Enter the Missing Link “mini festival” brought to us by the good people of Mastodon.
While reading an article about this event, Brann Dailor(drums for Mastodon) was explaining how many other cities get behind their local emerging artists, but Atlanta does not seem to be as into that.
He mentions running into fans in Atlanta who have no idea the band is actually from the ATL, and is on a mission to change that with the Missing Link.
Being a member of the Atlanta music scene, I also have a desire to help cultivate and showcase the best emerging artists in our area. I had to go.
Enough about me, on to the good stuff…
As always, the Tabernacle was a great choice for venue.
The line up for the Missing Link looked strong with Mastodon(ATL), Black Lips(ATL), Dillinger Escape Plan, Red Fang, Tiger Tiger!(ATL), and MonstrO(ATL).
Unfortunately my party and I did not arrive early enough to catch the first two acts MonstrO and Tiger Tiger, both of which I’ve been reading great reviews of for a long time so was sorry to miss.
When we arrived, Red Fang, out of Portland OR, was already on stage and playing. They’ve been on tour with Mastodon and Dillinger which brought them to this show.
I’ve been following the Sargent House label for a couple of years, so was somewhat familiar with Red Fang and their material. They classify themselves as ‘rock’, to which I would like to add ‘southern’ and a hint of ‘metal’ to that list.
While the members are all technically proficient with what they are playing, the majority of the music was nothing new but there were some pretty smooth jams in there. The classic southern rock style guitar riffage and solos over the top of a very solid rhythm section.
Their set was really tight and they certainly went over well with the Mastodon crowd, possibly even converted some of those who were there for the less intense sounds of Tiger Tiger and Black Lips.
Dillinger Escape Plan
Next up was Dillinger Escape Plan, hailing from New Jersey. Dillinger has been one of my favorite bands since the first time I heard the song “Baby’s First Coffin” off the Underworld soundtrack years ago. I’ve seen them several times and each time is better than the last.
They were the least accessible of all the bands that performed with their mathcore, and easily the highest energy stage presence.
The singer is all over the place the entire time, the two guitarists are kicking over amps, jumping on top, then busting out 360′s from the top of the tallest amps, all while somehow managing to play some of the most technical crushing metal guitar riffs imaginable.
At one point, one of the guitarist was on his wobbly amp and the stage hands were holding it to keep the balance before he launched himself off of it. How they didn’t break themselves or any of the gear is beyond me.
They even go so far as to have what appeared to be empty half stack cabinets to kick and throw around the stage. Props for the props guys
Dillinger destroyed the stage and pummeled everyone in the audience until we were left with melted skin dripping from our faces. I wouldn’t say Dillinger Escape Plan is a band for everyone, but they are definitely for me.
The Black Lips
Following them was the Black Lips.
I don’t have much to say about them.
I was not feeling the music and there were none of their famous stage antics or ‘comedy’. Match that with following Dillinger…
Instead of bashing them for a while, I just want to say to the promoters that this was supposed to be an event that showcases local talent, and at this point in the show, I was seriously let down.
Knowing there are too many other exceptional bands in our town that could have played that spot just brings the whole thing down a notch.
Now for the main event! MASTODON!
As soon as Black Lips finished playing, it felt as if everyone decided to come back inside as we were smashed towards the front of the venue.
The air was getting hot and anticipation high.
It’s been a long time coming and I could not have asked for a better show.
While they were not jumping all over the stage, the level of musicianship they bring to the table is top notch.
Note for note they brought a sonic onslaught. They pretty much covered the entire scope of their material.
Mastodon played for an hour and a half straight, hardly stopping between songs, it was almost too much for my little brain to handle.
Just when we thought they would leave us in this joyous place and never stop playing, the intro for Creature Lives starts playing. The song builds up, up, and up until finally members from all the previous bands come on stage wearing black hooded robes to sing backup vocals, balloons drop from the ceiling and cover the crowd, and the place goes NUTS!
Once everyone cleared the stage Brann grabs the mic and personally thanks everyone for coming out and being a part of this event and such a great city that he and his band call home.
A great night for sure. All I can say is that I hope they continue to do this kind of thing to support the community. I encourage you to look at who is making music right there in your home town, I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find.