Location: Granada Theater, Dallas, TX
Date: January 31, 2013
The Atlas Moth opened the sold out show at the Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas. While musically capable, the Atlas Moth seemed to be an odd choice for the show’s opener. They kicked off the set by lighting incense and darkening the stage lights and played with only red backlighting. It was really hard for me to get into their performance. I have sampled their music in the past and have enjoyed it, but their stage presence just couldn’t pull me in. I liked the tracks I recognized from the most recent release An Ache for the Distance. For me the stand out performance was the title track from An Ache for the Distance. They nailed their material and played expertly, but their stiff performance was a stark contrast to the bands to come. I really think in a different setting or mindset I could have enjoyed them more.
During the band’s set up, The Devin Townsend Project played snippets of Devin’s Z-TV skits featuring his comic alien alter-ego Ziltoid mixed with hilarious pictures of Devin Townsend’s face photo-shopped on to bizarre pictures. Extreme metallers the Devin Townsend Project wasted no time melting faces. Devin Townsend’s stage presence is amazing. He engages the audience and performs with immense energy all the while mixing in humor with his high octane brand of metal. Watching Devin interact with his band and the audience there is no question he has a passion for his music and performing but never takes himself too seriously. Metal really needs more Devin Townsends. The Devin Townsend Project performed songs mostly from his recent album arc (2011’s Deconstruction and Ghost), and his most recent release Epicloud. Nailing down a stand out performance is difficult considering how amazing his performance was. “Juular” and “Planet of the Apes” from Deconstruction, and “Grace” and “Lucky Animals” from Epicloud were probably my favorites of the evening. Mixing high energy, devastating musicianship and humorous stage antics, the Devin Townsend Project set a high bar for Gojira to follow.
After experiencing the Devin Townsend Project, I was a little worried about how Gojira would handle following them. This was my second time seeing the French progressive death metal band. I had seen them originally in the much smaller Prophet Bar in 2009 on Gojira’s first U.S. headlining tour. The stage was decorated with the iconic silhouette head from the cover of their most recent release L’Enfant Sauvage. It was back light with different colored lights depending on the song. Drummer Mario Duplantier was situated directly in the middle with his brother and vocalist/guitarist Joe in front of him. Guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie flanked Joe on opposite sides. Gojira ripped into the opening track “Explosia” and immediately set the tone for the evening. Any doubt that Gojira would not be able to match the Devin Townsend Project quickly disappeared. Joe Duplantier and Christian Andreu don’t solo but the guitar work in their songs is nonetheless impressive. Odd timing signatures, intricate tapping work and complex riffing showcase the duo’s musical talent. Labadie is a whirling dervish of musical fury. The bassist jumps, spins and pounds his bass with fury and passion but never misses a note. Mario Duplantier punishes his drum kit with a ferocity matched only by his technical skill; however the Duplantier brothers surprised the audience halfway through the set. For a short song, Mario stepped from behind the drum kit and swapped places with his brother Joe, and sang and played guitar for a death metal tune. I didn’t recognize the song but it was still impressive. For me the really stand out performances for the evening were, “Toxic Garbage Island” and “Vacuity” from their release The Way of All Flesh, “Explosia” and the evening’s encore, “The Gift of Guilt” from L’Enfant Sauvage. Gojira are proving to be one of the most exciting bands in metal today through their excellent song writing and impassioned live performances.
The tour still has dates in cities throughout the U.S. So if you have the chance, go and catch the show. The shows appear to be selling out so order in advance to ensure you get a ticket.
Remaining Tour Dates in North America with The Devin Townsend Project and The Atlas Moth
02/07/13 Baltimore, MD
02/08/13 New York, NY
02/09/13 Millvale, PA
02/10/13 Detroit, MI
02/11/13 Chicago, IL
02/13/13 Toronto, Canada
02/14/13 Montreal, Canada
02/15/13 Worcester, MA
02/16/13 Philadelphia, PA
02/18/13 Brooklyn, NY
Click any photo to view slideshow. All photos by Candi Ratliff © 2013 Metalholic