All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Mastodon Live @ Festival Hall, Melbourne

I have lost track of the amount of times I have seen Mastodon.

Certainly, from memory, I have laid witness to most of their Australian sojourns and have managed to photograph them now a total of three times. (Festival Hall, The Palace and Billboard aka 170 Russell).

The current tour was billed as the band’s first headlining tour of Australia with three dates in total in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Each city got a different opener as well with Twelve Foot Ninja opening proceedings in Melbourne, Breaking Orbit in Sydney and Caligula’s Horse in Brisbane.

The drill when photographing at Festival Hall is usually the same for every gig I have shot here. You pick up your pass from the box-office, you proceed to wait out back by the Loading Door and you are then let in at the last possible moment to shoot the first three songs of each act before being escorted outside once again.

Fortunately tonight, we were also gifted with Comp passes so we could stay and watch the rest of Mastodon’s set after cloaking our cameras.

I had taken a leave-of-absence from gig photography over the course of the last two months. Family matters intervened so my mind, energy and very being, were devoted elsewhere.

It was good to get back into it tonight. Especially with an act who I consider one of my personal faves. I must admit, I did feel a little rusty in places but one quickly adjusts and gets into the swing of things post haste.

The energy levels were high throughout the Mastodon shoot with an incredibly vocal and receptive crowd cheering the band along throughout.

Great to be back kicking things off nicely for 2015 and a very hectic schedule already booked in for the next few months. Watch this space…


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