No one can resist a good head bang.
To conclude the event came the self proclaimed 'French rednecks' and tonight's headliners, and following in the footsteps of two blistering support sets it was ridiculous to think that Gojira had a lot to live up to. A ridiculous thought because once they hit the stage and unleashed into Explosia it was instantly clear why this is one of the best live bands in Metal at the moment. The packed out crowd within London's KOKO fell almost into a trance of consistent head-banging as riff after riff cascaded into each other with unrivalled power and aggression. And if the opening track did all that, as the band moved onto Flying Whales, it became apocalyptic.
The set-list wasn't quite as L'Enfant Sauvage orientated as perhaps many would have expected. Live though, the new tracks are really good, and seemed to just slot in effortlessly amongst the big tracks off of previous albums. The title track for the new album was particularly impressive live, and got a really positive reaction from the crowd. A great part of the show seen the Duplianter brothers trade places for a jam at the end of Wisdom Comes and neither are really that bad at playing the other's instruments to be fair. Mario Duplantier in particular just looks like he could be a front-man, getting the crowd riled up and chanting down the front like he has been doing it for years. It's his blistering performance behind the kit tonight though which is the real stand-out part of their show. The all out attack on his drums fuels the onslaught that pulses through the performance. You get the impression that if he was not at his aggressive best, then their live show would suffer, so it's good that he is able to consistently deliver. As if to exemplify this point a bit more, Mario Duplantier also provided a pulsating drum solo that served truly brilliantly as a precursor to Clone.
Perhaps the only qualms you could possibly hold over Gojira's performance was the fact that it would have been great for the set-list to be a bit longer. Whilst it is a great track, the encore consisted of only The Gift Of Guilt from the new album where it may have been nice to hear something old or rare. But if the only negative of a live gig is a desire that it was longer, then you know they're not doing much wrong. French Metal is flourishing, and on the evidence of tonight there are no signs of it letting up.