Dethklok brings metal and laughs to the Palladium

Marla Schevker

Bryan Beller rocks out while performing electic guitar for Dethklok. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Freeman
Bryan Beller rocks out while performing electic guitar for Dethklok. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Freeman

When I first heard that Dethklok and Mastodon were going to perform at the Palladium on November 20, my first question was: How does a cartoon band play a show? Dethklok is a fictional band featured on the Adult Swim show “Metalocalpyse.” The show, created by Brendon Small, gives metal fans a way to make fun of each other and enjoy good music. At this show, I finally got my question answered.

First, though, lets talk about the opening bands: High on Fire and Converge. While they were halfway decent, it’s probably a good thing they were the openers. As people trickled into the venue, these bands tried to pump up the energy and keep the crowd occupied until the bands that they actually paid to see came on the stage. High on Fire seemed to have a problem with unnecessary solos that made songs drag on pointlessly. Converge was better. The lead singer, Jacob Bannon, seemed to be jumping around the stage the entire 35 minutes they performed. They had good energy but their songs lacked the maturity needed for me to really enjoy them. None of the lyrics were understandable, every sound the lead singer made sounded like a bark and most of the songs sounded exactly the same, with only small variations.  All in all, it wasn’t a complete waste of my time, but there is a reason that they aren’t more of the main attraction.

Mastodon put on quite an awesome show. For a band that has been around for 20 years, they put on a great show. For not having heard any recent music of Mastodon, I was actually quite surprised at the sound of their music and their show. They opened their set with moderate rock music. It was heavy for rock but it wasn’t as hard as the metal that they closed with. They have definitely altered their sound , it was a unique sound that was really enjoyable. I loved the images that were being projected on the screen behind the band performing. It helped with the trippy, creepy music that the band performed. At one point, near the end, the entire band left the stage with just the keyboard playing a single note. It held that note for approximately two minutes and then the band ran back out on stage and started yelling and screaming and performing another song. They had great energy and although they ended about 30 minutes early, they still put on a good show.

Now, my biggest question is finally going to be answered. A cartoon band doesn’t exactly perform by itself. After the success of Dethklok and Metalocalpyse, Small realized that they needed to go our tour. So he put together a group of really great musicians and they’ve been going on tour for a few years now.  Although I am a fan of the show, I had no idea what the show was going to be like and I was not disappointed at all. The cartoon was incorporated by a projection screen in the background montages clips from the show while the band performed and clips from the show while they took a break. The clips from the cartoon made the Dethklok set funny and I thought it was really great to be able to see songs I’ve only heard on TV performed life. Each member of the band was incredibly talented. The energy that Dethklok has on “Metalocalpyse” is transferred to Dethklok on the stage.
Overall, this was a really great show. It was energetic, I enjoyed it and it only took about 24 hours for me to get my hearing back.