Grammy-nominated metal band Gojira brought their fall U.S. headlining tour to the Main Street Armory in Rochester. The tour featuring special guests Alien Weaponry and Knocked Loose is in support of the bands most recent album release Fortitude
Alien Weaponry, the first band of the evening is a three piece “Te Reo” metal band hailing from Waipu, New Zealand and formed in Auckland in 2010 consisting of brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong, as well as Turanga Morgan-Edmonds. With a dark stage and subtle green lighting, the band takes the stage as a steady drum beat blasts through the armory with a giant Alien Weaponry banner draped behind them. The trio waste no time getting into their first song “Titokowaru,” which immediately shows the bands thrash metal roots.
Alien Weaponry performs many of their songs in the Māori language, which helps separate them from the many other bands in the genre. Each song they perform feels like a breath of fresh air, and is foreshadowing of many great things to come for this band. While only having a 6 song set list, Alien Weaponry gave a fantastic opening performance, and fit very well on the bill with Gojira. The only thing that would of made this set better is if they simply had more time, and were not the openers in my opinion.
Knocked Loose, the second act on the bill which is American hardcore punk based out of Kentucky didn’t quite hit the nail like Alien Weaponry did. The band performed 10 songs in total, with each one of them seeming like the entire song was a breakdown. While I respect the band as musicians, it just didn’t seem to fit right with this lineup. Performing songs “Where Light Divides the Holler,” “Oblivion’s Peak,” “Guided by the Moon,” and “Mistakes Like Fractures” certainly had the mosh pit moving.
After Knocked Loose finished their set, a drape covers the stage with symbols from Gojira’s Fortitude album while a blended mix of the song “Fortitude” plays subtle in the background. The anticipation alone with a countdown had the crowd already getting ready to be rocked by one of the best metal bands currently touring.
As the countdown hit 0, the band goes right into “Born For One Thing” and the drape drops sending the crowd into a frenzy. Unlike Gojira’s past US tours where they had little production, this tour set the bar high. With Co2 canisters, lasers, fog, and overhead strobes this was Gojira at their best. Some bands almost need the extra production to kind of help carry them, though with Gojira it’s more like icing on a cake. This was absolutely amazing and beautiful to witness with the pure power of their music, as well as the crowd singing along.
Going from Born for One Thing > Backbone > Stranded > Flying Whales was one of the best possible openings for a Gojira show. Each one of these songs are super popular among fans, and extremely heavy hitting. One highlight from their 16 song set were during “Flying Whales” when fans “release whales back into the wild” by launching inflatable whales into the crowd. Overall Gojia’s setlist was extremely well rounded, with roughly half the song being new material and the other half a good mix from their previous albums.
Closing out their set with L’enfant sauvage, the crowd screaming “Gojira” over and over almost demanding them come back, which they obviously do for an amazing 4 song encore. Starting the encore off with “Amazonia” off their latest album sent the crowd into a roar again. Leading then into “Toxic Garbage Island” followed by “The Chant” before finishing off with fan favorite “Vacuity” was the perfect choice of songs for an encore.
Gojira put on one of the best metal shows I have seen, and they show no signs of slowing down. Overall this tour is incredible and is definitely worth seeing if you have the opportunity to do so.
Setlist: Born for One thing > Backbone > Stranded > Flying Whales > The Cell > Love/Remembrance > Hold On > Grind > Silvera > Sphinx > Another World > L’enfant sauvage
Encore: Amazonia > Toxic Garbage Island > The Chant > Vacuity