Date: Monday 1st July
Venue: O2 Apollo, Manchester
Supports: Dead Label, Rolo Tomassi
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As we entered Manchester’s O2 Apollo we hadn’t realised that there had been an additional band added last minute to cover Black Peaks. That band were Dead Label and unfortunately they were just kicking off with their final song. They did however sound very good and with a huge wall of death opening up it seemed like the crowd were on board. I’ll definitely be giving them a listen in the future to see what they’re all about.
Next up tonight were Sheffield math-rockers Rolo Tomassi. The band started off with a very ethereal sound but wasn’t long before the band become very heavy and showed their incredible range of tracks. Slight issues with the mic volume in the mix at the start meant that vocalist Eva Spence’s voice didn’t quite hit as sharp as they should have but a few tracks in and it was fixed and the band sounded incredible. It was always going to be very hard to make mathcore appeal to the masses but Rolo Tomassi certainly showed it was possible and why they were one of the genre’s top artists. With the switch between styles so intense they almost sounded like two different bands depending on what part of the song you listened to. Each individual sound crashed against each other with the keys mixing with the guitars and drums amazingly to give a fantastic background to the vocals. The ‘The Hollow Hour’ was the standout moment during the set the really showcased just how incredible the band were sounding. Spence’s vocals shifting from melodic clean vocals to incredible screams to really hit home the meaning of the track. Given the incredible performance that the band put on and the large crowd that were in attendance, hopefully the band won over a bunch of new fans tonight.
As the crowd packed out the O2 Apollo, Tonight’s headliners Gojira took to the stage. Starting off with the intensely heavy ‘Oroborous’ it was clear that this was going to be a continuing theme for the rest of the night. With the crowd instantly opening to form pits throughout the venue and arms flying everywhere. As the guitars weaved back and forth through their set creating huge soundscapes Gojira showed just how creative heavy music could be. With huge track ‘Flying whales coming just a few songs into their set this send the crowd into even more of a frenzy. Having not personally listened to these guys too much prior to them being announced as headliners for Bloodstock last year, it was incredible to see the whole crowd singing along and getting involved. The one two of ‘Silvera’ and ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ was a masterclass showing that Gojira really were on top form tonight. As the band closed down for the encore it was clear that the crowd were desperate for more. As they came back on from the encore to a huge drum solo it seemed to divide the crowd. Part loving the musicality and impressive drumming skills whilst the other part wishing for tracks to scream along to instead. As the solo came to an end the band re-joined on stage to kick off the encore at full speed. Not content with just a single encore Gojira re-emerged to end the night with ‘The Gift of Guilt’ to end the night in fantastic style.