Live Report & Pictures: Gojira, The Devin Townsend Project, The Atlas Moth
Seeing Gojira play is like having the best sex of my life on top of the pounding stone heart that lies at the center of the planet. For a solid eighty minutes, the boys from Bayonne (France, not Jersey) crush out an array of million-ton riffs and shrieking fretwork that maintains both grace and brutality, beauty and incredible strength. The Duplantier brothers are simply incredible—frontman Joe’s bellows are earth-shaking, and drummer Mario’s consistent and thorough percussion keeps time with the listener’s rushing blood; the two even switch places at one point in a brief but touching show of versatility. Lead guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie tear around the stage as though they were wrestling their instruments, all before a backdrop of the organic head from the cover of L’Enfant Sauvage. Before the band plays the title track from said record, Joe urges the crowd never to lose the inner child inside of them. And that, friend, is what Gojira do better than any other metal band out there right now—they remind us that we love this music for the right reasons, that our immersive passion should not be overanalyzed or reined in but unabashedly embraced for all its loud, hard, intense honesty. The band closes with the unbeatable “Vacuity,” leaving the crowd, and this reporter, stunned into doe-eyed silence, and releasing a flood of raw power and boundless love that pours out onto the streets of Brooklyn like healing fire.