Deftones / Gojira / VOWWS @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX

Words and photos by Jose Serrato
The weekend was extended into Monday night in the DFW area as the multi-postponed tour originally scheduled for 2020 finally made its way into town. The boys from Sacto, California known as the Deftones brought along French metal band, Gojira, to take over the country from coast to coast. Along with Australian death pop group, VOWWS (who replaced original opener Poppy), the tour rolled into a sold out The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving. The lines to park were long as fans made their way to the venue. Possibly the longest I’ve seen recently. There was a sense of urgency to get inside and not miss a minute of what would be an amazing show.

VOWWS took the stage promptly at 7pm as the crowd continuously made their way in. They were welcomed in to the duos horror film influenced music that was heavy with bass and sounds that were sure to stick in your head long after they walked off the stage. Matt and Rizz definitely left a lasting impression on those that got to see them and also to my ears as I forgot to put in my earplugs. My ears are still slightly ringing. A white curtain was dropped in front of the stage with a countdown projected onto it. A countdown to the beginning of set by Gojira that never let up.

Starting with my personal favorite, "Born For One Thing", the French quartet got the crowd completely in as soon as the guitar harmonics blasted into our ears. Gojira have been on a massive trajectory to become one of, if not, the biggest metal bands in the world. The band have been playing to massive crowds in Europe and the states are quickly catching up. The north Texas crowd pumped their fists in the air as the band made their way through a 12-song set that lasted about an hour. Playing tracks off multiple albums that went all the way back to their first release in 2001 by playing "Love", which singer/guitarist Joe Duplantier dedicated to their tour mates Deftones. With stage lighting that synced perfectly to the music, Gojira is a solid band that sounds just as good live as they do on a record. Possibly even better. No, definitely better live because nothing beats a live band that makes you feel every note.

The 'waiting' music has gone silent. The lights have gone dark. Smoke is filling the stage. The roar of the crowd is getting louder and louder. A heavy hum is coming out of the speakers. One by one the members of the Northern Cali band made their way onto the stage and broke into "Genesis", the first track off their 2020 release, Ohms. Chino is doing his signature microphone spinning and the crowd surfers are on their way. I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve seen Deftones live, but it’s been a lot. Basically every tour since 2000 and it still hasn’t gotten old for me. They find ways to make it feel like it’s my first ‘tones concert. With new touring bassist Fred Sablan and guitarist Lance Jackman, Chino and the boys had put together a 19-song set list that spanned their 27+ year career. From their first album, Adrenaline, to their latests release, Ohms, the hour and 40 minute show was one of the best curated sets I’ve seen from this band in all these years. Sure there were many songs I wish they had played, but the fan was more than happy with hearing tracks like "Be Quiet", "Drive" and "Sextape".

“Let’s get the whole fucking joint going up and down. Uno, dos, tres…” said Chino to the packed amphitheater during the song "Swerve City". They happily complied and the pit went crazy. After toasting the band he called the French Connection, videos playing behind them of explosions and women dancing underwater or doves flying, and another 10 or so songs, it was time for the encore. Dedicated to the fans that have been around since day one, the ’tones ended the show with a fan favorite, "Engine #9". It was difficult to not run down into the pit and join in on the ruckus for this song. My body thanks me for not doing that.

Photos of the show are below:

VOWWS
Gojira
Deftones
Contributed by Jose Serrato
Deftones / Gojira / VOWWS @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Deftones / Gojira / VOWWS @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 04, 2022 Rating: 5
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