Mastodon, O2 Guildhall, Southampton, review: ‘a band at the top of their game’

Mastodon were at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton, last night.
Mastodon were at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton, last night.

Imagine the sound of mountains moving, animals stampeding and planets colliding; that’s what epic psych-metallers Mastodon brought to the stage at the O2 Guildhall Southampton.

Having already completed a UK tour last year off the back of their new album Emperor of Sand, tonight’s show felt like an overall celebration of the band’s legacy. The group took the audience on a sprawling adventure through their discography, from the raw aggression in their early album Remission through to a recent single from their low key EP Cold Dark Place.

The proverbial string that tied tonight’s set together was 'monster riffs'. Almost literally monstrous in the case of classics Megalodon and I Am Ahab; great beasts of tracks where the visual show behind the band truly brought them to life, as if the audience was pursuing these fantastical creatures themselves.

An interesting twist towards the end of the set saw longtime collaborator Scott Kelly, from Neurosis, join the band to finish the final third of the show. Kelly has guested on the majority of Mastodon’s albums and it was a treat for longtime fans to hear the band bust out deep cut collaborations – Spectrelight, Crack the Skye and Diamond In The Witch House to name but a few. 

With a set built for new listeners and older fans alike, tonight was a victory lap for a band at the top of their game.