Wow. Years down the line the question will be asked…where were you when Gojira headlined Bloodstock? This is the pinnacle of their career with a setlist that took us through their entire history and had some of the most eye-catching visuals such as confetti cannons, fireworks, so much pyro and much more.
Gojira swatted away doubts of their ability to headline with ease. They even swatted away the rain, such is their power. It was pretty much the most perfect show you could ever possibly see. Amazing music, insane visuals, pyro, confetti and a band that look happier than even the exhilarated crowd do. To everyone who wonders who will take over when bands like Slayer, Metallica and the like all step down. Here they are.
That above is what we wrote regarding Gojira’s headline show at Bloodstock 2018. Almost 11 months later, they made their triumphant return to the UK for a short run headlining a couple of academies. The question is, was Bloodstock 2018 a one-off?
Brixton is heaving, the air is thick with sweat and the walls are vibrating with noise. We arrived to catch the second half of main support, Rolo Tomassi. Not to familiar with their music, they do impress especially with the final track, A Flood of Light.
It’s all about Gojira though and the excitement spreads like an infection the closer we get to the lights dropping. When they do…it’s electric. A huge backdrop showcasing artwork and videos themed around songs lights up and the band make their way out on to the stage. It’s an incredible entrance and one befitting of such an important band.
They don’t hang about either, kicking straight into the meaty tome of Oroborus and an incredible Backbone. The sound is perfect and the band are on great form, Brixton was hot before but when the pyro starts it just gets even hotter. It’s impossible to tear your eyes away from the stage. Be it the gorgeous visuals of the backdrop, the energetic band moving between the two-tier stage or the flames that leap high into the air every so often. It’s brilliant and when Gojira tear into possibly the best live showing of Stranded we’ve ever seen, they’ve all but confirmed themselves as the best live band on the planet right now.
Flying Whales, Love, Terra Inc, L’Enfant Sauvage…we get a wide range of Gojira tracks across their immense history. Every single track sounding as huge and deep as the ocean itself.
They’re not a band to go on rambling long speeches but Joe Duplantier does talk occasionally. As well as thanking everyone, he comments on the band’s growth. Acknowledging that when they first played in London 14 years previously it was the Underworld and now, they’re here, at a sold-out Brixton Academy. He gets roars of approval when he suggests that we, the fans, keep dragging our friends along and spreading the word so next time it can be Wembley!
Interestingly, he also mentions how he is disappointed we’re not getting the full experience tonight as “someone spilt a beer on their light deck” meaning they don’t have much of a light show. Genuinely, it seemed like no-one really noticed and considering we got massive plumes of fire, intense smoke machines and even confetti cannons, it’s almost funny that the band think they might have let us down visually!
The main portion of the set wraps up with Blow Me Away You(niverse) before Mario Duplantier returns for wicked drum solo. The rest of the band then make their way back out for an encore of Clone, Vacuity and the always stunning, The Gift of Guilt.
There isn’t a single person not grinning from ear to ear (well, expect the fella who really wanted The Heaviest Matter in the Universe and didn’t get it) as the band say their goodbyes. The sweaty masses slowly make their way out and all you can hear is the universal agreement that Gojira are possibly the best live band in the world right now.
See you at Wembley.
Gojira at O2 Academy Brixton, London (30/06/19)