Dethklok, Mastodon, High On Fire, and Converge at the Val Air Ballroom
Des Moines, Iowa, October 14, 2009
In anticipation for what looked to be a thoroughly brutal heavy metal show, my curiosity got the best of me as I considered just exactly what a Dethklok concert would look like. I got on You Tube and watched a short video of one of their performances a week prior to my show date and mused at how old the second guitarist looked. I received a reply on my blog, gently reminding me that image doesn’t trump substance and accurately pointing out that rock music isn’t necessarily a young man’s (or woman’s) game.
But for Dethklok, the fictional band featured on Cartoon Network’s animate series Metalocalypse, image is entirely the point. Regardless of Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small’s musical lineage and impressive credentials (he is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston), the band is entirely housed in an imaginary realm that only comes to life through means of animation. To disregard the image of Dethklok is to destroy it in many ways, and believe me, to witness a Dethklok show in person is a bit like Toto drawing back the curtain to reveal the all-powerful Wizard.
To see this before hand brought an immediate sense of disappointment, but there would be no regrets to this package event. After all, the promoters had me at “High On Fire” and “Mastodon.”