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intro mastodon D4S7834 kleinFZW, Dortmund, Germany
13th June 2022
Mastodon & Special Guests: Bokassa & De Staat

The last time they could be seen live on German stages in spring 2019, the American Heavy Rock quartet MASTODON has finally confirmed dates in this country again. The Grammy-winning band from Atlanta is coming to Germany for three concerts in June 2022 as part of the promotion of their album ‘Hushed And Grim‘, which was released on October 29, 2021. The show in Dortmund was supported by two fantastic bands, Dutch DE STAAT and BOKASSA from Norway.


Bokassa

BOKASSA is a Norwegian rock band from Trondheim. The band was formed in 2013 by vocalist and guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, bassist Eirik Angård and drummer Olav Dowkes. All three musicians come from different parts of Norway and met each other in Trondheim. The band named themselves after Jean-Bédel Bokassa, who was dictator of the Central African Republic from 1966 to 1976 and then emperor of the Central African Empire from 1975 until his fall. According to singer Jørn Kaarstad, the fact that the band named themselves after Bokassa was misconstrued once before. Just one year later the EP ‘War on Everything’ was released. The self-produced debut album ‘Divide & Conquer’ was released in March 2017. On June 21, 2019, the band released their second studio album, ‘Crimson Riders’, via UK record label MVKA. Just before the recordings, bassist Eirik Angård left Bokassa and was replaced by Bård Linga. With ‘Crimson Riders’, the band achieved their first chart entry and the album reached number 20 in the Norwegian album charts. At the same time, BOKASSA toured Europe with GHOST supporting METALLICA. In autumn 2019 followed their own headliner tour through Europe with the opening act PUPPY. In December 2020, the band signed a new record deal with Napalm Records. The third studio album ‘Molotov Rocktail’ was released on September 3, 2021 and reached number 18 on the Norwegian album charts. https://www.bokassaband.com / https://www.facebook.com/BokassaBand

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Music & Performance
BOKASSA’s music is a mixture of Hardcore Punk and Stoner Rock and they describe their style as “Stoner Punk”. When the show started early at short past 19:30, the venue still was kind of empty. But nevertheless people were eager to rock with the Norwegians and you had some head-bangers right in the front row. Luckily, the shackles of the pandemic are mostly shaken of and anyone was eager to have a great evening. Kind of Hip-Hip intro announced the appearance of the trio on stage and opened the evening with instrumental ‘Freelude’ building up some atmosphere and leading over to ‘Last Night (Was a Real Massacre)’. The setlist offered a good balance of older material and sings of their recent release, ‘Molotov Rocktail’. Front man Kaarstad was playing the role of a charismatic host of a TV show so to call and entertained the audience and joked with the crowd... i.e. he made fun of the way German critics review a BOKASSA show. Powerful opener of the evening!

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Setlist
01. Freelude
02. Last Night (Was a Real Massacre)
03. Mouthbreathers Inc.
04. Walker Texas Danger
05. Burn it All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D)
06. Hereticules
07. Molotov Rocktail
08. Careless (In The Age Of Altruism)
09. Immortal Space Pirate (The Stoner Anthem)
10. Five Finger Fuckhead

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total 7.3 / 10

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De Staat

DE STAAT is an Alternative Rock band from Nijmegen in the Netherlands. DE STAAT was originally a one-man project led by singer Torre Florim, who formed the band. They recorded their first demo in Florim’s apartment in 2007. Even before they signed a record deal, they were a well-known band as their performances in the Netherlands were very well received. They were also the opening act for Belgian band DEUS. The band signed a record deal in 2008 and released their debut album, ‘Wait for Evolution’, in early 2009, on which all songs were composed and produced by Florim himself. Within a year, DE STAAT became well known and they played festivals such as Glastonbury, Sziget and Lowlands. The latest album ‘Bubble Gum’ was released in 2019. https://www.destaat.net / https://www.facebook.com/destaat

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Music & Performance
I must say that this band was real fun to me. The live shows of this five-piece from Nijmegen, Netherlands, are really something to remember. Over their albums, they cross genre boundaries, ranging from heavy Rock a la QUEENS OF THE SONE AGE to danceable and synth-driven poppy hook-lines. Front man Torre Florim is a real entertainer, commanding the audience just as he wishes. When he stood on stage with wide open arms I had the impression of a preacher, encouraging the audience to sing into the music. With his suit, he was surely an impressive figure on stage. The setlist spread from old songs to ones from the current ‘Bubble Gum’ album. Towards the end, DE STAAT played ‘Kitty Kitty’, opening track of the recent album. Standing out for me was the final song of the set, ‘Witch Doctor’. People screams and sung with the band as they were commanded by gestures. Great experience. Florim was spitting out the lyrics and you could hardly resist moving. Great surprise to me and an outstanding live act. Check them out!

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Setlist
01. Look at Me
02. Paying Attention
03. Peptalk
04. Input Source Select
05. Murder Death
06. Who’s Gonna Be the GOAT?
07. Make Way for the Passenger
08. Head on the Block
09. Kitty Kitty
10. Witch Doctor

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total 8 / 10

destaat D4S7760 klein


Mastodon

MASTODON is more than a band of musicians, because parallel to their creativity they have increased its worldwide following with every further studio album in the course of their career. Not only for their fans, MASTODON is one of the most respected and influential creative forces in today’s Metal scene. Especially live, they are an attraction that Rock and Metal fans shouldn’t miss. And after four years of waiting, you can look forward to plenty of new material: With ‘Hushed And Grim’, MASTODON present their first double album! Most recently they released the celebrated ‘Emperor Of Sand’ in 2017, which brought the band, which has been active for over 20 years, to the first Grammy Award after four nominations (in the category ‘Best Metal Performance’).

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‘Hushed And Grim’ was made in her hometown of Atlanta over the past year. Produced by David Bottrill (including TOOL, RUSH, MUSE, PETER GABRIEL), MASTODON sound more ambitious and expansive than ever - because the 15 songs cover everything from Rock and Psychedelic to Punk and Metal to Alternative and Prog, tied by the unique chemistry that exists between these four sworn Rock virtuosos. Meanwhile, the mood is anything but exuberant when they say goodbye to their long-time companion, friend and manager Nick John, who died of cancer in autumn 2018. For MASTODON, the release of the ninth album marks a further evolutionary step: the songwriting sounds even more mature this time, their rejection of classic genre affiliations even more emphatic and unmistakable than before. They develop their trademark sound once again by showing a lot more courage to play melodies this time - which makes ‘Hushed And Grim’ a tough and hypnotic career milestone overall. https://www.mastodonrocks.com / https://www.facebook.com/Mastodon

mastodon D4S7827 klein

Music & Performance
After some years of waiting, American Progressive Metal / Rock giants MASTODON are back in Germany with a new album, putting it onto stage for an excited audience. At was 9:45pm when Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor entered the stage. By now, the hall was very well filled, even though the gallery was closed, and people really excited, welcoming the band with loud cheers. Opener was the excellent ‘Pain With an Anchor’ from the current album ‘Hushed And Grim’, setting the audience already into fire. Soon, you could spot the first crowd surfer as well, not to mention several head-bangers in the front row. Several classics found their way into the setlist, like ‘Crystal Skull’, ‘Megalodon’ or ‘Black Tongue’, but also you could hear the promised new gems, like ‘Teardrinker’ and ‘Pushing the Tides’. With such songs, MASTODON prove once more that they are one of the best bands in current Rock and Metal universe. Closing song of the evening was their probably biggest hit, fantastic ‘Blood and Thunder’. All musicians on stage were delivering well, Brann was flawless behind the drums. Great show, so raise your horns for more MASTODON shows!

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Setlist
01. Pain With an Anchor
02. Crystal Skull
03. Megalodon
04. The Crux
05. Teardrinker
06. Bladecatcher
07. Black Tongue
08. Skeleton of Splendor
09. The Czar
10. Pushing the Tides
11. More Than I Could Chew
12. Mother Puncher
13. Gobblers of Dregs
14. Gigantium
15. Blood and Thunder

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total 8.3 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)
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