French progressive metal band Gojira released their newest album Magma in 2016. Since then, they have been actively touring for the album. On this tour, they made a surprise stop in Ventura County in Southern California. On this tour, they brought with them Oni and Pallbearer. Even when Oni came on stage, the venue was just under halfway full since it was a Wednesday.
Oni came out and started delivering their signature progressive metal sound that made them who they are. With guitarists Brandon White and Martin Andres doing twin lead guitar solos and finger-tapping giving their music a very interesting sound. Another very distinct sound they had to their music was the use of a xylophone/xylosynth from John DeAngelis. The way their music blends, it’s something you have to hear to believe. The music a long with the energetic performance made Oni for a great opening band. Since they were the opening band, they had a rather short set and it seemes to be over just as soon as they had started. Regardless, the audience enjoyed Oni which is what matters in the end.
Gojira was the highlight of the night with the venue’s bottom floor packed. The stage was already set up with an amazing display of lights and fog cannons. The lights went out and drummer Mario Duplantier went on stage to his drum kit and started the intro to Only Pain from the new album and the rest of the band members came out to play the song. The crowd went wild as fog cannons shot out fog towards the crowd and Gojira played the opening song with precision to the album including the band’s signature pick-squeal sound which sounds like a “chewww” every time guitarist and frontman Joe Duplantier did his pick slide on his guitar. The band immediately got a huge response from a loud audience as well as a mosh pit forming right away right on front of the band. The Heaviest Matter of the Universe was next from their famed From Mars to Sirius album and it proved to be a fast and heavy track with Duplantier’s powerful screaming vocals. Gojira brought out some more new tunes from the newest Magma album and so they played new tracks like Stranded, The Cell, and Silvera which was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Gojira couldn’t possible forget about their classic catalog of songs so of course they had to play something for the old school fans. The fans went nuts when Duplantier played the familiar intro to the band’s most famous song, Flying Whales. The pits went crazy and fans sang along to the song. Gojira played another hit Toxic Garbage Island further showcasing their lyrics about the environment, life, death, and nature. After the song, brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier displayed their musicianship by switching instruments for a quick jam. Gojira played Oroborus and left the stage. All the lights were off, but the crowd didn’t seem to budge and chanted the band’s name. Surely enough, Gojira came back out and performed the first encore, Vacuity. Gojira talked a little bit about being a support act for Metallica on their current tour and even played snippets of Metallica songs. Now that it was time for the show to come to an end, Gojira performed a special song. They played a cover of Territory originally by Brazilian thrash metal band, Sepultura. The audience went wild with a huge mosh pit forming on the floor. Gojira wrapped up the show and thanked the audience for coming out before leaving the stage for the final time.