If you want to make an impression at 2 in the afternoon, even on a Friday when the carnage of day-drinking and no sleep haven’t fully manifested, you have to come in with a headlining swagger.
Mutoid Man played through like people paid just for them, and as one of the most exciting current metal bands, they’re bound to move up in the ranks. Steve Brodsky can sing Tom Jones pre-set and thrust his guitar with Headbanger’s Ball abandon without coming off as ironic. After slugging in bands like Cave In and his own solo work, he’s more assured than ever.
It’s inhuman how much drummer Ben Koller was smiling and goofing around, as he just played an intense set with Converge last night and will play with them again later today. Brodsky called him the MVP of the festival for his perseverance, and outside of the organizers, he’s got a case.
Koller’s glee was just one part of what makes Mutoid Man so special: they’re a highly disciplined party band, much like Van Halen were back in the day. Nobody flubbed a note, and more importantly, nobody missed a chance to flip each other off or make suggestive jokes. "1000 Mile Stare" and "Bridgeburner" combined their technical hardcore roots with hooks that rock radio should pay attention to, but never will. "Sweet Ivy" showcases their poppier side, with no loss of unbridled rock fury.
Mutoid Man already have a special place in Austin music history, as they were the first band to headline new venue Sidewinder back in August, and if this performance was any indication, they may as well be one of us.