Arguably one of the coolest metal tours of the summer, the aptly named “Mega-Monsters Tour” sees legendary bands Mastodon and Gojira joining forces for a co-headlining run across North America. These two behemoths are joined by the massively popular deathcore up-and-comers Lorna Shore! We caught up with the tour on August 19th, as it was entering its final couple of weeks with a show in Portland, Maine, at a nearly sold-out Cross Insurance Arena.

Lorna Shore got the night started in a huge way with an exceptionally heavy set that drew mostly from their latest full-length and first with vocalist Will RamosPain Remains. Ramos’ ridiculous guttural vocal range was on full display as he flew from piercing high screams to earth-shattering low growls and everything in between, especially on set-opener “Sun//Eater,” which saw some absolutely absurd musicianship from drummer Austin Archey as well!

French metallers Gojira were up next, and they did not pull any punches—opening with the hits as they went straight into “Ocean Planet,” “Backbone,” “Stranded,” and, of course, “Flying Whales.” The band is slightly varying their set, playing one version on nights where they are not headlining (like tonight) and a different one when they are.

Fans were treated to more hits, like “The Cell” and “The Art of Dying,” before drummer Mario Duplantier unleashed a massive drum solo—pausing to exhort a roar of applause from the crowd several times, including at one point holding up a giant sign that said, “I can’t hear you!” Punctuated by blasts of fire and what seemed like overzealous use of stage fog, their set continued with several newer songs from 2021 record Fortitudeincluding “The Chant” and “Another World.” Gojira has always been one of the tightest live metal bands, and tonight was no different; frontman Joe Duplantier sounded incredible as did his cohorts.

At last, it was time for a psychedelic display from Mastodon. The band emerged in front of a dazzling color display and absolutely crushed a lengthy 17-song set that meandered between newer and older material with a nice balance for longtime fans. The production for this entire tour was amazing, but Mastodon won the night with not only the vibrant, trippy backlit display but also pillars of fire and even a giant cyclops creature that came out during “Circle of Cysquatch” that felt very reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Eddie. 

This was the tightest set I’ve seen from Mastodon in a while, be it on newer songs like “Pushing the Tides,” and “More Than I Could Chew” or older ones like “Mother Puncher.” Highlights of the set for this humble writer included hearing “Divinations” from 2009’s Crack The Skye, “Crystal Skull” and “The Wolf is Loose” from 2006’s Blood Mountain, and set-closer and infinitely head-bangable track “Blood and Thunder,” from 2004’s LeviathanIt was the kind of set where even if you wanted to leave early, you couldn’t do that and miss so many classics at the end. Their tour may be almost over, but there’s still a chance to catch these Mega-Monster metal acts on tour! Peep the remaining dates below!

Remaining Tour Dates:

Aug 26 Omaha, NE Westfair Amphitheater
Aug 27 Minneapolis, MN Waite Park Amphitheater
Aug 29 St. Louis, MO The Factory
Aug 30 Kansas City, MO Azura Amphitheater
Sep 1 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheater
Sep 2 Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater


When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.