Mastodon / Against Me! / Cursive

Mastodon / Against Me! / Cursive: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: ConsequentialBanditryConsequentialBanditry
(others by this writer | submit your own)

[Sporadic add-ons from Brian as read.] Being knocked unconscious during a Mastodon set does not qualify me as "hardcore" -- though it should. This show featured the most diverse lineup, and interestingly, each band had its own fanbase. These Arms Are Snakes, a Seattle-based post-hardcore band .

[Sporadic add-ons from Brian as read.]

Being knocked unconscious during a Mastodon set does not qualify me as "hardcore" -- though it should. This show featured the most diverse lineup, and interestingly, each band had its own fanbase.

These Arms Are Snakes, a Seattle-based post-hardcore band on Jade Tree Records, were supposed to open the show, but their van broke down, and had to cancel [Bummed!]. Cursive was moved up to opener and took full advantage of the early large crowd. Tim Kasher did not have time for his usual drunken banter, as the band was all business this night. The set leaned heavily off its latest release Happy Hollow, including "Big Bang" and climactic closer "Dorothy at Forty." Also making an appearance was "Sierra," off breakout record The Ugly Organ. The band's big sound filled the venue, with Kasher's vocals soaring above the mix. The result was much better than the lackluster performance last October at Webster Hall, where the sound seemed hollow and where Kasher even bragged about his poor performance.

[Ed.'s notes: Outside of "Art Is Hard," Cursive's response seemed sort of lackluster, but there was a couple obvious fans in attendance mixed amongst impatient Against Me! fans up front (from my vantage point, at least). Still, that was disappointing to see considering their set was fucking fantastic. The horn section backing the older material was a nice surprise and oddly worked. Think of the ridiculous "Butcher the Song" made even more chaotic by brass -- yeah.]

Set list (7:40-8:25) [inserted by Brian]:

  1. Butcher the Song
  2. The Great Decay
  3. Big Bang
  4. Sierra
  5. Into the Fold
  6. Art Is Hard
  7. Bad Science
  8. The Martyr
  9. -----
  10. Bad Sects
  11. A Gentleman Caller
  12. The Game of Who Needs Who the Worst -----
  13. Dorothy at Forty
Immediately following the set, the crowd thinned out quickly, making movement to the front for Against Me! quite easy. As quickly as the venue emptied, a half-hour later, it seemed full to capacity.

Against Me! brought energy to the stage that doesn't exist in mere human beings. It was unreal. Beginning with the classic "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong," the crowd was immediately called to action. Pogoing kids sang every word of the fiery fast-paced punk from Gainesville, Florida's finest. The band was clearly into the show, it being the largest venue they have likely ever played outside of Giants Stadium.

Four new songs surfaced as well; the band is premiering some material off their forthcoming release New Wave, which features production from grunge-era guru Butch Vig. "White People for Peace," the first single, features a half-assed attempt at an anthem demonstrating against an anthem demonstrating against war: "Protest songs! --in response to military aggression!" The lyrics are pathetic, but the energy behind it is authentic enough. The song still killed live, but the crowd stopped moving to pay attention. The same phenomenon repeated itself with each new song. Against Me! sprinted through 17 songs in less than 50 minutes. The marathon was a no-nonsense affair, with no talking between tracks, other than to thank the other bands before closing the set.

[Ed.'s notes: Against Me! also played really, really (expletive) well. I was way more into the set than I expected to be. I think the choruses on the new songs are a little 'big' and forced, but I don't mind them entirely. Anyway, they played an extremely enjoyable set overall, with just about every song I'd want to hear at an Against Me! show. In particular, the opening and closing trios were sequenced brilliantly. Maybe this band isn't dead to me quite yet.]

Set list (8:50-9:40) [again inserted by Brian]:
  1. Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
  2. Cliché Guevarra
  3. From Her Lips to God's Ears (The Energizer)
  4. Rice and Bread
  5. Americans Abroad
  6. White People for Peace
  7. Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious
  8. Don't Lose Touch
  9. Unprotected Sex with Multiple Partners
  10. Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists
  11. new song (chorus: "our new restless/reckless army")
  12. Reinventing Axl Rose
  13. Problems
  14. Ocean
  15. Sink, Florida, Sink
  16. T.S.R. (This Shit Rules)
  17. Walking Is Still Honest
After Against Me! left, with the indie rock and the punk kids gone, it was time for the aggressive metalheads to take the floor. Mastodon took to the stage as violently as their sound would expect. They are a jazz-oriented (read: technically complex) heavy metal/hardcore band with a penchant for meaty riffs, rapid drumming and violent fans. As soon as they took to the stage, a huge pit opened up, and the metal kids started beating each other senseless. Karate moves abound, it was almost as captivating as watching the shredding onstage. Both were relentless. Devil's horns galore, the crowd were having a great time‚?¶and then I was sucked in.

About three-quarters of the way through the hour-long set, I was standing stage left, about halfway out into the crowd, which ended up being at the outer fringe of the metal/hardcore pit, when a large, muscular man threw me into the pit. He took me by my wrist and twisted; I spun to the epicenter of the inferno. As soon as I was oriented and about to walk out of the pit, a tall, skinny man with a metal t-shirt took his shoulder and rammed it into my chest. My glasses flew off, and I landed on my back and head, with my wrist underneath me.

I do not remember exactly what happened next, though I think I was hoisted upright by the fans behind me. I couldn't stand up (that I remember) and security must have been alerted. The next thing I know, I am hovering above the crowd on the shoulders of four CSS Security men, looking at the wide eyes of the people there to see Mastodon. I hung my head in shame, but I still could not see anyway; my glasses were gone forever. They let me off at the back corner, where the VIP gets to sit. I was walked (I still couldn't under my own power) by three other security men to an area behind the stage, where they brought me to an EMT, who examined me after asking for identification. I refused to go to the hospital, but accepted ice for my wrist. Listening to the performance in behind me, it was as if nothing had happened; the same meaty riffs, the same guttural cheers from macho men boomed in the venue.

I was let out from behind the stage after the set was over and the house lights were on. Remember, I still had no glasses, and I could see blurs all around me, but nothing in any detail. Until I was kicked out of Roseland, I looked for those glasses. They were nowhere to be found, so I walked the streets of New York City unable to see, clutching a ziplock bag filled with ice and, in the very least, a set of mostly pleasing memories from a diverse bill that will hopefully hand me a bill of health entirely more clean.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
telegraphrocks (May 26, 2007)

ThoughtRiot guy:

New Wave hasn't leaked, but people do have those watermarked, coded, high-tech rape-whistle copies.

My friend obtained one from a "disclosed source" (he won't tell me where), but he won't give me a copy. I've listened to it with him several times, and it's fucking good, and I'm definitely gonna be standing outside my local shop on July 10th at 9:59 waiting for them to unlock the doors.

I think that's the best actually... hearing it maybe once or twice, but not actually getting it until the release date.

I actually think I won't download it when it leaks. I'll just wait till July.

Anywho, good album.

Anonymous (May 25, 2007)

I didn't say all Mastodon fans were dumb. I can appreciate the crazy time signatures and shreddage. I was simply saying that these particular Mastodon fans were idiots.

thoughtriotaf578 (May 25, 2007)

Kid who has New Wave, where did u get it/ where did it leak at? id would kick ass if you told me.
was gunna go to the show in boston, but a three hour drive and a 30 dollar ticket didnt seem to go along together well. Score is for the Fake Gambling Problems tour.

ashtraymonument (May 24, 2007)

shit stroll? are you serious? you lucky bastard

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

I actually used to like Against Me! before I knew that the majority of their fans are smug ass holes.

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Of course, only dumb kids listen to Mastodon...right. Some of us prefer musicianship over simple political songs.

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

They played pretty much the exact same setlist in Baltimore, except they tagged Shit Stroll on at the end, after we chanted "Nah, nah nah nah nah" several times. Really good show, except all the dumb 16-year old mastodon fans in the front row didnt seem to enjoy having all of the AM! fans pushed up against them from all the hissy fits I saw them have.

ashtraymonument (May 24, 2007)

they have an acoustic version of "up the cuts" on you tube. pretty good, you can hear the lyrics. the chorus is "are you restless like me"

gregs (May 24, 2007)

"These Arms Are Snakes went on before advertised door time in Cleveland, which was a bummer -- I showed up at 7:10 thinking I'd catch the last 20 minutes of their set and instead I showed up right before Cursive went on at 7:15."

So that's what happened! I missed the first four songs of AM's set thanks to that bullshit. Four of the better songs, too. Fuck!!

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Anyone else think that moshers and hardcore dancers should be shot in the knees.

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Oh yeah BRUH! he's a major puss,I bet he can't even floor punch correctly...loser

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

anyone else think this reviewer sounds like a pussy?

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

anyone else think this reviewer sounds like a pussy?

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

This tour would have been better if it was Planes and TAAS for the whole thing.

nick_heitman (May 24, 2007)

tom gabel didn't wear all black in baltimore...

sell out.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

I'd like to go see AM! again, but paying $30 to see them play "Don't Lose Touch" in a House of Blues might make me laugh so hard that I drop my $7 beer.

Ianw (May 23, 2007)

fuck dudes who want to stand in the front and "enjoy the music". move to the back.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

Know what you should have done after that dude punched you for bumping into his girfriend? Get a big handful of one of tits, and then slaped her on the ass.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

Yeah, it sounds more like "are you restless like me" than "our new reckless army". You still made me believe it was "our new reckless army", even when I clearly heard "are you...like me."

Regardless, it's definitely Up The Cuts.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

"...from Gainesville, Florida‚??s finest. "

Wait, Hot Water Music reunited for the show?

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

I went to the show, a huge fan of against me but with a feeling of being betrayed by their recent bullshit. At the show durning their set when "Dont loose touch" came on I decided to dance a little since it's the only song they playd i dont love and it to me the song represent's against me's loss of touch. Next thing I know I get punched in the face by some ugly douche. I grabbed him and said "what the fuck is wrong with you" and he said "you bumped into my girlfriend". I went back got some iodine on my bledding eye and went wild for the rest of AM's set. This sucks. So do the new songs. As much as I love Reinventing axl rose and Those anarcho punks, they can't play those songs anymore becuase, their arenas are not basements and bookstores, they are arena's, the biggest in New York city. I've been going to shows since I was twelve and have benver been punched. I dont know what i'm trying to say. Im conflicted

Albert_Belle (May 23, 2007)

If it wasn't for idiots like you drdeath, there wouldn't be pits and moshing at Mastodon shows. Which means us real fans could actually enjoy going to see the mighty Mastodon.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

I'm guessing the untitled new song you heard was Up the Cuts with the chorus being "Are you restless like me" and not something about a reckless army.

drdeath (May 23, 2007)

stars are for the reviewer not being man enough to handle himself in a pit at a Mastadon show. Dickhead

HumanUnkind (May 23, 2007)

The AM! set list looks awesome. Not sure what I think about Mastadon, they're all right.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

i caught a show on am!'s last tour with fake problems and the riverboat gamblers. it was great. i decided not to go see them this time when they played with mastodon because i did not feel like dealing with a bunch of violent mall metal kids. i think i made the right decision. mastodon is so lame.

the4footpartysub (May 22, 2007)

that was a great review

mclz (May 22, 2007)

awesome am! setlist...i was gonna go to the show..im pissed off that i didnt

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

i guess the mass exodus before mastodon was kind of predictable considering how different they are from the other bands on the bill, but those kids missed out. score is for the brilliant motherfuckers who thought up this tour. i would say anything under 5 stars is unacceptable, but i can see why youd be more critical of it.

Albert_Belle (May 22, 2007)

It's a shame a couple of bad apples had to ruin such a great show for you. I hate when people who aren't even fans of a band show up just to "get their mosh on".

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

this show was excellent and the review is pretty much spot on.

cursive was great, against me! blew me away with their energy and presence, and mastodon was solid.

for my money though, am! was far and away the best band that night. their set did seem to hit a bit of a lull in the middle, but that did not diminish my enjoyment of their performance.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

this review is funny. I'm sorry that some fat asshole threw you in the pit. Mastodon doesn't really strike me as a pit band anyways, but there is a big problem within the metal community regarding assholes who think that, because they are seeing a metal band, they have to be able to say "Yeah, I totally did the moshpit at that concert."

It's stupid, but seriously, Mastodon was the best band on the bill, which makes it all the more tragic that you weren't able to just sit back and listen to their great guitarwork.

ashtraymonument (May 22, 2007)

man i wish the show in denver had new songs that i hadn't heard before. almost exact same set list minus the two other new ones and tsr

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Obviously Mastodon were the best band on the bill. I hate it when good shows are ruined by sweaty metalhead and hardcore kids who come to mosh and spinkick.

I hate it when a band's target audience and biggest fans show up at their shows too!

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Obviously Mastodon were the best band on the bill. I hate it when good shows are ruined by sweaty metalhead and hardcore kids who come to mosh and spinkick.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

upload the fucking new against me album dammit...

maxethunders (May 22, 2007)

I also know what it's like to be stumbling blind at a concert. I saw AFI in Green Bay 4 or 5 years ago and somebody crowd surfing kicked me in the face during AFI. When I found them later they were a mangled chunks of metal and one of my lenses.

Deadpan (May 22, 2007)

The people who left before Mastodon suffered from a serious lapse in judgement. I kind of pity them, really. They put on an awesome live show, even with all the meatheads.

Who I pity even more though, is myself. I wish I could see one of these shows. Alas, no.

eastern_waste (May 22, 2007)

i meant to put this score there

eastern_waste (May 22, 2007)

score is for how fuckin great against me! played. they played like pure shit at warped last year compared to this show. warren the drummer is a cool dude too.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

What's so wrong with "White People for Peace"? It's a pretty awesome song, as far as singles go. I don't think the lyrics are "bad" per se, but I'll agree they've written better. I even like the b-side from the record, even though people were hating on that. I guess I'm one of the few that are stoked for New Wave. I've been a fan of Against Me! since before Cowboy, which is still my favorite, so I guess I'll never understand why all these people are hating on the new material. I think they've had a pretty natural evolution of sound. I'm going to trust the opinion of a friend who has, for certain, heard the record and says it's excellent instead of the random anonymous posters who keep popping their heads in to claim they've heard it. I don't believe them for a second.

-r3venge therapy

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

deos againt me sell a tshirt with that tiger logo from new wave on it?

thus_spoke_sean (May 22, 2007)

was bummed when the sound guy told me that These Arms... van had broken down, but the rest of the show was excellent. I still havent listened to Happy Hollow, but I still loved Cursive's set. The older material was awesome live, especially with the horn section (the bari sax more than making up for the loss of cello on the Ugly Organ tracks). I was never a big AM! guy, but I have to say that their live show killed. A whole lot of fun. I am a huge Mastodon fan, and really enjoyed their set. But to them, I'd honestly rather groove out and bang my head a bit. I love a good pit as much as the next guy who goes to metal shows. But I need the music to dictate it for me, Mastodon just doesn't hit me a mosh band. So once I was able to get out of the way of too many pits, I was able to watch and enjoy.

All ina all, I was worried that the diverse bill might be wierd, but I really enjoyed the show.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

I'm not sure what's going on with 11 on the Against Me! set list. I thought it was pretty obvious that it was Up The Cuts.

Anyway, Cursive were awesome. They made a fan out of me in a hurry.

Against Me! were better than I could have hoped. I've never seen them outside of Warped, but I still didn't think the huge venue would be good. I was wrong.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

After Against Me! left, with the indie rock and the punk kids gone, it was time for the aggressive metalheads to take the floor.

Most people I know that like Mastodon are indie and punk fans, and most people I know that like Cursive and Against Me! aren't...

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Score is for the tour.

Honestly, these are three of my absolute favorite bands. What an incredible night of music this would be.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Score is for New Wave.

It's a pretty good album, but I'm going to go ahead and say that about 97% of the people on this site are going to hate the shit out of it.

I played if for my friend yesterday, who loves AM!, and he despised it. However, my other friend loved it.

With me and AM!, I can't pick my favorite release from them, whether it be full-length or EP, but I can say that New Wave isn't like that. It's a good album, and worth getting, but not as good as their previous 7 years.

Still worth buying though (or downloading... whatever).

video_cognito (May 22, 2007)

I would have taken These Arms are Snakes over Planes Mistaken for Stars any day. The Cursive set (in Chicago) was really good. Our Against Me! set was better than yours, sorry to say. We got We Laugh at Danger, which pretty much overshadows everything. And yeah, I guess it's safe to say that not many kids stayed to see Mastadon? I know I didn't.

maverick (May 22, 2007)

These Arms Are Snakes went on before advertised door time in Cleveland, which was a bummer -- I showed up at 7:10 thinking I'd catch the last 20 minutes of their set and instead I showed up right before Cursive went on at 7:15.

Cursive was really great, but had no crowd reaction for the most part. Nearly identical setlist (I don't remember them playing "The Great Decay," but maybe they did?).

Against Me! were fucking incredible. The crowd went batshit for them. Virtually identical setlist in Cleveland, as well (we had one different new song).

Didn't stay for Mastodon, and neither did anyone else, it seemed. There was a huge mass exodus after AM! finished.

Oh, and for anyone wondering: The T-shirt that AM! are selling with the German writing on it says "Against Me! knows what to do."


fattony (May 22, 2007)

I saw this show in Seattle. I missed Planes MIstaken For Stars, but Cursive was pretty good and Against Me! was a lot better than the last time I saw them. I got the fuck outta there before Mastodon though. It seemed like most of the crowd had the same idea, but maybe they just went to the bar.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

i saw this show in boston and they were so goddamn awful

it left me with a bad taste in my mouth

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

I saw this tour, Cursive sucks, I don't understand why people like that band. Against Me! was good but not as good as they were on the headlining tour a few months ago. Mastadon has a dumbass fan base. One guy seriously did 6 sumersaults while crowd surfing towards the stage. Overall I don't think the show was worth the $25 entry fee.

Cheesetits (May 22, 2007)

I went to the Seattle show, it was fantastic for the most part, although admittedly the bar was more enticing than Against Me. I respect their energy, but I will never get into their music.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

The detroit show was great. There was only one complete moron during mastodons set and he was kicked out halfway. All 4 bands rocked the house. Best "diverse" tour in a long time.

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