the stage at around 8:45pm, igniting their set with tracks from their fresh studio effort, Once More ‘Round the Sun, like “Tread Lightly” and the LP’s title-track. As raving fans enthusiastically clashed with the barricade, tossing themselves over and on top of the flock of photogs shooting the show, Mastodon powered through with little to no waste of time (because of the hard 10pm curfew) delivering hits after hits including “Oblivion,” “Aqua Dementia,” “Black Tongue” and “Megalodon.” The band’s dominating riffs reiterated throughout the park as the thousands in attendance absorbed the cosmic notes being echoed out. As the night reached its end, Mastodon left an astonished Manhattan crowd with encore songs “The Czar” and “Blood and Thunder” with, you guessed it, special guest Neil Fallon helping the guys close out the night.

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In related Mastodon news, the band were featured in last night’s episode of HBO’s hit TV show ‘Game of Thrones.’ Drummer Brann Dailor, guitarist/vocalist Bill Kelliher and guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds appeared as ‘wildlings’ in last night’s episode titled “Hardhome.” Mastodon are also featured on the official ‘Game of Thrones’ mixtape, Catch the Throne: The Mixtape Vol. 2, with their new song “White Walker.” They join the likes of Killswitch Engage, Anthrax and Mushroomhead who are highlighted on the 15-song release (which you can stream at the end of this post). Mastodon have a slew of European tour dates lined-up for this spring/summer, check out their full itinerary here. Also make sure to check out the rest of the concerts going down at Central Park SummerStage this season, here.

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Scroll through below for full photographic coverage from the NYC show…

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