Gojira at the Granada, 1/31/13: Review
The Granada put on a rare heavy metal show last night, meaning that their particular section of Greenville was occupied by black clothing and facial hair, a far cry from last Saturday's show from AD.d+. It's great that one venue can attract such totally disparate crowds, and in such large numbers, and still retain an identity as such an excellent place to see live music. I've done some research, and I can't find evidence of any other French heavy metal bands. Therefore Gojira are pretty special for that reason alone.
They put on a spectacular show, focused on a stage prop derived from the cover art of their latest album, "L'Enfant Sauvage". Even better, in terms of spectacle, was the support from the Devin Townsend Project. I had not seen DTP before, and their stage show is fantastic. Devin himself has some of the best stage banter I've ever heard. I really can't imagine anyone else calling his new single "totally lame," while getting an entire metal crowd to do jazz hands as part of the chorus, and then berating individual metal fans for being too serious to do jazz hands (his suggestion was that they visualized "necrobats").
His band threw out some serious prog metal, compete with ironic poses that you just knew Devin was milking for laughs. Even the bizarre slideshows on the big screen while the songs were playing were worth the admission fee. The man just knows how to entertain.
Gojira themselves come with some serious metal chops. Starting off relatively generic but warming to their task as they went through their set, they rarely let the energy of their set drop off. A particular highlight was the drummer and singer (also brothers) swapping places for, in their own words "a real death metal song" where the drummer replaced the singer's usual relatively melodic singing with the grunts and screams one would expect. It should be noted that the drummer himself is a truly fantastic musician, seemingly France's answer to Danny Carey.
The alternative time signature and intricate song structures that make up the nature of Gojira's metal dictates the need for a top-quality drummer, and this one never let the incredibly complex rhythms get away from him.
Although the set was relatively short (by my reckoning, just over an hour), the crowd was in a state of bedlam by the time Gojira returned for an encore, and the clearly grateful band enjoyed every last second. They're definitely big enough and good enough for their own headline tour, and these were better circumstances to see them under than their recently cancelled support slot on the Lamb of God/Dethklok tour.
Quote of the night: Devin Townsend (who else), "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME STANDARD HEAVY METAL RHETORIC? LET ME HEAR YOU SAY FUCK YEAH! I WANT TO SEE A CIRCLE PIT! FUCK YOU DAD!"