Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, and Russian Circles Rocked Charleston

Maggie Lott

I believe that everyone goes on a musical journey throughout their lives. If you had told me 8 years ago I would willingly see a metal band twice, I would have laughed in your face and repeated your joke to everyone I knew.


And they would have laughed too. And yet I have. It’s a funny thing how music can affect us. I can trace the beginning of my musical journey to a single song, Hotel California by The Eagles. It was my mom’s and I played that CD as many times as humanly possible. Along each of our own musical journeys, we each have people that influence us. Mine most definitely was my husband. Music connected us and we have made it an integral part of raising our family.

When Mastodon announced that they would be gracing our fair city with their presence, tickets were bought almost immediately. Along on the tour were two other incredible bands, Russian Circles and Eagles of Death Metal. They all took the stage last Wednesday at the Performing Arts Center. While a school night, staying up late was well worth it.

Up first at the concert was Russian Circles. In the many different realms of metal, their genre, ambient metal, is one of the easiest to enjoy. There is no singing, only instruments. Russian Circles hails from Chicago and the band is comprised of Mike Sullivan, Dave Turncrantz, and Brian Cook. When listening to their songs you will find a mix of easy metal with a few dashes of harder songs thrown into the mix.

The second act was Eagles of Death Metal. They may sound rough, but I assure you they are not. The group’s genre is actually American rock and they thought the name would be a good joke. I have to admit, I was blown away by their performance. They were high energy and interacted with the crowd a lot. The main band members are Jesse Hughes (Greenville, SC native) and Josh Homme. However, they typically have other members fill in when needed. On this evening, they had 3 extra members and Josh Homme was not there. It wasn’t surprising as he is usually busy with his side projects. Now, to be fair, his side projects are pretty epic. They consist of another band, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Them Crooked Vultures, a personal favorite, is a 3 man band comprised of Josh Homme, Dave Grohl (Nirvana and Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). Not too bad.

Lastly was the main act, Mastodon. The last time I saw them was over 7 years ago at The Music Farm while pregnant with my eldest. They are classified as an American heavy metal band and consist of Troy Sanders (bass & vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar & vocals), Bill Kelliher (guitar), and Brann Dailor (drums & vocals). Now I will admit I have zero clue what they were singing but their playing is out of this world. You will find progressive concepts and unique instrumentation throughout each of their albums. That night they played songs from a wide range of several albums which appeased veteran and newer fans alike. Mastodon recently released Cold Dark Place, an EP written mainly by one of the major creative forces behind the band, guitarist Brent Hinds. The album has widely been well received and proves Hinds’ excellence at his craft, especially considering his mastery of an unusually difficult 13-string steel Sho-Bud guitar.

It was an incredible evening out and I hope it’s less than 7 years until I can see these bands again.