Saturday, November 01, 2008

Opeth @ The Grand at the Regency Center, 6 October 2008

opeth ticket

I'd never been to this venue before. It is a former Scottish Rite Temple. It is an impressive neo-classical building clad in classy white stone. Although not quite as fabulous as the Oakland Scottish Rite Center which I have explored a few times, this was a great setting for a heavy metal concert. Inside is a large ballroom with a balcony. This upstairs area has unreserved seating and a bar. Downstairs is a first aid station where they are handing out earplugs, plus there are more bars.

The audience was young and more blue collar than at most shows I go to. Mostly white kids with a few blacks but hardly any Asians. Dress was mostly tee-shirts which was lucky as there didn't seem to be much air circulation and the atmosphere was hot and sticky. There was a distinct smell of sweat.

I missed the first support band who apparently only got to play for 17 minutes but I did catch some of High on Fire. They worked hard, with plenty of sweat pouring off the shirtless singer/guitarist. I was a bit disappointed in their sound.

Logos are very important to metal bands and there was a big cheer when Opeth's backdrop was put in place. Like Nightwish, Opeth are a band that is dominated by one person. In this case our guy (Mikael Ã…kerfeldt) writes the songs, plays guitar, and sings in both growling and normal styles. Over the years there has been a turnover of personnel and on this tour there is a new guitarist. Unfortunately he is not as interesting a guitarist as Mikael. There is a flamboyant keyboard player and some other guys. Everything revolves around Mikael who seems to be a very controlled presence. He does lots of stuff, the songs even have tunes (in places) but I felt the performance never really took off. In some ways it seemed over-rehearsed. I liked the songs I knew more than the ones I didn't. Still, it was fun evening out.

1 comment:

  1. I think they are playing Dublin soon... maybe I will check them out.