When this tour was announced and Alter Bridge and Volbeat were topping the bill, eyebrows were certainly raised when Gojira were added as one of the support bands. Their most recent release Magma is definitely the most accessible record in their arsenal, and it's been quite clear that the band are very open to branching out in to new realms to help push them towards some more commercial success than they perhaps were able to achieve in the past. Despite all this, the band are still crushingly heavy and haven't exactly watered down their sound to the extent where you expect them to go over all that well with a radio-friendly Classic Rock loving crowd so again their part on this tour has been a relatively confusing one. Now we arrived just as the lights dimmed across the O2 Arena tonight and Gojira were taking to the stage, and it was clear that the place was half empty, but this didn't stop Gojira continuing to be the best live band in heavy music at the moment.
With the fact that, as we've already mentioned, this was a slightly different crowd than Gojira are used to playing in front of, this didn't stop them throwing themselves in to the absolutely brutal and challenging Toxic Garbage Wasteland. It was a frankly breathless opening number with all four members showing off exactly what they're all about from the word go. When they do get to some of the tracks off of their new album the intensity is rolled up a notch. Both Stranded and Silvera sounded absolutely monumental, shattering the foundations of the O2 Arena. There were probably families tucking in to their half chicken and chips in the Harvester up in the foyer section wondering what on earth was going, croutons from the salad bar all over the shop. These were tracks written exactly for this kind of moment, the screeching guitar sounds and pummelling riffs all sounding absolutely spot on.
The band were able to get a fair few of the front couple of rows going throughout the set but they were met largely by gawping Volbeat fans stuffing popcorn in their mouths. This was no fault of their own, and was to be expected, but in the surrounding areas after the band had finished they'd appeared to won over a hell of a lot of people with a genuinely buzzing atmosphere. They were the band of the night before anyone else had even taken to the stage, that is just how powerful Gojira are live.