Mastodon blew my fucking mind for two hours last night. For the majority of the show I was in the pit. At one point I was pushed over a dude right as he fell down and received an elbow to the face that popped a lens out of my glasses. I found it after the show, but it was scratched to the hell I'd figured it would be. This is the second time I've seen Mastodon, and they are so much better live than on-album. It was a hard sell to get me to be a fan, before I'd ever seen them live I considered Mastodon to be naught more than excellent technical players rocking out in the overly-pretentious Malmsteen-style.
I've certainly changed my mind: now I think they do what they do in the manner they do as a natural product their collective cerebral cortices. I recently finished watching Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible I and II, and totally wigged to see Mastodon use clips from that film in their video backdrop. I had to Ask MetaFilter for guidance regarding other films that were used in it.
Whenever I make it to a metal show, I just get a reinforced sense that I will always fundamentally be a metalhead. The surging sea of humanity inevitably drenches me in other people's beer and other people's sweat. The concept of personal space is obliterated. People tend to much more self-conscious at indie shows. Anything more than an arms-crossed head-bob seems vastly out of place.
Mastodon played the entirety of Crack the Skye and bits of Blood Mountain, Leviathan and Remission. Here's some video of the first song they played: Oblivion.