Gojira Concert Review-The Worcester Palladium-May 2nd, 2009


4 mai 2009, 18h36m

Gojira-The Worcester Palladium-May 2nd, 2009

While the rest of the Massholes were at OPETH/ENSLAVED the other night....I was at Gojira.

I hadn’t registered until we arrived at the venue that I was used to seeing shows at the Palladium downstairs- and this show was to take place upstairs, which is a way smaller area. My ex and I arrived right when the doors opened, and moved right towards the front to slowly begin positioning ourselves for Gojira, even though there were a couple opening bands. I figured the crowd was going to be significantly smaller than it would normally be, as Opeth and Enslaved were playing at the same time at the House of Blues in Boston.

Marc Rizzo of Soulfly had the potential to be great (I did not know who this guy or side project was, initially). The vocalist looked like a yah dood hyped up on WAY too many steroids and energy drinks dressed in a backwards baseball cap, cargo camo shorts a tightly fitted t-shirt (allowing for his muscles to truly show through) and brand new converse. He kept yelling things like “Wake the fuck up!” to the point where if people didn’t start to get into it soon I would have almost felt bad. But really, what can you expect from a crowd if you’re the opening band no one’s heard of. Musically, the vocalist/guitarist was extremely talented; the only issue was that he had this technique of fitting as much guitar wankery into every song as possible. The vocals were decent, in a very low metalcore/hardcore kind of way (almost). The guitar would have been alright if we had been able to follow along, there were so many seemingly random breakdowns and spastic solos that it was difficult to. The bass player looked awkward and like he couldn’t quite follow the rhythm with his body. Regardless, the crowd gradually got into the band and nodded along and after a song or two and much encouragement, a pit broke out. The show was all ages, so naturally there were a lot of young looking hardcore kids that probably were the majority of the people in the pit. I was surprised the band got the crowd moving that much.
My ex shouted into my ear that if they continued down the path they had started they were guaranteed to run out of material in a year. Overall I’d say they weren’t terrible, but they just clearly didn’t ever hear the saying “LESS IS MORE.”

See what I mean?


The first band cleared the stage and the second one entered, Car Bomb. Right after the first band ended two people left the railing right in front of us and I seized the opportunity to make it up front and almost center. We watched the band set up, putting strobe lights on either side of their set, and these huge LED lights behind the drummer. I have never been to a show where an only okay opening band has put the second band to shame. My god, it was fucking ridiculous. The vocalist looked like a big college bro with a beer belly. As soon as the band started off, the strobe lights went fucking apeshit and smoke machines went on. Musically, I don’t even know how to describe them because I was too busy trying not to have a seizure (and I’m not even epileptic!) The vocalist looked like he was an emcee rapping. He kept throwing his arm in front of him and flicking his riff with each pause of music, shuffling left and right for each drum beat. I spent the majority of their set looking bored as fuck trying to read the guitarist’s shirt, which after a few songs went by I finally realized said “Ripping Corpse.” (Initially I had thought Cannibal Corpse, then Tripping Corpse…Heh. I looked behind me a couple times and as far as I know, there was never a pit and there were only a few people actually bobbing their heads. This band actually made the first one look like gods; they were even harder to follow along to, putting a new meaning to the word spastic. At least with the first band I could nod along, sometimes. This one didn’t even allow it a little bit.
When their set ended (fucking finally!) my ex told me that a girl right behind us had collapsed from a seizure in the middle of their set. Yeah, they were that bad.


The crossed arms in the center is actually me!
Being unimpressed and just waiting for Gojira.


(As quoted by The Rev of ReturnToThePit: Car Bomb- within 10 minutes, they transformed the stage into and enchanted and exotic rave setting. Hang a few mountain scenes behind them and I would have sworn I was at mount fuji getting ready to trip balls to some bitch house crunk jam drum n bass tribal bs. The stage was covered in wires and lights...this is a really weird crowd for them, but I think they pulled it off...I wonder how gojira fans are going to handle the chariot... weird line up is weird.)

I was skeptical of the third band, The Chariot. We had seen them in their van while we were waiting to get inside and they looked like young art students or something, all wearing skinny jeans and tight band tees. As we were waiting for their set to start we had no fucking idea what to expect. My ex and I agreed that no matter how awful they were, they’d be, without a doubt, better than the previous band. Watching them set up I appreciated the less showy look they had to their instruments. The drummer had drums from different colored sets, the two guitarists had guitars that looked like they’d been beaten on the sidewalk or run over by a truck. The one guitarist had a bunch of old IDs duct-taped sloppily onto the front of his. A number of knobs and switches were missing. The vocalist had big, thick rectangular glasses on that one would undeniably call “emo.” As soon as they started I could hear myself going increasingly more and more deaf. This band did not know the meaning of the saying. “loud is not always better.” I don’t even know how to describe this act. The vocalist took off his glasses for their set, and they went fucking WILD. One of the guitarists, clad in ripped jeans with a bunch of patches keeping them together with a lumberjack kind of look to him, jumped the fuck around like he was an elf, and kept throwing his guitar over his shoulder between riffs. The vocalist climbed to the barrier where the crowd was and looked like he would have crowd-surfed if the mic cord had been long enough. I suddenly understood why there were so many hardcore kids at this show. They were going crazy, shouting, arms flailing, and everything to this band. In the middle of a breakdown in the first song, the bassist threw down his bass, fucked around with a bunch of pedals, and then grabbed the mic form the vocalist who then picked up his bass. They were only switched roles for a brief part of one song.

I was fascinated by this band’s presence; I couldn’t stand the music (if you could call it that, I’d more accurately call it noise) but they were putting on a hell of a performance. They all looked completely hammered, they kept swaying when they weren’t playing, and I thought to myself that if it weren’t for the need to continue playing they would have probably fallen down. They kept jumping around and going wild, and for the last song, one of the guitarists climbed up the side of the stage and onto one of the speakers, all the while having the strap of his guitar dangle from his ankle. He reached the top, kept playing, and at the very end threw his guitar on the very top of the stage and kept banging it against the ceiling (Speaker? I don’t even know) even after he broke a string. I was impressed with his ability to restring and retune his guitar in record speed once he climbed down. The drummer was playing so hard that the wing-nut (or whatever it’s called that keeps the top cymbal from coming off) flew off mid set.

The band also had a very interesting exit that I really appreciated. While the last song kept dwindling they gradually left stage one by one, the bassist threw his bass in between the crowd barrier and the stage in a truly apathetic manner, and then the members came back one at a time, removing drums from the drummer’s set while he was still playing strong. Eventually his cymbal flew off, and he ran out of drums to play and just exited. This band, I came to realize has the potential to be really awesome if they were playing a different kind of music. I mean I guess plenty of people appreciate them the way they are, but personally I was only interested in taking in their stage presence more than the noise.
(The interwebs tells me this band is a Christian metalcore band formed by ex-vocalist of Norma Jean. Oh jeeze.)




This guy was fucking insane.

That would be me right there!

Ang again :p

And there's my ex in the bottom corner right behind me.

These double exposures are interesting...that would be me again, heh.

Ninja shit!

At this point, I felt significantly more deaf from being so close to the speakers and hearing the previous bands’ volumes cranked to the max. We were in prime positioning, right at the railing, one or two people away from being center. I was so anxious and excited; I was honestly shocked at how unmoved I had been by all three opening bands, usually at shows there are at least one or two decent, if not good, bands that you can enjoy (even if you wouldn’t listen to them in any other circumstance.)

The lights dimmed and we watched Gojira enter the stage. The show started with a projection behind Mario (the drummer) of the cover of The Way of All Flesh and the stage had a greenish bluish tint to it. Christian (guitarist) was experiencing some technical difficulties so we watched them get everything all ready, even more antsy than before, what with having to actually see the band and not have them start. Joe (vocalist) reassured the crowd that Christian would be ready in ten seconds, and before we knew what was happening they launched into “Oroborus.” The crowd went completely wild, it was as if everyone had been holding back for the other bands and channeling their all into Gojira (which I’m sure is true, and the way it should have been anyway.) Before they had started I got the brief opportunity to look behind me and see the balcony completely packed with people, and the whole rest of the floor completely filled. After a couple songs Joe made a few jokes about Worcester, and how every time they come to Massachusetts they expect to play in Boston but always get booked in Worcester. He poked fun and asked for reassurance in how Worcester is pronounced (it’s like “wooster or woostuh”).

I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to being so crammed into people, packed like sardines, that I can’t move as much as I’d like to, or it was just because of my excitement for Gojira, but for this show in particular I went completely crazy, I was so into it. My ex was able to brace himself behind me with his hands on the rail to give me a bit of breathing room. I appreciated their minimalist set, all they had was the flickering and constantly changing video playing behind Mario that was reminiscent of the strobe light effect that parts of the “To Sirius” video has. They were dressed simply, yet elegantly. My ex and I were discussing it after the show as to how you’d describe it and settled on “slightly formal-casual.” Collared shirts, studded belts, sneakers, nothing too showy or over the top, as if they were truly letting the music speak for itself.

I had been a bit concerned about the sound because the previous bands had no balance and everything just sounded like chaos. When Gojira came on, their sound was perfect; you could hear everything clearly and perfectly. Their set flew by, as soon as they finished their encore (which was “Vacuity”) Christian and Joe came over to the barrier and showed some crowd appreciation. Christian smiled at me, and shook my hand tightly. He kept giving me silly looks while he was playing during their set (I had been right in front of him basically the whole time.) I patted Joe on the back and he touched my hand. Then the drummer, Mario jumped up onto the railing’s step and really reached out to his fans. Basically his sweaty shirtless body was right in front of my face, and realizing this he looked down at me, smiled, grasped my hand, and gave me a look that I’m sure was because he was right at my eyelevel.

Their setlist, as far as I can remember, not in order:

From the Sky
The Heaviest Matter of the Universe
A Sight to Behold
Art of Dying
Flying Whales
Mario Drum Solo
Esoteric Surgery
Toxic Garbage Island
The Way of All Flesh

The Rev was only allowed to take pictures for 3 songs, and without flash, so there were limited pictures. Regardless:

I wish there were more shots, the screen thing on the wall was fascinating to watch, in the later part of their set it kept morphing into different things. Really fucking cool.

Many people, when asked what their favorite show ever was, can give solid answers. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m just not critical enough (doubtful) or if it’s because I’ve been to so many absolutely amazing shows, but I’ve never been able to answer this question. But this show was definitely very high up there, I think having enough space to breathe and move really improved the experience. When I think back to past shows I’ve been to, I remember having to keep my arms up in front of my chest, restricting my movement, having to tilt my head back to the ceiling to try and get fresh air, and only being able to really headbang in short bursts (let’s face it, headbanging only at the neck seriously hurts after a few seconds no matter how into the music one is). This time, I had a whole range of motion, no one in front of me to worry about, and could truly enjoy myself, rocking out to my full potential. What also really made it even better was when I went up to the balcony after the show ended, to check out the merch (I’ve been wanting a Gojira tee for a long fucking time) and got the very last of the size small for one of the shirts- the one with the moon that has the roots/branches coming out of the bottom.
The official merch store tells me it's called Defend Life.

Thank you for reading :)


  • Temporal-Walker

    You look so enthusiastic in all the pictures. Lol I know that they had played two of their early songs, but I didn't think they would play Love...or even if they did play it at my show. I bought the same shirt. I think it was the coolest one there.

    4 mai 2009, 19h00m
  • obsidian_dusk

    Yeah, if pictures had been allowed for more of Gojira's set I'd have been more animated, I was seriously unamused for the openers and just really anxious for Gojira :p I can't wait to wear the tee, it's so amazing! I wish they played To Sirius or Wolf Down the Earth live, I checked a bunch of past setlists and it looks like they just...don't.

    4 mai 2009, 19h07m
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