Metbash ramble: Gojira Petersburg-style show from within and outside

Написал Dimon 31 октября, 2012 в Metbash-отчет, Немного Другой Музыки

Last Tuesday, on the 23rd of October in St. Petersburg the concert of Gojira rock-group took place. We, reporters, had the honour of joining to this musical feast, and we would like to share some of our impressions with you.

This report gonna be quite different from the ordinary ones – we’ve tried to share an inexpressible experience of communication with a really tough group, also touching the road romantics and the vibe of the glorious city of Petersburg, even a bit forgotten about the concert itself.

That is why calling it a usual report is a little weird. This is rather a report of two guys about their small but very pleasant journey backstage of the metal show that was larded with photos and personal experience. We hope that if you decide to read the article to the end you still have only great impressions, like we do!

St. Petersburg is a very special city. You can devote thousands of soft things to its beauties and sights, but we shall talk about a little bit another matters.

Shows, you can get the chance to get to in St. Petersburg to us, the inhabitants of not so distant cities, are remembered not as the other ones. Though the cause lies not only in the totally amazing views of the Neva or the Fontanka river, but in charming and quiet streets, serene gray skies and cool fresh air. In this city music really takes a new dimension, or it’s just an effect of changing places.

We don’t really like to do this report in usual “We went into the hall, crowd showed up there, the group is cool, the show started, it was cheerful, the sound was such and such, the band played this way, for an encore were played this and that, and everyone went to the metro afterwards” style – of all the adventures of that day the show was, no doubt, the very important, but not the only thing to happen.

On arrival at the station at 10 a.m. me and Dimon had not recovered yet after Moscow Monday full of fuss and concerns of a great city, oh, yeah, the road on the train at seating places adversely affected our feeling. But the perspective of the upcoming adventures and bracing morning air quickly dispersed our fatigue and sleep. And now, about eleven in the morning we are standing near Gojira’s tour bus in order to start helping the roadies with unloading and transferring of an entire armada of cases full of quite diverse content.

The Gojira band is filled with inexplicable romantics. Not only that they are French and musicians, they have chosen probably the most interesting, dangerous and tedious way to travel – by bus with a small trailer behind. The bus parked on the street behind the club, a few roadies had wandered around already, though the group itself (quite predictably) wasn’t in sight.

After greeting a small group of roadies we set to work, which was fun and quite a heavy occupation itself – we were lucky enough to lug all the group staff not just in the club, but also to haul upstairs all that shit. If you attended a concert in Moscow or in St. Petersburg, or at least you take a look at the photo, you will see the wall of cabinets and a massive head behind.

And from now on, I’m sorry, I will start singing the praises full of unheard-of delight to the group and its staff – this group not only carries their brand sound with themselves. It unloads, moves, adjusts, puts together, uses, dismantles, lugs, loads and transports the sound from city to city. And even at a show in St. Petersburg, which gathered two hundred people (more on that later), the band is not afraid of lugging this sound to the third floor of the building (or a second and half, I just didn’t get).

‘Til this day the profession of roadie made absolutely no impression upon me – I’d like to believe that the main burden of responsibility for the successful show fully rests with the musicians. Of course, so it is. But the job people do, while boys and girls at the back of the door drink beer and talk about bad sound and event management (who, by the way, after the occasion usually write about how bad it was they were allowed to enter an hour later) deserves more respect.

All the elements of the show which you might have already read about in the Moscow report (or just might have seen this live, which is undoubtedly a great happiness for you) – the head to the backdrop, drum kit, amps, etc. on a list were carefully and with appropriate trepidation transferred from the trailer to the scene. There is nothing special to talk about – we took, lugged and placed stuff. The photo shows you some moments of the labor process.

After guitars, amps, etc. were transferred to the stage, we had in prospect placing on the stage all this shit. First we set the backdrop. Alas, you can’t see close photos of the backdrop cause some French guy forbade one of the porters to upload the photos on Facebook, otherwise, I quote: “I will find and kill your family”. With a fair amount of humour, of course, but now we don’t want to break the promise given to our friends, sorry, anyway.

The coolest thing began a little bit later – one by one in the hall came up the musicians of the group in person. When we had minute to approach and greet the drummer Mario, who recently dropped in. He was extremely affable and amicable. It was very nice to shake his hand and whole-heartedly thank him for the Moscow show. This function took Dimon – to everyone we met he told with tireless enthusiasm how he visited almost three shows (by the way, he always began the phrase about shows in 2010 with “I saw you in 19.. year”), but nevertheless the group immediately understood what he meant. Mario was a bit surprised with the fact that we came from Moscow, he gave us autographs without any resistance and photoed with us. We didn’t want to seem importunate, so we quickly enough let him alone and went back to work. We were very excited about this meeting, but we had to greet other members.

The next guy we put our pressure on was bass guitarist Jean-Michel. We bothered him right in the dressing room. When he went by a couple of times, we were busy with work, he was a bit sullen, so to say, “on his own”, that’s why I didn’t even know how to introduce myself to him. But, passing through the dressing room it was enough to tell him “Hello, thank you for coming”, and he immediately changed into simple good guy, with whom we cordially communicated for a couple of minutes. We talked mostly about band’s shows in Moscow and thanked him for a cool show which took place two days before. He didn’t seem to be spoiled by such fanatic reaction as ours or he is just a friendly guy (by the way, this applies to everybody of Gojira), though he talked to us without any rock-star syndrome or pathos. Naturally after memory picture and autograph we left him alone, still we were there for a reason, and it was necessary to go on with helping the roadies.

When we presently wanted to bother the Christian, the guitarist of the band, he actually beat us with greetings and about five minutes was asking us if we liked the Moscow show and in general, what impressions did we have from the show which took place two years ago before Metallica’s.

Here we’d like to digress and look back. But really, two years and half passed from the time Metallica honoured Moscow with its presence, but not only we remember about this occasion, so do the musicians of Gojira themselves who back then stuck in one’s memory with their short set. Had we known that in two years the circle closed up – we’ve seen Fear Factory and Gojira again (or even twice), we had to wait only for April 24-25th, 2010 for double victory. Seeds, so to speak, sprouted.

Christian actually left the most vivid impression in my personal opinion. Being not particularly reckless butcher on the scene, he’s just a very kind and sincere guy. Looking ahead I tell you that after the show, when I crossed his path near the dressing room, with undisguised interest he asked me something like: “How do you like it?”.

I mention this fact to say that Gojira’s band members don’t behave according to their status, although their albums are splendid, critics favor them with most flattering adjectives, they are easy to talk to - many visitors of the show now know, when Jean-Michel and Christian came out to say hello and talk to the remaining small group of the fans. And of course, after Mario’s going among the people on all counts at the Moscow show.

The last one who needed to be caught for the complete happiness was frontman Joe. And he was so kind to give us autographs and exchange a few words. We didn’t want to draw anyone’s attention away from the work, so that we didn’t insist on taking a photo with him. There were so many impressions.

Then, after another couple of hours of hanging around the band’s soundcheck was to take place. Maybe this occurrence was not very unique one, though catching spirit of inexpressible cozy atmosphere – completely empty space of the stalls, while the band on stage was already drawing such gorgeous songs as ‘The Heaviest Matter of the Universe’, there was also played ‘Wild Healer’ going into the ‘Planned Obsolescence’, and the thing which would become the highlight of the evening – ‘Gift of Guilt’. When the sound was adjusted to the appropriate quality with songs played out till the end, the check was over. One should wait for the start of the show.

Let us drop the details about the warming-up, it was just off the topic.

In general the situation was rotten, despite the fact that the Cosmonaut club is far from huge one, there came such a few people that one could freely go in the second row at any moment of the show. Cause of that some concerns about the crowd’s output evolved. More on that a bit later.

Gojira band in the terms of shows has a special weight. Their studio recordings emit some primordial energy and a special dark atmosphere, but even they do not reach the level of gravity and atmosphere of their live analogues. The last album I’m not afraid to call a masterpiece – the group came to the point when studio recording opens the door to the completely new borders of metal, in which unusual and volumetric images set in strict forms and sharp riffs, you may even drown in the laconic music textures.

Many people who listen to this group don’t understand my enthusiasm. Oddly enough it’s easy to realize. Gojira developed their own secret to success – they don’t produce hits and in any form, you won’t even find in their works any obvious performing tricks such as solo or chorus to be sung along with the audience. On the contrary, Gojira’s songs more like burning flames – they are predictable, sometimes monotonous to appear in the form wild tornado then. This really natural thing attracts no as much consciousness as the animal side. And if after 20 times of listening to their songs you would consider Flaying Whales a chaotic collection of sounds and riffs, then the 21st time you would be caught in a trap of this song – every riff gonna be tightly remembered, and the atmosphere of the song would literally engulf you. The same causes each of their creations. Therefore, the first time you won’t get it, let’s face it. But every discovery needs time to form a habit, even an analysis. So after a couple of years of active listening to their works (the period a huge amount of groups came in to my play list and came out then) Gojira hasn’t bored me, it just tightly cemented its place among my favourite metal bands.

The audio side of the show was carefully thought-out (not for nothing we lugged all these amps in three flights of stairs!), so studio juices of tracks weren’t lost, on the contrary – the groove came to its limit, but effect such as vox threw the imagination beyond the space of the club.

A few words on the visual side of the show – as the tour was dedicated to the last album release, so its design and sound became the central elements of the show – during the most of the songs even the lights matched the color gamma Joe put into the cover. But even in such domination of the “Wild Child” old things sparkled with new colours, so the show remained integral and harmonious. There’s no wish to duplicate the Moscow report, that’s why I pass on to the St. Petersburg show specifically.

Gojiras quickly taking the stage to a mysterious intro, opened the set with ultra-groove thing of the last album named ‘Explosia’. Here my concerns abut the amorphous crowd began to take clear shape – of my neighbors in the crowd no one shook his head especially. Therefore, to the end of the song I had almost given up to go to the same cruel moshing as in Moscow show, cause Gojira is Gojira, at the end of Explosia the desire to mosh totally burst out, and about ten people were actively taking their places near the stage. And, to be honest, I was very glad with it cause to watch the show of such rank standing with a solid face is physically impossible – legs meet themselves anyone’s elbows and shoulders.

The further bunch of songs of the already classical ‘From Mars to Sirius’ raised the level of adrenaline. You must be deaf not to lose your head on such bombs as Flying Whales, Back-fucking-bone (as frontman fondly called it) and The Heaviest Matter of the Universe. And next, after a short speech – the title track of the last album, mindblowing concert hit, which, I have no doubt, will give big arenas the works. When Joe says ‘Saint Petersburg’ ‘til the final firing begins, some people really loose their heads. Check out the video of ‘Stuckera’ - it perfectly captured the fire burning in front of the stage.

Next followed a nine-minute progressive tasty ‘The Way of the Flesh’, of the currently the most popular album of the band – ‘Art of Dying’. Further was even more interesting, after the subsequent blockbuster ‘Toxik’ of the same album… In Moscow The Link and Terra Incognita were completely ignored, but Petersburg had the honour to hear the ‘Wisdom Comes’, the song full of crazy beats, during which the stage was going even more insane than near it.

Like any established group Gojira has in store a couple of quite killing numbers, which make present people mosh furiously. One of these numbers is ‘Oroborus’, an opener since show opening for Metallica. But since then the songs has already become a not a heating element of the set-list, but a 100% working mechanism making fans gone crazy.

Mario, not without public’s attention, took two or three minutes of air time for a drum solo. I’m not a connoisseur of such things, that’s why I go on to the next things. Then followed one of the richest numbers of the last album – ‘The Axe’. It needs to be said that live version of the song in the terms of ending is very different from the original. And this riff, my God, this riff, that Joe a couple of minutes played in splendid isolation, still not out of my head. For a few minutes the song as if stuck in one place, fixated in itself, but at the same time Mario has made some kind of triumphal bypassing. In Moscow it ended with jumping into the crowd, but this time the drummer didn’t decide to take such a risky move with so few people in the hall.

Once Mario came back to his machine, the group came out of the ‘crisis’ and finished the song to the end. And after a pause the main surprise of the evening followed – ‘The Gift of Guilt’. This song was introduced first time ever (soundcheck is not taken into consideration), but the lack of experience didn’t affect the quality – one of the most tenacious and tragic things on the album was brought to the show with the same level of energy and high-peaking emotions.

Whereupon the band left. Not for long. On the return Joe and his bandmates played one more killing pair of the new album – schizoid ‘The Wild Healer’ and furious ‘Planned Obsolescense’ with which Moscow show ended. But not the petersburgian one. The tastiest and straightforward creation was in store of the band – ‘Vacuity’. The very fact that rearrangement of this song to the end of the show made petersburgian show a few drops better than Moscow one. People slightly tired of the new ones and hungry for the last, deserving-maximum-output shot, and got it. The group did its best, there was no slightest desire to ask them for more.

And this, by the way, happened at the show where were a really few people. Therefore I would like to say a special thank to those who supported this band that evening. Let some people not like things like slam, but you must give credit to it – without it the show would be boring, sad and not sparking. Cause band of such level as Gojira needs not only the greeting of the hall. The band does their work in a full way, so it was particularly nice to see that not everyone wanna stand with solid faces awaiting the end of the show. But even the persons with solid faces are cool. Thanks for coming. I don’t know why a very people reacted the coming of such a marvelous band, so I don’t care a lot. After all, the show didn’t fail, thanks to those who came!

Many moments will be remembered for a long time – the foolhardness of Jean-Michel on stage, and the very emotional roaring of Joe in ‘Art of Dying’ or ‘Gift of Guilt’. Christian, as for me, particularly is notable for ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ on the moments of calmness, where his guitar almost mesmerized the audience. Mario cause of lights has almost become the star of the evening. But with every band member this show looked so convincing that inwittingly caused association with the more well-publicized peers Mastodon or band’s obvious inspiration – Tool.

After a brief pause Jean-Michel and Christian went to the remaining people standing in front of the barriers to give autographs and talk a little bit about this and that. They also promised to return as soon as possible. And, damn it, we hope to see them again soon.

After the audience has been dispersed by the security, we only had to hurry up to collect the equipment with a bang – a time to get to the train to Moscow was coming. And after a while we had to leave the band though there was more than enough desire to help them more and more. Just before leaving the club we approached the Christian, personally thanked him for the great show and wished him don’t be gone long to which the latter said: “Of course, I’ll be waiting for that one, too”. And waving hands to Joe disassembling something on the stage and receiving a response, we left the club and moved at a pace to the railway station, it was half an hour ‘til train coming.

Being at the train breath out was to take place and chat a little about things we experienced that wonderful day. Words were not enough to describe it in a full way, even the photo and video report were drops in the ocean. If someone has finished reading my nonsense up to this point he either was at the show or is interested in the band. Anyway, thank you!

As for me and Dimon, there was nothing to do but come to ourselves from this powerful metal-journey and to pray the fate of one more chance to cross one of the best, still underrated metal bands in the world so close and so positively.

Yet we wait for Testament to come and a new day beginning. We hope that next time St. Petersburg get us a calm weather and new interesting acquaintances.

The report was made by Nikita “Alarmwolf” Volkov
Dmitry “Dimon” Sotnikov puts his name to the aforesaid
Rus-Eng translation done by Dmitry “Atheist” Semyonov

Artist: Gojira
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Date: 10/23/2012
Place: club “Cosmonaut”


1. Explosia
2. Flying Whales
3. Backbone
4. The Heaviest Matter of the Universe
5. L’Enfant Sauvage
6. The Art of Dying
7. Toxic Garbage Island
8. Wisdom Comes
9. Oroborus
10. Solo Dieu (Drum Solo)
11. The Axe
12. The Gift of Guilt (première)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13. The Wild Healer
14. Planned Obsolescence
15. Vacuity


Slayer’s setlist in dressing room :)

And Ministry…

Live photos: Tanta


Русская версия | Russian version

Ну что, братва, а теперь для наших зарубежных читателей, давайте оставим пару отзывов на английском языке! ;) . . .


  1. Sintrell сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 2:01 дп

    I didn’t know that there are foreign readers on this site :-)

  2. Vanek сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 2:20 дп

    Hey guys, i think you can (or even must) start up something like “”))

  3. Malcolm сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 4:29 дп

    Why do I have a feeling of Deja Vu?

    True, out of the last 7 posts 4 are not about Metallica or anything close to Metallica or the Big Four. What the hell, guys? This site will lose its focus if it continues like this.

  4. Atheist aka Dmitry Semyonov сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 8:08 дп

    Cheer up, everything’s gonna be fine, just trust me:) Metallica’s 4ever in our burning hearts, so Gojira will)

  5. Atheist aka Dmitry Semyonov сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 8:10 дп

    BTW, site’s change of design’s and more things coming soon…

  6. Malcolm сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 10:18 дп

    No, it won’t. I go to this site for the Big Four, but the news about will soon drown among the other stuff. And please don’t make changes for the sake of changes, the site is perfectly fine as it is. If you need a site for music news in general, it is best done as a new site.

  7. Alarmwolf сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 3:02 пп

    ok, my general

  8. Alarmwolf сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 3:15 пп

    а если по русски - ваши беспокойства по поводу забытья о биг фор и горячолюбимой банде беспочвенны - на данный момент рассказывать особо не о чем, а в плане метал гигов России концерты годжира встали в один ряд с гигами слэер и мегадез по крутости и значимости - почему бы не остановиться на несколько дней с однотипными новостями о книжке киркуши и совершенно уныло однообразными концертными фото металлики (тут конечно на вкус и цвет) и не расширить диапазон новостей.
    фишка в том, уважаемые, что метбаш, являясь ежедневным обозревателем, претендует на некоторую степень подробности, что включает в себя и репортажи и статьи о некоторых бандах, имеющих лишь косвенное отношение к непосредственному предмету. и если бы данные посты публиковались во время активного свежего и актуального тура металики то я бы еще мог понять ваши “восторги”, но такого уровня событий на данный момент нет, да и все остальные усердно освещаются командой метбаш ру. здесь не сосут новости из пальца, чтобы забить полосу завтраком папы хэта, или вы хотите именно этого?
    а в данный момент, как я уже говорил, концерты годжиры являются главным метал событием осени, и вопрос стоит - проходить ли мимо них сайту, который внимательно следит за металликой (и в том числе ее разогревами) и к тому же, что греха таить, всей активной администрацией котирует группу? лично мне ответ очевиден
    и конкретно по этому посту вас, думаю, правильнее сможет просветить ДИмон.

  9. Critic сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 3:23 пп

    Do what you want guys. Stick with you since encycmet era under different nicknames, and if this site getting bigger it’s absolutely perfect.

  10. Dimon сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 8:48 пп

    Блин, пацаны, ну не просто же так это здесь, не?)

  11. ThRaSheR сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 9:37 пп

    Вот Тестамент приедут. мы блять забахаем охуенный отчёт)

  12. 4eLko сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 10:52 пп

    Oh my god,guys,i saw Cliff on this picture!!!!Не так ли?

  13. 4eLko сказал тебе 1 ноября, 2012 в 10:52 пп

    Oh my god,guys,i saw Cliff on this picture!!!!Не так ли?

  14. Cliff-Burton сказал тебе 2 ноября, 2012 в 2:03 дп

    Amazing report!!! Gojira is a very cool band!!

  15. Atheist aka Dmitry Semyonov сказал тебе 2 ноября, 2012 в 5:43 дп

    Так и я уверен, что покамест беспокоиться не о чем.. Годжира связана с Металликой хотя бы одним тем, что открывала ее выступления в 2010. Да, да, и не надо все сводить к тому, что метбаш скоро начнет упоминать всех подряд, связанных и не связанных с метлой. Сколько администрировал сайты, всегда помню одним нужны перемены постоянно, что-то новое и свежее, другие консерваторы - дизайн не менять, писать только о метле. Тут уж на вкус и цвет, как говорится. А вообще - рано сдаетесь))) Еще столько всего впереди, а вы так ревностно относитесь к сторонним группам

  16. Malcolm сказал тебе 2 ноября, 2012 в 8:51 дп

    Не знаю, с чего они вдруг встали в один ряд с группами-первопроходцами жанра, они их вдвое моложе и новых жанров, насколько я знаю, для нас не открыли. Что касается ежедневности, то я, честно говоря, не вижу, чтобы кто-то кричал “Дайте что-то почитать, все равно что”. Ну нет новостей и нет, не каждый день Metallica что-то делает или находится какой-то старый материал, это нормально.

    Что касается разогревов, то Metallica выступала с кучей всяких команд, но почему-то большинство из них не освещаются. Зато освещаются Schandmaul и Therion, которые, по-моему, с Metallica не выступали. Что-то это не очень похоже на “следим за разогревами”.

    @Atheist aka Dmitry Semyonov:
    Да не надо писать только о Metallica. Надо выбрать какое-то направление и следовать ему. В заголовке написано “Everything about METALLICA & the BIG 4″ - вот и надо этого придерживаться. Или сделать отдельный проект, который действительно будет обозревать все музыкальные события. А сейчас ни туда, ни сюда: новостей о других группах не так много, чтобы оставаться в курсе всех событий в жанре, но уже достаточно для того, чтобы начинало раздражать. Пока не очень, но боюсь, как бы не стало хуже.


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