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REVIEW: Opeth & Enslaved @ Roseland (Portland, OR – – 5/12/09)

12th May 09 (Tue) 13 comments

Similarly to the professional Abba cover band I saw play with the Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra / POPS, the band I saw tonight (Opeth) is from Sweden.  Un-similarly to the Abba cover band, Opeth is… HEAVY.  I didn’t want to risk bringing my nice, new camera to a Swedish & Norwegian Death Metal double-bill (Strongbad email link).  So, I’ll post and point you to some from BrooklynVegan’s blog.  I also won’t be able to bring my camera into Flight of the Conchords in two days due to venue restrictions.  Boo… anyway, here is Enslaved (from the recent NJ show):

photo by Justina Villanueva

This Oregon concert was billed as just the two bands.  Enslaved went on first.  I have an odd history with the band name Enslaved.  I have some friends in Dayton, Ohio, who briefly had a metal band called Enslaved (in 1994-ish).  Then I had to break the news to them that there already was a band named the same, and that they’re from Norway.  Well, the Dayton band changed their name to Gnashing of Teeth.

I ran into the Norwegian Enslaved here and there, but never listened to them… until tonight.  They were… hmm… they were OK.  Musically, they had chops, but their sound seemed hollow.  Maybe not enough guitars or bass in the mix, but especially compared to Opeth, Enslaved didn’t fill the room – – and not for lack of trying.  Vocally, they were fairly brutal, but mostly uninteresting.  One of the “singles” from Vertebrae that I heard on the MySpaces before the show was played.  It just doesn’t work, IMO.  Oh well, I suppose I’m continuing my streak of not all that great opening bands, but at least Enslaved were the only opener.  All-in-all, they weren’t what I’d call “dreadful.”  I just don’t really need to dig much more into their music.

Next up, only after a short 25 minute set change, sound check… OPETH

Opeth‘s Mikael Akerfeldt in NJ
photo by Justina Villanueva

This was my 3rd Opeth live experience.  Previously, I would say that there is the law of diminishing returns going on with live Opeth.  The 1st show I saw was awesome, and then the 2nd show was a little dissappointing.  Well, third time seeing them, they ripped into some great material.  Overall, utterly fantastic show.  Their sound was much fuller than Enslaved’s, and they just seemed like a better band.  I guess this didn’t come as a surprise.  Mikael announced early on that the band formed in 1990.  So, next year is their 20th anniversary.  Holy cow, when did that happen!?  Their maturity and breadth of material was on display tonight.  They hit post-Blackwater Park songs, and they even hit songs from Morningrise, Still Life, and My Arms Your Hearse – – which has to go down as one of the best metal album names ever.  Anyway, here’s what Opeth played…

Setlist:

  • Heir Apparent
  • Ghost of Perdition
  • Godhead’s Lament
  • The Leper Affinity
  • Credence
  • Hessian Peel
  • Closure
  • Night & the Silent Water
  • The Lotus Eater
  • Encore: band introductions and “swine flu blues” guitar solo
  • Deliverance

Great set… right around 2 solid hours, 10 songs… so, yeah, your basic pop songs. :)  I’m looking forward to next year’s 20 year anniversary Opeth takes a nap-a-thon.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Wynton Marsalis – He and She

The rest of the Opeth tourdates (so far)…

May 13 2009 Senator Theater, Chico, California *
May 14 2009 Regency Theater, San Francisco
May 15 2009 Glasshouse, Pomona, California *
May 16 2009 The Avalon, Los Angeles, California *
May 17 2009 Rialto Theater, Tucson, Arizona *
May 19 2009 Scout Bar, San Antonio, Texas *
May 20 2009 Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma *
May 21 2009 New Daisy Theater, Memphis, Tennessee *
May 22 2009 Bijou Theater, Knoxville, Tennessee *
May 23 2009 Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio *
May 24 2009 Clutch Cargo’s, Pontiac, Michigan *
May 26 2009 Grand Ballroom at The Manhattan, New York, New York *
May 27 2009 9:30 Club, Washington, Washington DC *
May 29 2009 Rock Hard Festival, Dortmund
May 30 2009 Wave Gothik, Leipzig
May 31 2009 Schlachthof, Wiesbaden
June 1 2009 Skaters Palace, Munster
June 12 2009 Download Festival, Donnington
June 13 2009 Provinssirock, Seinäjoki
June 21 2009 Metal way, Zaragoza
June 26 2009 Peace & Love, Borlänge
June 27 2009 Metaltown Festival, Gothenburg
July 2 2009 Festival, Arvika
July 3 2009 Oslo Live, Oslo
July 17 2009 Art Mania Festival, Sibiu
July 26 2009 Zwarte Cross Festival, De Schans in Lichtenvoorde
July 30 2009 Storsjöyran, Östersund
August 7 2009 Brutal Assault, Jaromer
August 15 2009 Summerbreeze, Dinkelsbuehl
August 21 2009 Lowlands, Biddinghuisen

* w/ Enslaved

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