After scheduling uncertainties, the duo deliver a thunderous showing well worth the wait.
Photos, Text by Luis (@heaviestofart):
Like many of the ongoing bands on tour this moment, Gojira & Deftones suffered the same fate of having countless plans tarnished because of the pandemic. Needless to say, the eagerness of both bands to hit the stage after year-ending contending albums in 2020 (Ohms) and 2021 (Fortitude) was high, and on April 20th, The Greek Theatre stood to benefit. Hell, the swarming fans that filled Vermont Blvd. prior to the show was enough of a sign that the evening's festivities were set to be special. Special they were.
Though the inevitable LA traffic and parking organization forced us to miss the hypnotic rock of Vowws, the ambience and visible joy throughout The Greek following their set was welcoming. The mellowness of it all was soon counteracted by the explosive nature of Gojira, a band that could very be characterized as a force of nature. With white curtains and flashing lights to visualize Mario Duplantier's opening drum patterns, Gojira ripped through the opening battle anthem that is Born for One Thing. Smoke cannons shot and the crowd erupted into a frenzy as Joe's screams burst with rage, making for the ideal opening to this long awaited set.
It's after this that we walked into the photo pit and were met by an enthusiastic crowd, hands raised and all. The earth shattering Backbone followed suit and elevated The Greek to new levels of excitement. With breakdowns that towering, who can blame anyone from attempting to start circling in the mostly seated venue. Stranded, Flying Whales, and The Cell battered fans in with their expansive composition that is further expanded upon by Gojira in the live setting. The sound was crisp, bombastic, and more importantly, felt by all who found themselves under the galvanizing lights that overlooked the Joe and co.
Guitarists Christian Andreu and Joe held their own with a staggering delivery that did justice to the exemplary Silvera and Grind: two tracks that define the level of talent that exists within the French band's ranks. On the bass side, Jean-Michel Labadie is among the most exhilarating performers you'll see. From facial expressions to jumps and body movement across The Greek stage, Jean-Michel owns the part and stands tall as one of the best live performers you'll see in metal.
Gojira's career-spanning set concluded with the duo of L'enfant sauvage and Fortitude standout, Amazonia, both of which triggered the same zealous reaction from the thousands in attendance. Laser beams shot up as Joe walked around the stage, letting loose riff after riff as Jean-Michel and Mario exhibited pure vigor on their respective drum and bass ends. Beyond being musically astounding, the live presence of Gojira is one to look up to for the band feed off the band's energy and reciprocate it to great effect. This is a band at the height of their career and with performances this awe-inspiring, their upwards trajectory is sure to continue. For our friends across the pond, don't let their headlining Hellfest performance pass you.
Stream Fortitude HERE and check out a photo gallery of the performance below.
The high octane metal of Gojira left the stage hot for a band that was made for the moment. With diamond lights and strobes above, Deftones walked aboard and were welcomed to a roar of a crowd years into waiting for the night. Those who held on to tickets originally planned for August of 2020 finally got what they paid for.
Genesis commenced and Los Angeles stood on their feet to witness the nu metal greats shine throughout a timeline of Deftones musical history. Chino's lead role remained as great as ever while Stephen Carpenter's guitar excellence electrified the many. As expected, Rocket Skates drew insanity as everyone screamed through the signature guns, razors, knives chorus - a staple of any Deftones show.
The accompanying light show was nothing short of wondrous, as the pictures would briefly illustrate. They don't do justice to the illustrious lights and imagery that backed Chino and co. as they performed through greats from both their early days and contemporary caliber. Royal, Swerve City, Bloody Cape, Knife Prty, Tempest, Digital Bath, Sextape, and more radiated with each passing second and we were all witnessing a masterclass in the flesh. Deftones looked back to their origins and concluded the night with Engine No. 9.
The night of April 20th was one that the sold-out crowd at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles will forever remember as Gojira & Deftones commanded every inch of that trembling stage from track to track. There's no question as to why most of the tour dates have sold out and continue to sell out, so for those on the edge of attending any show with tickets remaining, let this be your call to do so. Few do it this well and we'd be remiss not to tag this bill as one of the year's best so far.
Check out a photo gallery of Deftone's performance below and get your tickets to upcoming dates HERE, which you can also find below.