Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Gojira

French metallurgists own the Black stage

When Godzilla stomped Tokyo, he did so at a leisurely pace. When French art metalers Gojira stormed the Black stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Sunday night, it was a merciless sprint that never slowed.

Les frères Duplantier and cohorts pounded right into the heavy thrum of “Oroborus,” rendered less clinical and more apocalyptic since its studio incarnation on 2008’s The Way of All Flesh. By contrast, “The Axe,” from last year’s L’Enfant Sauvage, was a razor-sharp edge to a crushing hammer.

Simple by Gojira’s technically demanding specs, “Backbone” sent the pit spinning with a roaring stomper. Next came a quick name check for tourmates Slayer before the “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe” landed, all Dave Lombardo-style double kicks and a Kerry King squeal thrown into its cosmic squall.

by Gary Miller

The aggressive environmentalism that pervades Gojira and defined last year’s L’Enfant Sauvage becomes cerebral caveman menace live. Joe Duplantier’s rippling roar and chilling riffs establish him as modern metal’s great frontmen. Stage right, Jean-Michel Labadie wielded his bass like a threshing machine, with tendrils of light reflecting from the head.

Few bassists make more sonic impact than Labadie, who somehow managed to avoid an actual collision with guitarist Christian Andreu as they rampaged across the stage for a steelhearted “Love.” Finally, “Vacuity” steamrolled into the crowd.

“Increase your fall on purpose and let this river flow,” Duplantier instructed the never-ending torrent of stagedivers. Amidst that blitzkrieg, Gojira reigned as the blackest of the Black stage headliners.

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