The very first thing I noticed while walking around Place Bell, was the number of people wearing shirts that proudly had “Gojira” written across the chest. It was clear that quite a few people, including myself, were really anticipating seeing Gojira perform as Deftones’ opener. And how could they not be? Gojira has a lot under their belt to prove their great success and hearing that they were performing in Laval as an opening set surprised me a little bit, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I knew I couldn’t miss it.
Gojira are just phenomenal performers. They’re very engaging with their crowd, there were lights strobing along with every guitar riff or beat of the kick drum, and they spoke to the audience quite a bit as well. Most of the speaking was screaming “tabarnak” into the microphone but, of course, that was perfect to hype the pit up for another mosh.
They played plenty of newer songs from their 2021 released record (Fortitude) like “Born For One Thing”, “Hold On”, and “Grind”, but they also played a few tracks back from 2003-2005 such as “Backbone”, “Love”, and “Remembrance”. Their setlist was incredible, keeping up a high and powerful energy. The crowd was going nuts, circle pits and crowd surfing just never seemed to end, watching it from my seat really gave me the urge to jump in and join the fun.
Gojira has been performing live for years, and with all that experience, their opening performance at Place Bell really got the crowd riled up for the upcoming Deftones performance. Everything about that opening set was incredible, from the guitarists finger-tapping their fretboards in unison, down to the lights that flashed to every note.
Finally, the lights in Place Bell dim until the venue is completely dark. Smoke filled the stage as an eerie note from a synth-filled the ears of everyone in attendance. The crowd is cheering and clapping, anticipatedly waiting for the members of Deftones to take the stage.
Opening their set with “Genesis”, each member made their way to the stage and began to give one hell of a performance. Lead vocalist Chino Moreno’s voice rang loudly as he screamed into his microphone, dancing around the stage to the music his bandmates were performing.
Even though the crowd had just moshed to the entirety of Gojira’s set, mosh pits had quickly taken shape. At this point of the show, my sibling had arrived and I could see her thrashing around and helping up those who fell. It made me think of the mosh pits I had been in, and watching her go absolutely crazy with a huge smile planted on her face brought my energy up as I danced in my assigned seat.
Their set continued with songs like “Royal”, “Digital Bath”, and you should’ve heard the crowd’s reaction when the opening notes to “My Own Summer (Shove It)” were played. People went nuts, all within reason because that song is just so good.
Moreno took a quick moment to address his audience, thanking them for their attendance. “My goodness!” He exclaims, smiling brightly and looking around the venue filled with fans of Deftones. “Favourite crowd, hands down, favourite crowd of the whole tour right here.” That level of praise earned a long moment of loud cheering. He continued; “I know it’s Saturday night, so let’s have a good time!” And they kept the show going with songs like “You’ve Seen The Butcher” and “Diamond Eyes” as they encouraged the pit to keep opening mosh pits.
When Deftones had left the stage after performing “Ohms”, there was not a single second of silence. Everyone kept screaming and cheering, stomping their feet on the floor in demand of an encore from the band. The noise paid off because the members of Deftones walked right back on stage, and gave a fantastic performance of two encore songs “Lotion” and “7 Words”.
I met up with my sibling and her friend outside once the show was over, and they were both covered in sweat and the beginnings of bruises, but their faces were completely lit up with joy. Looking around, everyone that had been leaving the show looked exhausted but refreshed at the same time. Having seen two beloved metal bands surely left everyone in attendance with absolute glee, and I could already hear people talking about the Slipknot show that’s coming up. The Deftones show was intense and a lot of fun, and I’d definitely go see them again, although next time I’m getting myself on that floor and in the pit.
Review – Jamie Siddall
Photos – Eric Brisson