Slipknot embarked on a six-week long tour around North America and brought French heavy metal titans Gojira along with them for the ride. Knotfest Roadshow 2019 was without a doubt the summer’s heaviest-hitting metal festival tour. I was fortunate enough to be approved to photograph Gojira and all three of the other bands on the lineup.
Slipknot struck metal gold once again by having Gojira as one of the three opening acts on Knotfest 2019. Gojira is currently my favorite band, and they are the heaviest and most innovative band out there. I have no problem admitting that Gojira was the main reason I attended Knotfest this year. What can I say?!? I fucking love Gojira!!! They were excellent. I took some of my best shots ever of Gojira during their performance. I was more excited about this show than any other of the summer.
The show I attended was at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 23, 2019. This was my first time at the venue, but my fourth time seeing Gojira perform live. This was a tour and a lineup I just had to photograph and witness for myself. Their performance was astonishing.
Following Behemoth, Gojira took the stage at around 6:30pm. The crowd was much larger by this time, and all the fans lost their shit when the band launched into “Toxic Garbage Island.” Holy shit! Great song! One of my favorites on The Way of All Flesh. Their entire setlist was killer. Other songs they played included; “Backbone,” “Stranded,” “Flying Whales,” “The Cell,” “Silvera,” and “The Gift of Guilt.”
Gojira has been the breath of fresh air my metal playlist needed. I have been obsessively listening to them for about 2 years now. Their performance on the Knotfest Roadshow 2019 did not disappoint. Gojira showed up and simply delivered the heaviest set of all the bands in my opinion. Each individual musician in Gojira played their instrument with passion and precision.
Gojira’s stage set was different than I have seen in the past. A semi-psychedelic backdrop with a large geometric pattern, lasers, pyrotechnics, flashing lights, and smoke-blasting cannons. It was sensory overload for me. By the third song the crowd had been worked up into a moshing frenzy and crowd surfers began to appear. The feeling of unity and love was overwhelming regardless of what you may think. I was lucky to able to photograph Gojira again and rock along with my metal family.
For background and educational purposes, Gojira are a progressive heavy metal band hailing from Bayonne, France. The band was formed in 1996 and the lineup consists of brothers Joe Duplantier (lead vocals, guitar) and Mario Duplantier (drums, percussion), guitarist Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie. They have released 6 studio albums and 3 live albums. Their musical style is difficult to describe. They masterfully blend several appealing genres and styles. Gojira is no doubt a heavy metal band, but you would be a fool to think that’s all they are.
Gojira make other “metal” and/or “progressive” bands look silly. Gojira has paved their own musical path and we should all follow. Gojira, much like Behemoth, have been continuously changing and progressing as band. They deserve recognition and respect. The band is fucking amazing, and you would be a damn fool to not immediately begin familiarizing yourself with their music.
If you are at all into hard rock or heavy metal, you must listen to Gojira. They truly put all other hard rock/heavy metal bands to shame. You should also find a Gojira show near you so you too can have your mind blown with the metal masses. Check Gojira’s Official Website for all tour dates and other info about the band.
Here are some more photos of Gojira performing at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA on August 23, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are the property of Andy Jillson.
Check out these three amazing albums by Gojira on Spotify: