There are few things in this life as rewarding and cathartic as a live performance from the gargantuan musical entity known as Gojira. At least for me and without a doubt the hordes of enthusiastic fans waiting outside the venue. I hadn’t seen them now since the summer of 2019 which, when you sit and try and think on it I can’t quite figure out… has this much time passed already? So much has happened yet it feels like nothing has and I saw them yesterday. Certainly something to think on.. or not to be honest because from the second Born For One Thing kicked off we are there, in the moment. I won’t detail the setlist because anyone can search it out if they feel compelled.. but what I will say is there were two songs played from my personal favourite album “The Way Of All Flesh” on this night and boy, did they raise the roof (more so) with these two surprises.. These two being “The Art Of Dying” and “The Way Of All Flesh”. The trance like state I end up in during the outro of the latter is something only Gojira can achieve. It is as close as one can get to achieving true oneness with the very air around you.
The energy in the room… can we talk about that? It’s another thing I’ve only ever experienced at Gojira shows. There is this almost a symbiotic nature between band and audience. It transcends what a gig is, really.. weaving and waving before morphing into an auditory and visual beating. In the best possible way. Jean-Michel always says thanks to me for my energy but in truth, I had none arriving.. or at least felt none there. I was barely standing (maybe a slight exaggeration) initially but once the first notes kicked in something welled up deep inside stirs and I allow it out. I have no real control over whatever it is but I’ve noticed you just have to let it flow through you and give over to it for the rewards are more than one can put into mere words. I go through all emotions, I head bang, I dance, I work, I smile, I grimace, I jump up and down, flail about and in truth it’s some of my freest moments, pure abandon enveloped by these sonic explosions going off all around me bring into my existence. God, it feels GOOD! The show flew by in what felt like a matter of minutes … I find myself leaning against the wall post show covered in sweat, panting, ears ringing knowing everything will hurt tomorrow but at the same time, overcome with gratitude. It’s not something I can express.. it’s not just about the music..
It’s the culmination of so much work, so much personal sacrifice, so many obstacles, so much joy, so much sadness, anger, you name it - that brings ME in this body to this point, this moment in time. From Bulawayo, Zimbabwe playing in the mud watching ants do their thing to this. What a trip. Money could never buy this. The purity of it and the connection I share with this band, the humans they are, the people they have around them and the music they create. It truly is “A Sight To Behold”.
Taylor, Gojira’s tour manager, a stand up human being, a friend and a relentless force of focus and organisation, thank you as always for always being so hospitable and for the conversations brother. Good to know you.
To Joe, Mario, Jean-Michel and Christian, I wish you godspeed always. You guys deserve everything that comes your way in this business and life for what you give is also worth so much more than money. Thank you for all the times now and in the future. I, Fiaz Farrelly have enjoyed every second and (I really should mention my work haha) I’m beyond ecstatic that not only my work and yours have crossed paths but also resonated with each other. This too, is worth more than any money in this world to me. I can’t wait for one more show… this time, in London at the Alexandra Palace. I would love to come to more but life is telling me I can’t right now so I accept as it’s more than I can ask for and will soak up every goddamn second.
If you read this far, thank you too. I am adding a small gallery of my favourite photographs I was able to capture on this special night in our country’s capital, Dublin here in Ireland. I hope you like them as much as I do!
Until next time, and as Jerry Springer always put it; “Take care of yourself, and each other”.
Much love and respect,
Fiaz, February 2023