Writing and Photography by Bobby Talamine
Edited by Fiza Javid
Deftones and Gojira bring the heat to a chilly Friday night at the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago.
Yes- with a slight wind chill, it still ended up being cold once the sun had set just off the shore of Lake Michigan.
And both Gojira, and also Deftones, just tore away with incendiary setlists that made the ground shake and your chest feel the mighty thump from the low end- from both bands.
Headliners Deftones, fronted by the ever still so volatile Chino Moreno, entering the stage to the music of "Pimpf", from Depeche Mode- a slice of cool instrumental music from their album "Music for the Masses"-
Maybe as homage to the recently (and tragically) departed Fletch from Depeche- if that was the case, as always, Chino and Deftones, their heart is certainly in the right place.
But once fitted onstage, they blast away with the opening track of their most recent release- "Genesis", from "Ohms", a blistering attack in essence on a discussion of rebirth and renewal.
A song meant to go for the throat.
And how poignant to open with "Genesis", a song when released, back in September of 2020, with so much uncertainty, and the inevitable postponement of their summer tour in 2020.
Might as well come out of the gates embracing what you love, and missing so much what you love.
Their set was riveting throughout, with sophisticated lighting worthy of your most accomplished EDM artists- yes- that kind of vibe, with striking vertical strobes, and a triangular, or diamond shaped lighting rig conveying hues that washed over the background vertical white backdrops. worthy of your attention to match the onslaught of heaviness from the band.
To hear the trailblazing "Rocket Skates" into "Prayers / Triangles", and with Chino singing with such full force, like his life depends on this moment in time- gives you chills.
Most of the main floor within earshot of me was feeling the same vibe, looking around to confirm that we were all in agreement with what we were witnessing- a band coming at you full force, and with deep rooted passion.
The intensity didn't lapse one bit throughout their set, ending up with some 19 songs in total, three of which, for their encore, all blistering indictments as well, with "Lotion". into "Engine No. 9", and closing with "7 Words".
After that, with ringing in your ears, and a cold sweat on your body from top to bottom, you couldn't help but feel a brotherhood with them, jamming their hearts out to the bitter end.
Same could be said for the mighty Gojira- a band that equally pummeled the crowd right out of the gates, opening with "Born for one Thing"- the opening track to their critically acclaimed latest release back in April of 2021- "Fortitude".
This album- I mean holy shit. No wonder it made everyone's- I mean EVERYONE'S top ten lists from last year. Not a weak link in the bunch, with the Duplantier brothers outdoing themselves yet again with conscientious metal which is downright breathtaking in might and thought.
Four songs in total, played by Gojira from their latest release, interspersed with heavy hitters from their equally cool back catalog,
By the end of "Born for one Thing", a gigantic moshpit had broken out, and basically all involved maintained their huge chunk of real estate in front of the stage throughout to the end of their set.
Joe Duplantier on vocals and guitar, and his brother Mario on drums, both equally convey intensity followed by passion, and might, not ones to dress fancy or rock star ish- more like everyday blue collar, which for me, just transcends perfectly into their honesty and approach into offbeat and rapid fire musicianship.
Again, from my vantage point, even after finishing the first three songs from the pit, everyone on the asphalt in front of the stage audience wise, was in on the action, fists pumped in the air, trying their best to match the intensity of the band, enthusiastically embracing the energy, with the foot on the gas with no letup.
Even the breather of an hour or so between sets was met with jovial enthusiasm by one and all, with huge smiles on everyone's faces.
Man oh man - was this a show or what?
What way to start off Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago.
Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago