It’s been awhile since Tomahawk has played in Los Angeles, and you could tell it has been way too long by the jittery excitement filling the floor of the Mayan Theater on Wednesday night. Retox tried their best to get the crowd into their fast paced antics as the opener, but everyone was there to see Tomahawk and the anticipation was becoming too much for fans. With a steady 30 minutes of the same Native American war chant (think Atlanta Braves but darker) growing louder with every minute over the PA, the lights finally turned dark on stage as Mike Patton strolled out his experimental metal four piece for their first show in Los Angeles in over ten years.
Mike Patton’s touring projects and bands are an acquired taste, but Tomahawk’s following has always been one of the largest, right behind Faith No More. Patton didn’t waste any time getting the crowd into a frenzy, opening with “God Hates a Coward” and a huge opening three song set that included the new single “Oddfellows”. In total, six songs from the band’s new album made it into a setlist that included a diverse mix of songs from their four studio albums.
The most powerful moments came near the end of the set with “Mayday” and “Laredo” offering pulverizing live renditions that opened the main floor of the Mayan into a sweaty pit of fans. The band came back out for an encore under the heavy beating drums of “Totem”- an eerie rendition that enveloped the venue in heavy bass from floor to ceiling. If “Totem” was the highlight, then it was also part of the disappointment. Only one song from Tomahawk’s most hated or most loved album (it’s one way or the other for the 2007 concept LP Anonymous) made it into the live set. We wish there was more from Anonymous, in fact, we would love to see a complete live rendition of the album sometime in the future- let’s make it happen Mike!
Tomahawk fans left the Mayan satisfied to see Mike Patton’s band that has alluded them for so long. Before heading out, the band proved that Mike’s vocal range can allow him to successfully journey into any genre he wishes. There was a punk cover and a country music cover, both of which had the fans laughing and singing along at the same time. Tomahawk live was a visceral live experience for fans that waited over ten years to see the band perform live in Los Angeles again.
God Hates a Coward
Rape This Day
Baby Let’s Play ____
White Hats / Black Hats
Point and Click
Just One More (George Jones cover)
Pay To Cum (Bad Brains cover)