GOJIRA, MASTODON & LORNA SHORE Bring The Mega-Monsters Tour To Minnesota [Review & Gallery]

It was just a matter time before I would make the drive, about seventy miles from Minneapolis, to one of newest outdoor venues to take in a show. The Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park, Minnesota opened in 2021 and is nestled between two quarries which was a perfect environment to host one of the heaviest tours pounding North America. The Ledge was sold out for The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023 featuring Gojira and Mastodon as co-headliners with Lorna Shore opening.

I had only heard the name Lorna Shore but had never heard the music. Experience told me that if I couldn’t decipher the name by looking at the band logo, it would be a set of knock-out blows that left little confusion of what the band was about. When vocalist Will Ramos hit the stage and the band launched into their deathcore sound, it was on. The five-piece unit blitzed through a thirty-five-minute set and never wavered on their intense onslaught. The band released an album in 2022 called ‘Pain Remains’ and played “Sun/Eater,” “Cursed to Die,” “Into Earth” and three-part series of the title track. 

Mastodon was born twenty-three years ago in Atlanta Georgia. The bands line-up has been unchanged since 2001 with Troy Sanders on bass and lead and backing vocals, Brent Hinds on lead guitar, lead and backing vocals, Bill Kelliher on rhythm guitar and backing vocals and behind the kit sat Brann Dailor who also provided lead and backing vocals. They are band that does not adhere to the saying “one size fits all’ musical genre. They encompass multiple styles that include progressive, alternative, stoner and sludge metal. Opening up with “The Wolf is Loose” and then into “Crystal Skull” got people on their feet and it was very clear how much of following Mastodon has. Behind the band, the screen behind them helped bring the music alive with trippy images in various colors that seemed to carry the music into the crowd. They have released eight studio albums along with various other compilation and live releases so there was plenty of music to choose from. Some of my favorites were “Andromeda,” “Sultan’s Curse,” “Fallen Torches,” “Mother Puncher” and the unforgettable closing crusher “Blood and Thunder.” They sounded fantastic through the entire seventeen song set. This was my first time catching these guys, hard to believe, but the wait was worth it as they surpassed my expectations and really showcased why they have been so successful for so long. I won’t wait another twenty-three years to see them again.

Godzilla was formed in Ondres, France in 1996 but in 2001 the name Gojira was adopted and has now become one of the biggest names in the metal genre. The line-up, the same since 1998, consists of Joe Duplantier on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mario Duplantier on drums, lead guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie.  Opening with “Ocean Planet” there was no denying the amount of musical muscle they can unleash. Like the band that played before them, Gojira cannot be stuck into one box. Technical death metal, progressive, groove and heavy metal all can be heard in their sound that they uniquely blend into a sound that is truly all their own. Songs like “Backbone,” “Flying Whales,” “Silvera” served-up a thunderous sound that the crowd that packed The Ledge was waiting to hear. The lights from the screens danced and weaved through the extreme thickness of the smoke and created a dark and ominous setting that gave the perfect visual effect to play off the music. The smoke cannons at the front of stage along with the confetti canons on the floor in front of the stage offered some really striking visual moments throughout the night.  

The band released ‘Fortitude’ in 2021 and it became a bit of a breakthrough record. Still maintaining the traditional approach of past works, this album also contained more classic rock elements and hooks that caught the ear of people that had not listened to the band before. The album was well represented in the set as they hit on “Another Word,” “Grind,” “The Chant” and one my highlights of the night “Amazonia.”  The band itself was as crisp and on-point as ever and continues to evolve as a must-see band. The catalog they have amassed is fantastic but to truly understand this band, to fully absorb the music and the emotion and strength embodied within the lyrics and guitar chords, it must be heard live. That is where this band and their music truly takes on its Godzilla persona as it is unleashed on you. No matter what genre of metal you want to be in, it’s the live setting where you earn your keep and build equity among metal fans and Gojira has proven to be one of the best. This show at The Ledge was further proof that this upward trend they have been on will keep on building with every show.

EXIT 111 FESTIVAL 2019: Saturday [Review & Photo Gallery]

Day one of Exit 111 (review and pics here) really set the bar high with a great mix of bands like Black Stone Cherry, Anthrax, 10 Years, Slayer, Killswitch Engage and classic rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not to mention the amazing sunny fall Tennessee weather, with highs in the low 80s and the low reaching a cool but comfortable 44 degrees. But with temperatures promising to turn much cooler and steadily drop into the low 30s by nightfall, day two had to turn up the heat on stage in order to keep the campers toasty and the party rolling. So, at noon on Saturday, with college football in full swing at the Mega Sports Bar and a lineup of 18 bands scheduled for the day, the gates opened and the fans started pouring in. Continue reading

KNOTFEST ROADSHOW Plows Through Nebraska [Review & Photo Gallery]


Slipknot’s “Knotfest Roadshow” made huge news throughout the metal community when it was announced back in March. That twenty-nine cities run is now in full swing and Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska had the opportunity to host a brilliant night of music. The line-up is certainly a global affair as it featured the extreme metalists from Poland, Behemoth, the technical powerhouse Gojira from France, and the hard rocking outfit Volbeat from Denmark. Slipknot would close to the show in a fashion of chaotic perfection that only they can deliver. Continue reading

SLIPKNOT, VOLBEAT, GOJIRA & BEHEMOTH Ready To Unleash Knotfest Roadshow


Slipknot is about to unleash their ‘Knotfest Roadshow’ in North America, which kicks off July 26 in Mountain View, California and finishes at The Woodlands, Texas on September 8. It is being billed as “A Mind-Altering Collision Of Music, Art & Culture” and judging by the line-up, it promises to be a highlight tour of the summer. As if Slipknot wasn’t enough chaos for one night, the Knotfest Roadshow also brings Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth to the madness. Each band brings its own unique sound and style to the stage giving fans a dynamic night of music. Continue reading

Sonic Temple Saturday Review & Photo Gallery


A hot Columbus morning greeted the concert goers as they arrived at Mapfre Stadium for Day 2 of the Sonic Temple Arts and Music Festival. The sun was beaming down and and there wasn’t much relief from the wind. There also wasn’t as many people lined up waiting to get in when the gates opened. Maybe it was the late first night that kept those numbers down.

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Chicago Open Air Day Sunday: Tool, Gojira, Fever 333, & More [Review and Photo Gallery]


One of the benefits about less bands at Chicago Open Air this year was being able to sleep in before leaving on the second day. Since there were less bands this year, the event didn’t kick off until 2:30, instead of noon like past years. At the same time, it was strange heading in there for day two knowing that we had already arrived to the last day of the fest when it would’ve normally not even been the halfway mark of the festival yet. With that said though, we couldn’t wait to get out and catch seven fantastic sets from Alien Weaponry, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fever 333, In This Moment, Gojira, The Cult, and the legendary Tool. Continue reading

GOJIRA Announce U.S. Headline Tour With Special Guests TORCHE & CODE ORANGE

French groove rockers GOJIRA seem to love the U.S. and aren’t leaving anytime soon. Already on a hike with METALLICA‘s WorldWired Tour, the band have recently released another leg of tour dates. But this time, they are on the driving seat as they set to embark on a headlining U.S. Tour with support from sunny Florida act TORCHE and CODE ORANGE, American hardcore unit from Pennsylvania. The tour is all set to take off on a high note on October 2nd at the House of Blues in Cleveland, OH before putting the brakes on in Sacramento, CA on 21st October. Artist presale tickets for the new headline dates will be available today at 2:00 PM local time, followed by a Spotify pre-sale on Wednesday, August 9th at 10:00 AM eastern time and finally a venue / promoter pre-sale which begins Thursday, August 10th at 10:00 AM local time. Tickets for all dates will go on Friday August 11th at 10:00 AM local time. For more info regarding the same, visit HERE!

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OPETH & GOJIRA Destroy the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis w/ DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT

This was one of those tours that I could not, would not, miss. As soon as Gojira and Opeth revealed the dates for a co-headlining tour of the U.S., the plans for a trip to Indianapolis’s Egyptian Room on May 13th were set in motion. With none other than the Devin Townsend Project opening for the metal titans, this tour was destined to go down as the heaviest, prog-infused expedition that I have ever witnessed.  Continue reading

State of the Art: New York – CAR BOMB

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York

If you’ve been keeping up with the heavy music scene, you’d know that Car Bomb is about to take it by storm. The experimental mathcore band from Long Island released what was widely considered one of the best released of 2016 in metal with ‘Meta’. The band has a very raw, but technologically advanced sound that very few bands have perfected. The forming of the band started as early as 2000 when two New York bands Neck and Spooge shared a studio together. Soon, two members from each band decided it was time for something new and Car Bomb was formed as a side project in 2002. Impressively, the band has managed to keep the same lineup throughout all these years. They build their own equipment which allows them to create a sound exactly how they want it. Car Bomb has definitely gotten some high recognition having played shows with the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Gojira, Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, and Ulcerate. The quartet has slowly but surely made their way up and are ready to dominate 2017. Continue reading

Gojira Adds More US Dates w/ Kyng, Deafheaven, and Code Orange

The almighty French metal band Gojira has just added five more shows to their already large US tour. Two of these shows will feature heavy metal trio Kyng while the other three feature shoegaze black metal band, Deafheaven and hardcore punk band, Code Orange. You can find all the ticket links here. You can find the rest of the US dates below. Continue reading