Almost one year after a demolishing concert at the Vagos Open Air festival, French Metal heavyweights Gojira are back in Portugal, only this time for a concert as headliners.
UK based The Raven Age, a melodic Metal band featuring George Harris, son of Iron Maiden’s bassist Steve Harris, took the stage as opening act. With only one EP in the bag and apparently unknown to most of the audience, the band had some difficulties to make people move while playing “Uprising” or “Eye Among The Blind” from the previously mentioned record. Things got better as the communication with the audience started flowing more smoothly as well as the sound started to improve, making it easier to enjoy the melodic guitars that complement each other and, at the same time, combine well with the melodic style of singing that Mr. Michael Burrough applies to The Raven Age’s songs. The band seemed a bit stagnant on stage but managed to interact with some fans, presenting them with some new songs that will be featured in the band’s upcoming debut full-length album. Examples are “Winds of Change” and “Salem’s Fate”. The last song was “Angel In Disgrace” from the EP, after a few words and thanking everyone, the guys left under a round of applause.
One would say that a Monday evening is not a great night to go see a concert but one thing is certain, Meo Arena’s Sala Tejo was almost full to see Gojira destroy everything! “Ocean Planet” gave the concert a good kick-start, and from there it just got better and better… “The Axe” followed by the crushing “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe” and Backbone didn’t let anyone rest and made everyone band their heads as much as they could. After “L’Enfant Sauvage”, the fantastic bond between Gojira and the Portuguese fans was stronger and as Joe Duplantier expressed how important Portugal really is for him and his little brother, there was no way the audience wouldn’t give all they’d got to respond to the band’s efforts. Taking a small break between songs, Mario Duplantier played a quite enjoyful drum solo which was vastly applauded before “Toxic Garbage Island” kicked off. “Flying Whales” kept everyone chanting Gojira’s chorus while “Oroborus” unleashed many air guitar players among the public, followed by “Vacuity” which ended the show… But of course this couldn’t be over already so the band returned for an encore, choosing a pair of “softer” songs “World to Come” and a special surprise: “The Gift Of Guilt”, a song which according to Joe Duplantier wasn’t in the planned setlist.
After all this, nobody could complain about the killer show that these French musicians presented a thirsty audience. A memorable show from a humble band.
Very special thanks to Loudness Mag for letting us illustrate this report with a couple of their images.