Gojira have been long awaited as a headliner here at BOA, and it seems as though the entire population of the festival – some 18 thousand metalheads, have turned out for them tonight. The band waste no time in racing right into the heavy stuff with ‘Only Pain’ and ‘The Heaviest Matter of the Universe’ against a brooding mountain range backdrop, as giant plumes of smoke are blasted out from the front of the stage.
The intro for ‘Love’ has vocalist Joe Duplantier screaming out “Lemme see your fucking hands c’mon” as an added lyric, and the video backdrops depict a spinning cage whilst the band burn through those heavy Gojira riffs. Calling out “This is fucking beautiful thank you” in response to the sea of raised horns, Duplantier looks almost surprised as a streamer-cannon goes off next to him, followed by a burst of on-stage fireworks. Whilst ‘Flying Whales’ definitely is not a comedy track, hell, it kinda sounds like an Attenborough script, there is something really funny about the British need to kitsch everything up. There must be about 10 or so inflatable Orcas being bopped about in the crowd, ‘flying’ if you will.
If the band has noticed, they haven’t let on – “Bloodstock you know what we wanna see now… a giant fucking mosh pit… I’m sure you can make that hole a little bigger guys, come on, stand back”, and in response the place goes absolutely mental for ‘The Cell’. The lightning flash backdrop and accompanying strobe-effects hit a little close to home though as we’ve all been waiting in the pouring rain for the last hour, but guitarist Christian Andreu is paying the drizzle absolutely no mind, spinning around like a whirling dervish as he shreds.
For a confusing minute we get an up-close and personal as drummer Mario Duplantier ditches the kit in favour of a, um, spear. No clue why, but he’s brandishing it about the place and yelling “It’s an immense honour to headline bloodstock today… thanks for sticking out the rain”. Up next, ‘Silvera’ is stunningly beautiful, with it’s almost ambient mellow passages, and after a somewhat excessive drum solo we’re getting down to the wire with the heavy but melodic ‘The Shooting Star’, which is heralded with a rain of fireworks from the stage roof.
Pulling absolutely no punches, Gojira blast into encore/finale song ‘Vacuity’ supported by a barrage of on-stage pyrotechnics and a massive set of flaming red fireworks from behind the stage as they finish, calling out “Thank you so much bloodstock that’s all from us tonight. Stay safe, stay happy, stay healthy. Goodnight!”. It’s the perfect set and there’s no denying that Gojira are absolute masters of their craft, we have definitely been pulled right into the moment with them and sincerely hope we’ll be seeing them back at BOA soon.
© Photograph courtesy of Bloodstock Festival (Amplified Gig Photography)