Gojira and Mastodon on the Mega-Monsters Tour
Written by Morgan Rosenbaum on May 5, 2023
Blast beats, guitar licks, and bass riffs bellowed throughout 713 Music Hall on Friday as Gojira and Mastodon brought the Mega-Monsters Tour to Houston. The show kicked off at 7PM with New Jersey deathcore band, Lorna Shore, who played a short but energetic set to a packed house, despite the fact that none of the founding members are still in the band.
Just after 8PM, the first headlining act of the night, Mastodon took the stage. Playing through a lengthy 16-song set, Mastodon enthralled the crowd with their brand of sludgy-groove metal for nearly an hour and a half, backed by massive screens and video walls, with pyrotechnics abound.
Comprised of lead-singer and bassist Troy Sanders, lead-guitarist Brent Hinds, rhythm-guitarist Bill Kelliher, and drummer Brann Dailor, Mastodon has made a name for themselves with their series of experimental metal albums, including 2004’s Leviathan, which was named album of the year by several major rock publications. The band has also earned several Grammy nominations, including Best Metal Performance, which they won in 2018.
Playing through songs off of seven different albums, Mastodon closed out their set with “Blood and Thunder,” the opening track of Leviathan, before exiting the stage to make way for the nights’ second headliner, Gojira.
Hailing from Ondres, France, Gojira immediately launched into the most energy-filled set of the night, opening with “Born for One Thing” off of their most recent album, 2021’s Fortitude. Immediately as the music began, the crowd went wild, with multiple mosh pits, headbanging, and dozens of crowd-surfers coming over the rail.
With Joe Duplantier on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, brother Mario Duplantier on drums, Christian Andreu on lead guitar, and Jean-Michel Labadie on bass, Gojira stormed through a 13-song setlist that included songs from six different albums. Halfway through the set, the band launched into their 10-minute epic, “The Art of Dying,” before exiting the stage to make way for a lengthy drum solo.
Closing out their set with “The Gift of Guilt,” Gojira finally made use of the conspicuously placed confetti cannons that had been lining the stage all night, launching streamers and smoke out into the crowd.
At the end of the night, fans left the near-sold out show having witnessed an excellent performance, complete with all the trappings of a proper metal show. As a fan of the genre, it’s great to see that metal still has the fanbase and the support to thrive in 2023, and if this show was any indication, the scene isn’t slowing down.