Deftones/Mastodon show, this would have been easily the heaviest pairing I saw all year, and certainly the most throwback. Both bands are firmly entrenched in the late 60's to early 70's, though they take different approaches. The Black Angels go for the psychedelic, while Black Mountain can be the best Black Sabbath emulators around.
As for Black Mountain, they were thunderous as always, but on their newest release they've embraced the acoustic side of things, which led to a mellow interlude of "Buried by the Blues" and "Sadie" after the bombast of "Tyrants." After that, though, it was right back to the heavy, with an extended version of "Druganaut" and then the Sabbath-loving "Don't Run Our Hearts Around." Lead singer and guitarist Stephen McBean was in top form in his customary position to the left of singer Amber Webber, grooving away with a steady rocking motion, never getting too demonstrative. Webber, who has started to assume even more lead vocal duties, unfortunately continued her usual shyness, frequently looking away from the crowd and holding back on her bigger moments despite possessing an incredible voice. Her voice paired with McBean's, singing on such heavy songs, is a large part of Black Mountain's appeal, bringing a layer of beauty they might otherwise lack, so it's always disappointing when she holds herself back.
Still, it was a rollicking set, even if it seemed to end abruptly after a two song encore of "The Hair Song" and "Stormy High." I may have missed the 70's by a fair stretch, but on this night I felt I knew what it would be like to have been there.
Black Mountain Set List: Wilderness Heart / Let Spirits Ride / Wucan / Tyrants / Buried by the Blues / Sadie / Angels / Druganaut / Old Fangs / Rollercoaster / Don't Run Our Hearts Around
Encore: The Hair Song / Stormy High
Photos by Timothy Norris, LA Weekly