French tech-death metallers Gojira ended their North American run in support of their new album, Magma, on Sunday night at New York’s Terminal 5, with the 25th show of the tour. Closing night of a tour is always kind of weird for me. You can tell the band is drained and has nothing left to give, yet somehow finds a way to give more. I’ve been to a few opening nights in my time, when the band is fresh and ready to go, and those are always great shows. Closing night is special, though. You get to see the culmination of so much hard work by a lot of people – the band, their tour manager, the road crew – who all spend months on the road together making sure every show goes off without a hitch, and it’s always great to see all that hard work have some sort of finality to it.
Gojira kicked off night 25 with Only Pain, The Heaviest Matter of the Universe and Silvera. For some reason we were given songs 2-4 to shoot, so I was still entrenched in the pit when the band went into Stranded, at which point the fans behind me proceeded to overpower my earplugs and temporarily deafen me. Later on in the night, drummer Mario Duplantier would put on one of the more epic drum solos I’ve seen in a while, which was met with applaud from the faithful upon its completion.
Some of the other songs on offer on this night that helped make up the 17-song closing night set were Pray, Backbone, Terra Inc and Toxic Garbage Island. The boys in Gojira would depart the stage momentarily before returning for an encore, which included Clone and Oroborus. Just when you thought the band had given everything it had left after 25 nights on stage and countless more on the road between shows, Gojira had one last song left. The second encore would be Vacuity, one of their most popular songs and one could even argue their biggest hit.
And with that, the Magma tour had come to a close and Gojira had to give no more. It’s hard to tell whether a show is sold out at the multi-level Terminal 5, where all 3 levels are GA for virtually every show, but this show was as packed as I’ve ever seen the place and by the time the show had ended, you knew the fans appreciated the massive collective effort it took to put on this last show by a band that was visibly run down. I knew Gojira was good live, but I’ll admit I wasn’t sure how they’d be on the last night of their run. I expected a good show, and they defied that by putting on a great show.