USA (Washington), May 27, 2009
CptRevell, on june 10, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I was really impressed with the overall quality of the performance from these guys. I have long appreciated Opeth's music, but to see how they chose to play songs Live really left an impression on me. Every note was sound, and the songs were very similar in sound to the original versions, but there were many sections that were extended and added to, which made the songs sound even better. Mikael kerfeldt's vocals were excellent, though the actual mixing of the vocals was a bit quiet compared to the instruments. Speaking of which, Opeth used their normal PRS guitars, and Martin Mendez (bassist) used Fender Jazzes. I couldn't tell the brand of drums from looking at the set, since the bass drum had no markings on it. The PRS guitars sounded phenomenal, crafting tight sounding distortion and soaring lead lines. Fredrik kesson was no slouch on his instrument, and had a mini shred session during the Encore performance. I thought his lead tone was a tad bit thin, but that could also be due to how the sound was mixed in that venue. Aside from being VERY loud (as metal should be), the bass was particularly good at this show. I could feel the double bass pounding my chest, and the guitars were really driven rather well. Aside from the quiet vocals, I can't really complain much about the sound of the show, other than the vocal level, and the quality of the performance. // 9
Perfomance: I was really impressed with the performance of the band. In between songs, they were really casual, and often joked back and forth with the crowd. It was a very laid back performance, and the flowing nature of the songs contributed to the show. Song by song below:
01.Heir Apparent: the opening song, from Watershed. The hard, dissonant chords at the beginning of the song really set the stage for what was to come. A very driving song, and the heavy, blast like attack of the middle section was a highlight of the night.
02.Ghost Of Perdition: another heavy number, off of the Ghost Reveries CD. Picking up where Heir Apparent left off, GoP was very impressive. The clean vocals were very good here, and really cut through the mix. One of the only times in the night were the vocals were easy to hear above the guitars.
03.Godhead's Lament: the first of older Opeth songs they played, this was another quality performance. I really was impressed with the variety of songs they played that night, and this was no exception. Easily better than the studio track, if only because the sound was so much thicker Live.
04.Wreath: off of the Deliverance album, I was somewhat disappointed by this choice; I would have rather heard Deliverance or Master's Apprentices, but they still charged through this song well. The first song that seemed to drag slightly, but still a good one to headbang to.
05.Karma: the highlight of the night, this track off of My Arms Your Hearse was absolutely haunting. Mikael stated that he had "majorly f--cked up" this song the previous show, but they showed no signs of that here. The opening pause with the continuing vocals was beautiful, and they extended the clean portion in the middle of the song. Very long version of this song, but I didn't notice.
06.Hessian Peel: the longest track on Watershed, Mikael and crew again performed brilliantly, expanding on the studio track's length with various improve.
07.Closure: another high point, and the only song played off of Damnation. This was my favorite tune off of that CD, and they extended it out a good bit with a 60's psychedelic improve section, complete with odd noises and quick bass runs.
08.Night And The Silent Water: Mikael stated that this song was for his grandfather at the time it was written, and this song has held up well, even among the heavier songs that have been written since. I loved the Live rendition; the emotion is shown even better in a Live setting with various leads and moving clean parts.
09.The Lotus Eater: the last song played during the normal set, and had one of my favorite moments of the night during the odd breakdown right in the middle of the song. It came through great, and was a good breather from the heavy guitars during the rest of the song.
10.Demon Of The Fall: the Encore song, off of My Arms Your Hearse. Good, heavy, concise, a great end to a great show.
I think the atmosphere during the show was excellent, with dramatic lighting and fog machines. The basic Opeth Banner (seen in the Lamentations DVD) was the backdrop. I really liked the stage and the venue, it was small, and almost personal, especially from the front where I was. Mikael talked and joked with the crowd throughout the night, and there was an impromptu singing of Harvest off of Blackwater Park (a CD strangely absent from the setlist). Since this was the last show on the tour, there was an exended Encore, where he introduced the whole band and guitar techs, along with the merch and mixing people, which was nice, but it let the show run a little long. Opeth came on about 9:15, and ended about 11:45 - 12:00 (estimated, got back to my car at about 12:15, and I bought a shirt before leaving). // 10
Overall Impression: This concert was at the 9:30 club in Washington, D.C., USA. It was sort of in the more run down section of DC, from my observation, but was very easy to get to. The setup of the inside was great, and we were really close to the band. Not a huge setup, but I prefer smaller venues to huge arenas. Enslaved opened for Opeth, and did a great job of pumping up the crowd, and ran through many of the Ruun/Vertebrae songs, along with a couple old favorites. The tickets were a steal in my opinion at $25 a piece, and I can't wait until I get to see them again. I really liked how laid back both bands were, and the attitude of the night seemed to be laid back, lots of joking between bands and the crowd, and overall was very chill. Not much moshing, but I did get hit in the head by a crowd surfer, which seemed to be the only downer of the night. Really, a great experience, and if you have the chance to go see these guys, take it. // 10