jakub | August 17, 2023

Gojira and Mastadon’s Mega-Monster Tour Wreaks Mayhem at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Ontario Canada on August 16, 2023



Wednesday night, August 16, 2023, at Toronto’s iconic Budweiser Stage was no ordinary evening. A cacophony of metal mastery was about to unfold, and the assembled metalheads were ready to be stomped on by the Mega-Monsters Tour’s four-hour onslaught of sonic power.

As the night began, Lorna Shore took the stage, igniting the floor with a fiery fervor. The crowd surged, riding the waves of mosh pits that would grow as the evening progressed, crowd-surfing, and headbanging in sync with the band’s screaming anthems. The energy was set ablaze, a harbinger of what was to come.  


Lorna Shore 

Will Ramos – lead vocals

Adam De Micco – lead guitar

Austin Archey – drums

Andrew O’Connor – rhythm guitar

Michael Yager – bass



Lorna Shore Setlist

1.) Sun//Eater
2.) Cursed to Die
3.) Into the Earth
4.) Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames
5.) Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear
6.) Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire


The anticipation was palpable as the clock neared 8 p.m. A massive black veil, as wide as the stage itself, descended from the ceiling, emblazoned with Gojira’s iconic logo. The crowd’s chant grew, a primal call for the French metal masters. Suddenly, the veil fell, flames erupted, and the show exploded into existence. Three towering flamethrowers flanked the stage, alternating between roaring columns of fire and colossal fireballs, transforming the indoor venue into a fiery furnace.  I had seen Gojira several times before but there was something special and primal about tonight.  It felt like they were trying to prove something, maybe a bit of a friendly competition as to who is thre true headliner in the group, but damn, they were on fire.  Gojira’s sound was as bright and intense as the flames, sparking a frenzy on the floor. With spine-chilling songs like “Back Bone,” the audience was engulfed in a sonic tsunami of bass drum triplets and searing guitar solos, creating a wall of sound that shook the very core.

A drum solo by Mario Duplantier was a sight to behold, his sticks a blur of motion. He stood, pounding the drums and rallied the crowd, leading them into the next song. Amid animated videos playing behind the band, depicting everything from space travel to crumbling landmarks, Gojira’s performance was a visually immersive experience. The climax arrived with “The Chant,” a song that saw Joe Duplantier transform into a metal maestro, leading the crowd in a call-and-response of the melody. The symbiotic chorus erupted, merging with the band’s heavy instrumental assault in a crescendo of pure musical power.



Joe Duplantier – Guitar/Vocals

Mario Duplantier – Drums

Christian Andreu – Guitar

Jean-Michel Labadie – Bass



Gojira Setlist

1.) Born for One Thing
2.) Backbone
3.) Stranded
4.) Flying Whales
5.) The Cell
6.) The Art of Dying
7.) Drum Solo
8.) Grind
9.) Another World
10.) Silvera
10.) Amazonia
11.) The Chant


At 9:15, Gojira left the stage, but the night was far from over. Mastodon’s black veil descended, and 25 minutes later, the stage was theirs. Like a freight train, Mastodon’s unique blend of mammoth sound and unorthodox artistry surged over the audience. With keyboardist Troy Sanders adding a rich layer, their performance created a complex and ear-shattering soundscape.

Animated videos featuring surreal haunted house monsters filled the screen, immersing the audience in a psychedelic odyssey. Each song carried its own visual narrative – from a one-eyed Kraken to a world on fire, complete with flaming birds of prey.  Searchlights swept the crowd, bright floodlights pulsed, and thunderous metal emanated from the stage, enveloping the venue in a sensory whirlwind. Amidst this chaos, a towering 20-foot monster joined the guitarists – a fitting character in Mastodon’s world of mayhem.

The night climaxed with “Blood and Thunder.” As the last notes reverberated, Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor addressed the audience, shouting out local establishments in a heartfelt tribute.  With the double bill of Gojira and Mastodon igniting the stage with their monster-sized performances, the Budweiser Stage experienced a metal eruption unlike any other. The night was a testament to the unyielding power of metal, promising an even more massive turnout when these titans of the genre return to Toronto.



Troy Sanders – Bass Guitar

Brent Hinds – Lead Guitar

Bill Kelliher – Guitar

Brann Dailor – Drums

Joao Nogueira– Keyboards



Mastodon Setlist

1.) The Wolf Is Loose
2.) Crystal Skull
3.) Megalodon
4.) Divinations
5.) Andromeda
6.) Sultan’s Curse
7.) Fallen Torches
8.) Pushing the Tides
9.) More Than I Could Chew
10.) Aqua Dementia
11.) Steambreather
12.) Iron Tusk
13.) March of the Fire Ants
14.) Mother Puncher
15.) Circle of Cysquatch
16.) Crusher Destroyer
17.) Blood and Thunder





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