Saturday 6th Sep 2008
The Big Top, Sydney
written by Goran
The night for me started out on a bus, patiently sitting for almost an hour due to traffic, or so I thought. It took 40 minutes to find out that arsonist or should that be an arse was busy overnight setting places on fire on Victoria Rd, Balmain. What was unfortunate was that four mates were waiting for me to arrive so that they could drive us to Milsons Point for the concert. Well it turned out to be a 20 minute wait for them too hehe.
The Opeth were here as part of the “Watershed Tour” with a new lineup - Fredrik Akesson (guitars) and Martin Axenrot (drums) replacing Lindgren and Lopez. For those that are unfamiliar with the band they play progressive death metal like no other. This was a forth time for many of us seeing Opeth in Sydney and we were all equally looking forward to it. The Big Top venue was once before home to an Opeth gig and those memories were still fresh in our minds as we hoped to witness another masterful performance. In actual fact that was never of issue as I knew in advance what songs the band were going to play having heard from a mate who had seen the band live a few months back at Hellfest Open Air in France.
We arrived to the venue sometime later and met up with another mate Natalie and after a few second-hand smokes entered the venue. Thankfully we had arrived mere 5 minutes before Opeth took to stage – perfect timing. The place was fully packed, another sold out show, but Oliver somehow fought his way forward until we were in relatively good positions. As we took to our places so did Opeth. “Heir Apparent” was the opener and one of our favourite tracks from the new Opeth album “Watershed”. The sound at the venue was excellent as was the atmosphere. Another track from the new album was played on the night “The Lotus Eater” and was more popular with the bands newer fans. “Master`s Apprentices” was also well received by the younger fans as was “The Baying of the Hounds”. I think the days of old school songs are long behind us.
The band played a diverse setlist pleasing to every taste. “To Rid the Disease” a slower number was also pleasing to hear and gave fans a chance to recharge for something heavier like “The Night and the Silent Water” – my favourite song on the night played in pure precision. It’s fair to say that their keyboardist is most animated and sometimes funny in the way he animates on stage.
Mikael was as usual very chatty wasting song time cracking up jokes. He joked that parts of his Gibson fret-board were made of 24 carat gold and that kids from third world countries died making them. He also gave growling lessons and the like. Some of the jokes were funny but I think he goes a little over the top with them. It ruins the experience for mine. The best things he said were that we were a better audience than Melbourne and that the band will return next year for sure!
I hope they take a two or three year break as I am tired writing reviews for this band. They seem to love Australia. Check out these reviews: Sydney 04 and 06 Haha! In the end the band finished with an encore of another favourite “The Drapery Falls”.
The Baying of the Hounds
Serenity Painted Death
To Rid The Disease
The Lotus Eater
The Night and the Silent Water
Deamon of the Fall
The Drapery Falls