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Gojira, 15th June 2023, Helviti, Copenhell Festival, Denmark

Gojira, 15th June 2023, Helviti, Copenhell Festival, Denmark
  • 9/10
    Gojira - 9/10

Photo: Urban Mescalero Photography

Perhaps because of the respect that truly yours has for Annihilator’s main man Jeff Waters, whenever the time comes to experience Gojira live, Waters’ words from the interview we conducted with him back in 2007 resurface – “They are probably in my top three tightest bands I’ve ever seen play live. Only Meshuggah and AC/DC were tighter bands I’ve seen live. Anyway, I had to watch that [Gojira] and then go on stage after that. They kicked our ass big time”. That coming from musician like him is a big deal and Gojira have proven the statement to be true that evening in 2007 as well as countless time after.

Since those days when Gojira was first supporting act on a bill a lot has happen and the band’s commercial and critical success have grown with each next release, making them one of the big names in the genre. And while bands last couple of albums were more commercially oriented, we are still talking about a extreme metal act here, so the level of their success is impressive.
Live the newer songs get more of a heavy edge which makes them fit better with older songs, yet at the same time it gives the show diversity it needs. Just look at those first four songs on yesterday’s setlist. Especially the difference in opener “Born for One Thing” form the latest album Fortitude and mind-numbingly heavy ”Backbone” from almost two decades old From Mars to Sirius. Yet live they gelled so well together.

Heavy action in front of the stage and weeks of draught in Copenhagen of course resulted in big sand clouds, which actually served the show unexpectedly well. Well at least from the visual aspect. The beautiful visuals displayed on big screens often lose their full impact in those daytime gigs under the baking sun. But all the dust gave the entire experience bit of visually pleasing dystopian appearance, which fitted Gojiras third performance at this festival eminently.

Eminent is also a word which describes the Frenchmen’s performance from technical point of view. But also, their enjoyment and dedication to maintaining communication with the crowd was important and admirable. There is such a gentlemen-like positivity to this band whatever they do and that gives their show a life-affirming feel, despite the brutality of performance and seriousness of topics discussed in the band’s lyrics. And all this draws the crowd in, makes them feel welcome and involved. Perhaps very well illustrated by the moment when “Another World” kicked in a this mom took her twentysomething-son by the hand and leaded him to the pit. Respect!

Throughout the show the band kept on delivering on just about all parameters and even thou Joe Duplantier did have some issues with his voice (which he also pointed out) it was never something that would seriously jeopardise the quality of Gojira’s Copenhell performance.

Taking into the consideration that band’s albums The Way Of All Flash and The Link are celebrating 15 and 20 years respectively, more focus on those records would be welcomed. Perhaps next time they play headlining shows again in Denmark?

Gojira have become a certainty for a good show and the question is just how good of the show it is going to be, Yesterday at Copenhell the band delivered almost impeccably even when holding the band by their own sky-high standards.

This is down-to-earth majesty


  1. Born for One Thing
  2. Backbone
  3. Stranded
  4. Flying Whales
  5. The Cell
  6. The Art of Dying
  7. Grind
  8. Another World
  9. Silvera
  10. Amazonia
  11. The Chant
  12. The Gift of Guilt
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