An Evening with Mastodon, Opeth, Gojira, and The Devin Townsend Project

An Evening With Metal Legends:

Mastodon! Opeth! Gojira! The Devin Townsend Project!

The Metal Festival of the Summer came early in May this year.

Who would’ve ever thought such an awesome bill would come to Philadelphia?!

When I first heard about the show, I snatched up tickets immediately. This was two separate tours that came together for one night to combine into a MEGA SHOW!

The festival took place at The Electric Factory Outdoors in Philadelphia, PA. I was at many shows at the Electric Factory but never at their outdoor shows. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see the devastation these 4 bands could produce under the same sky.

We headed out to Philadelphia around 11:30 AM Saturday morning. The show was starting at 3:30 PM and we had a two-hour drive ahead of us. We gathered up our stuff and headed out to the road.

When we finally arrived, we saw a huge line of metalheads. Today’s event was a sold out show and it goes to show how strong the metal scene is. No matter what anyone says, the metal fans are the most passionate fans I have ever been around.

Once we made into the actual festival grounds, we made our way around to check out the setup. The entire event was well put together. They had food trucks all over the place to ensure everyone had something they liked. The beers weren’t too overpriced either. They charged $9 for a 24 Oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon, but what are you going to do at a festival right?

The Bands:

The first band on the bill was Russian Circles. Up until now, I always thought they were a more mellow band. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Russian Circles were A LOT heavier than expected and put on a good show. I have never been big into instrumental rock. After seeing them live, I’ll definitely give Russian Circles a listen.

Next up was The Devin Townsend Project and me being a fan of Devin is an understatement. I have been listening to Devin Townsend since he was in Strapping Young Lad. I was finally going to see him play. Although, coming in I had him at the bottom of my list. Holy fucking shit was I wrong. The Devin Townsend Project all came out and, after a few funny stage antics, they launched right into it.

The sound this band had was a joy to the ears. I have never heard a band sound so fucking on point. The sound was clear yet devastating. The way Devin can go from high pitched screams to this almost opera style of singing is unreal. I realized that even though I didn’t know all the lyrics to all the songs, I can still make out what he was saying. The same went for all the bands that evening. It was great to hear because that’s not something you always get at metal shows.

The Eagles Of Death Metal followed The DTP and I can’t understand why. Now, I know EODM has a lot of fans but I felt they didn’t fit on this bill. They definitely played some good rock n roll music but the other four bands are icons on METAL. I didn’t feel they fit the bill and weren’t anything to write home about. It was also a fucking travesty that they went on after an icon like Devin Townsend.

Gojira was up after EODM. What can I say about this band besides they CRUSHED it! Gojira are masters of their craft. They have been doing it a long time and deserve all the recognition they are getting. The new album is an amazing accomplishment for them. And while it’s not my favorite Gojira album, it’s still a killer album. Gojira was the best band for me this evening. I loved everything about them.

Opeth: Fifteen Years In The Making:

The next band is dear to my heart. I have been listening to Opeth since I was 15 years old. Being that I am 31 now, it has been a 16-year wait for me to see this band live. Going into this festival they were my most wanted band to see. As with the rest of the bands on the bill, they didn’t disappoint. Opeth came out and played some great songs spanning their entire career. A favorite of mine was Ghost Of Perdition from the Ghost Reveries album.

My favorite album by the band is Blackwater Park with my favorite song being Bleak. I (like most fans) are more in favor of their earlier material, but don’t get me wrong, I love the new stuff as well. Prog Rock is one of my favorite genres in music, and Opeth going more in this direction is fine by me. I just always thought what made Opeth special was their uncanny ability to go from dark to light and vice versa. That sound that they trademarked is what made Opeth legends in the metal scene. After waiting 15 years to see one of my favorite bands, Opeth was mind blowing. I would have rathered a different setlist, but you get what you can in a festival setting. Once again, Opeth are pure fucking masters of their craft.

Last on the bill for the evening were Mastodon. You can see in the vlog, that as soon as they come out, it’s just crispy, crunchy, riffs in your face! They put their feet on the gas and never let up until the end. Mastodon played 20 songs and every single one sounded amazing. Brent Hinds had some issues with his monitor. It escalated into him flipping out on the sound guy and kicking his monitor away from him. Despite a few hiccups, it didn’t deter from the incredible performance that night. You could hear everything crystal clear. From the vocals to the guitars, and Brann’s unreal drumming. The whole experience is something I will never forget.

After that, we headed back home and called it a night. The festival was an all around great experience and it was a pleasure to see all 4 bands under one sky that night.

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