GIG REVIEW: Gojira, Code Orange & Car Bomb Live at the O2 Academy Birmingham, UK
On Saturday 11th March 2017, French heavy metal heavyweights Gojira came to Birmingham as the first, and sold out, stop on their run of U.K dates which are their first since supporting Alter Bridge at the end of last year.
The first band to play on the night was Car Bomb, an American math-core band from Long Island, New York. The band performed to a room that, while being decently filled, was not completely rammed with people. I was pleasantly surprised watching Car Bomb in person. Their music and performance were substantially aggressive, which is what the crowd was hoping for out of the opening band which gave an impressive start to the evening.
Code Orange was the direct support band for the show. This band are gaining prominence in the contemporary culture of current and modern rock music, as well as some negative publicity, unfortunately, due to an incident in recent times involving a fan sustaining a serious injury at one of their shows. What stood out to me the most was when they were on stage performing was that the physical sound of their music was considerably calmer than I thought it would be. I had assumed that since they employed influences of hardcore and metal-core into their music that they would be more vicious sounding, but nonetheless they performed well.
Then to finish off the evening, Gojira. Before this show I had only seen Gojira once before, at the 2016 edition of the UK’s Bloodstock Festival when they performed on a line-up which contained Anthrax, Twisted Sister among many other bands. I could go on forever about how good Gojira was on the night, but I’ll keep it short: it was by far the best set I’ve seen by a band so far this year. The set-list included all of the classic material that you would expect but also incorporated a healthy amount of new tracks from their latest studio album ‘Magma‘ such as “Only Pain”, “Silvera”, “Stranded”, “The Cell” and more. “Flying Whales”, “Toxic Garbage Island”, “Backbone”, “Vacuity” and a wealth of other songs built up the remainder of the set-list. I have to mention the atmosphere and the ferocious intensity of the crowd as well;I don’t think I’ve seen a mosh pit as savage and as gnarly as that in my time of going to shows (including two Slayer shows and three Exodus gigs). It was teetering on the edge of full-on violence but fortunately never spilled over into genuine unpleasantness.
To sum up, Gojira are simply the best live band in the world right now. I imagine that a lot of you out there reading this who have already seen Gojira live will have either the same opinion or something close to it, so if you are going to this tour, get ready. It will be a show you will, or should, remember for a very long time to come.