Gojira - Live at The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles October 6th 2016


Let me tell you about one of the hottest shows I’ve ever seen. Since their first release Gojira has grabbed ahold of me with such a strong hold, at times it can straight up envelope my entire attention with their gigantic sound and thought provoking lyrics filling my head with visions of whales streaming across the sky, or molten lava spewing from atop a mountain. It has been just over 10 years since the band has toured the United States and I missed them when they were opening for Children of Bodom right here in LA at The Wiltern. Needless to say I was so excited to hear that Gojira was finally returning to the States! Expectations were way the hell up there and when we got to The Wiltern, you could feel the buzz in the air, in every direction there were people with big ass grins on their faces, and something just felt we were about to witness something magical! Opening the night was a band called TesseracT, which was a nice surprise considering I didn’t even know who was opening and the last time I was at The Wiltern, I interviewed their drummer Jay Postones; was such a cool cat to interview! The performance was great, and the crowed was nice and warmed up for what was about to unfold. The first thing to picture is how amazing The Wiltern Theater is. The theater was built in 1930 and has seen such acts as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and many other nostalgic bands, as well as so many amazing Metal bands from all over the world.

In the theater you have visually stunning décor with a sun burst on the ceiling carved of wood, with each of the bursts designed with high rise buildings that you find in the LA city scape; all back lit to heighten the effect. The stage was perfectly set up with a perfect light system and behind the band stood a giant screen which was used to display images of artistic psychedelic designs moving pictures of volcanic eruptions, flying whales, shooting stars, and totally bitchen bursting smoke canisters along the stage that were back lit with colors that shot though carrying streams of color throughout the theater! The talk around me was filled with the excitement of what was about to start. You didn’t hear people talking politics, no one was crying about who was going to be president, it was like all the bullshit of the world was left at the curb.

The houselights dim and the crowd goes absolutely crazy with an almost defining roar of applause and screams of “Gojira”! The music begins, the light show is immediate, and the sound is absolutely balanced, blowing my mind from the very beginning. We made such a scene that front man and guitarist Joe Duplantier was admittedly nervous and thrilled at what they were witnessing; clearly they had no idea the impact they have made over the years on the LA Metal scene. Now, I have told you a lot about this show, but in no way would I be able to explain just how magical the energy was; even Joe made a mention of it, that there was such an intense energy in the room and appeared to be genuinely blown away at how incredibly received they had been. It always makes my mind swim thinking about how intense it must be for a band to have that kind of support shown to them! The band put on the most amazing performance that I can’t imagine them doing it any better. The band was well rehearsed and brought it big time and there was a fantastic drum solo with all the imagery to go with it; Mario Duplantier absolutely killed it on the skins! The band was tight with guitarist Christian Andreu and Bassist Jean-Michel Labadie completing this epic performance, the sound was so heavy, and with such a high energy it fueled the crowds frenzy. I was at times dumbfounded by the intensity of the crowd’s appreciation for what we were hearing. I really felt like we were all a part of something special.

Look, when it comes down to it you need to experience these shows for yourself. What I witnessed and experienced may not be possible to truly convey in words; it was a feeling that absolutely lifted my spirits to the highest of levels totally enveloping my senses, and you my friends need to feel this at least once in your lifetime!

Dean Taylor


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