LIVE PHOTO GALLERIES: Gojira, Mastodon, Lorna Shore
By Greg Maki
It was no surprise that a double bill featuring two of the most respected metal bands in the world, plus one of the genre’s fastest rising newer acts, made for a fantastic night of music on a Wednesday night in Baltimore. The Mega-Monsters Tour, which just wrapped its first leg and has another set of dates starting Aug. 9, brought the thunder to the peaceful, waterfront setting of Pier Six Pavilion, and the metalheads of Baltimore (and surrounding areas) came out in force.
The venue was as full as I’ve ever seen it for an opening act when red-hot deathcore act Lorna Shore took the stage at 7 p.m. Supporting its excellent 2022 album, “Pain Remains” (review), the New Jersey quintet set the tone for the evening with a relentless assault showcasing the immense talents of lead guitarist Adam De Micco, drummer Austin Archey and vocalist Will Ramos, whose shrieks, growls, gurgles and roars can’t possibly be human. There wasn’t a lot of movement from any of the band members, but that’s because within the almost-but-not-quite impenetrable walls of sound, there is an impressive degree of musical complexity.
Closing with the entire devastating “Pain Remains” trilogy was a bold choice in a 40-minute set but one that worked incredibly well. The whole show could have ended here, and I probably would have felt only momentary disappointment. Lorna Shore is the future of metal.
LORNA SHORE SET LIST: “Sun//Eater,” “Cursed to Die,” “Into the Earth, “Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames,” “Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear,” “Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire”
Mastodon is a band I haven’t given enough time to over the years. There’s no reason why; the Atlanta, Georgia, band just somehow manages to keep slipping through the cracks for me. No longer.
While I had seen Mastodon previously at several festivals, this was my first proper Mastodon show with full production and a headline-length set. With video boards showing a constant barrage of psychedelic images befitting the stoner metal vibe of the music, the band powered through a packed set list of 17 songs, with bassist Troy Sanders, guitarist Brent Hinds and even drummer Brann Dailor sharing lead vocal duties. With his searing solos, Hinds quickly emerged as the star of the show, and even though I’m not exactly familiar with any individual Mastodon songs, 75 minutes flew by.
MASTODON SET LIST: “The Wolf Is Loose,” “Crystal Skull,” “Megalodon,” “Divinations,” “Andromeda,” “Sultan’s Curse,” “Fallen Torches,” “Pushing the Tides,” “More Than I Could Chew,” “Aqua Dementia,” “Steambreather,” “Iron Tusk,” “March of the Fire Ants,” “Mother Puncher,” “Circle of Cysquatch,” “Crusher Destroyer,” “Blood and Thunder”
Time seemed to go by even faster when Gojira took the stage. The move from death metal to a more groove-oriented sound on its two most recent albums— “Magma” (2016) and “Fortitude” (2021)—has made the French band’s sound even more powerful and clearly broadened its appeal. The bulk of the set list came from those two records, with the opener “Born for One Thing,” the stomping “Stranded” and the singalong of “The Chant” among the highlights.
Gojira used the video boards a little less than Mastodon and didn’t have the pyro it typically employs in larger venues—all we got was a shower of sparks for the closer “The Gift of Guilt”—but that kind of production wasn’t necessary. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier, drummer Mario Duplantier, guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie were incredibly tight throughout the night and sent thousands of Maryland metalheads home happy.
GOJIRA SET LIST: “Born for One Thing,” “Backbone,” “Stranded,” “Flying Whales,” “The Cell,” “The Art of Dying,” drum solo, “Grind,” “Another World,” “Silvera,” “Amazonia,” “The Chant,” “The Gift of Guilt”
Mega-Monsters Tour leg two:
Aug. 9 – Cincinnati, OH @ MegaCorp Pavilion
Aug. 10 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacob’s Pavilion
Aug. 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE Outdoors
Aug. 12 – New York, NY @ Coney Island Amphitheater
Aug. 13 – Syracuse, NY @ OneCenter
Aug. 15 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple
Aug. 17 – Toronto, ON @ RBC Echo Beach
Aug. 18 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Aug. 19 – Portland, ME @ Cross Insurance Arena
Aug. 20 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall
Aug. 23 – Milwaukee, WI @ BMO Pavilion
Aug. 25 – Hammond, IN @ Horseshoe
Aug. 26 – Omaha, NE @ Westfair Amphitheater
Aug. 27 – Minneapolis, MN @ Waite Park Amphitheater
Aug. 29 – St. Louis, MO @ The Factory
Aug. 30 – Kansas City, MO @ Azura Amphitheater
Sept. 1 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheater
Sept. 2 – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
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