Copenhell - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

One of the possibly most hyped concerts at this years’ Copenhell came from the immensely popular French band Gojira.
Without quite jumping on the wagon just yet, I had liked what I saw when I saw them supporting Metallica shortly before this festival, and with that experience fresh in my mind I gladly revisited the band for another dose of their progressive, environmental, groove metal. Yeah, that was a mouthful…

Gojira played as the headliner Hades, the 2nd stage, right before Slayer would take the main stage, and they had gathered a very sizeable crowd in front of them when it was time for the show to begin.
As anticipation was running high, it sadly made for a bit of an anti-climactic beginning of the concert as the sound was very poor and the slow-moving band members wasn’t in the best form to start a party; luckily it didn’t take long for the latter thing to be fixed though, as the energy the crowd was giving off helped the band get in the proper mood as well, and already during the second and third song we saw a much desired increase in action on the stage, where especially bassist Jean-Michel Labadie was giving a very lively performance. When Gojira reached the fourth song, Backbone, we even saw some nicely synchronized headbanging going on in the band, a treat they would return to off and on throughout the rest of the show.
The sound-problem was also worked upon, but it never got very good sadly, and apart from the sound being blasted out through speakers which sounded like they couldn’t quite handle the pressure, the vocals were for some reason very low in the mix throughout the gig, which also took a little from the experience…

The less than perfect sound wasn’t enough to kill the spirit in the audience however, and while the sides and the back were swaying along to the music, it was as near mayhem as things got around here in the front with a wild mosh and a lot of jumping. Between songs, the volume almost went up compared to the speakers as people applauded and shouted out their appreciation of the band.
An especially appreciated song was the title-track of their latest album, L’Enfant Sauvage, which was played somewhere near 45 minutes into the set. It was good to see that people still had the strength and will to give it their all so far into not only Gojira’s set, but the day in total as well.

There was an interesting contradiction to be found in the fact that the three shows before Gojira, where I hadn’t really had any good expectations, had all blown me away, and when it came to Gojira which I had been looking forward to, the feeling of full satisfaction did not arrive.
Don’t get me wrong though, it was a very good show full of energy, but for the negative reasons I have written about above, it never reached its full potential, and in the end it was highly entertaining, but not as good as it had been the last time I saw them.

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