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Gojira live review – San Francisco, The Warfield

Live Review

Venue: San Francisco, The Warfield

Metal gladiators Gojira tear up the West Coast, supported by Tesseract

Despite being nestled against the seediest side of the drug-addled Tenderloin district, The Warfield is a sound choice of venue for Goijra’s San Francisco visit. It is big enough to hold 2,000-plus fans and a safe bet in terms of audio and visual quality. A full hour after the doors open, the black-clad crowd still snakes around the block patiently tackling the ridiculous backlog caused by metal detectors. It is a comically antagonistic start to an otherwise euphoric night.

TESSERACT’s [9] support slot is a surprising but smart choice. While the British prog-metallers are beloved, their vocals are strikingly clean for the warm-up to what proves to be one of the most face-melting two hours imaginable. However, songs such as Of Matter: Retrospect really come to life when performed and the initially skeptical crowd seem quickly won over by their intricate, bass-forward songwriting. Daniel Tompkins’ dynamic vocals are strong, pure and measured. His slow-motion mannerisms take a bit of getting used to but somehow add to the heavy but precisely controlled drama. Where their recordings usually highlight their incredibly talented bassist, tonight the focus is on the drummer. Jay Postones performs out of his skin and takes Survival to a whole new level. This stadium-worthy latest single soars as the members abandon the last of their reserve, fall into the song, and let rip.

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