When we last spoke, BEHEMOTH had thrown down the gauntlet, putting a lot of pressure on the next three acts to step it the fuck up. And boy howdy was GOJIRA up to that task and then some. Of all the bands on this bill, these guys are hands down Mini-Amps’ favorite, so I was super-stoked once again to see his face when they took the stage. Opening with classics “Toxic Garbage Island” and “Backbone” from The Way of All Flesh and From Mars to Sirius albums, they were in full tilt. Mini-Amps was doing his rocking out in one of the rented lawn chairs as he was also doing so with a mouthful of venue pizza! Visually and sonically the boys were in full “GO!” mode. I’ve never seen them have a set with so much production!
“Stranded” from 2016’s incredible Magma record was next aaaaaaaand that was it for the pizza. He handed me his plate like, “Sorry, Dad. I got business to handle!” and proceeded to do his chair dance back and forth, forwards and backwards. And let me just say this, yeah? Mario Duplantier is inhuman as a drummer. One of my absolute favorites in the game, dude is simply a beast behind the kit. The same viciousness with which his brother Joe Duplantier attacks his vocals and guitar-playing is exactly what you get from Mario and then some. This was my fourth GOJIRA show and he never ceases to amaze me. I could feel every thump of his kick drums right in my chest! Plus, dude looks great with no shirt on. Yep, man crush confirmed.
It was another oldie in “Flying Whales” and you could see some of the die-hards really getting into it. When this band plays, you just can’t help it, honestly. In a shocking move (to me, anyway) out came “Love” from 2001’s Terra Incognita. I guarantee you no one was expecting this one, but it’s safe to say we were all amped that it was happening right in front of us. Oh, and speaking of inhuman drumming, next up was “The Cell”, arguably my favorite from Magma, and both Mini-Amps and I went nuts. Hell, even Kelly, who wasn’t really a fan before this set was highly impressed. So was Jimmy the Beer Man. You just can’t deny the musicianship here, and when the bass and drums collide it’s like a hammer on your skull.
“Silvera” followed, and while this one is another headcrusher it’s also got a very unique melody line guitar-wise. When lead guitarist Christian Andreu let fly on the solo it was simply amazing. Closer “The Gift of Guilt” was the lone representative from 2012’s landmark L’Enfant Sauvage album. Quite frankly they could have played that disc start to finish and I would have had a coronary either way. And just like that, they were gone. I really need a new GOJIRA album and tour, and I need both of them YESTERDAY!! I was so glad that Mini-Amps finally got to see two of his favorite bands but I was worried about him tiring out. I needn’t have bothered because VOLBEAT’S set would assuage any fears I had. More on them in Part III…
LIVE IMAGES: ROCKVIEW LIVE
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO