Posted in metal | music | pictures on April 8, 2010

photos by Paul Bachmann, words by Stefan Raduta

Opeth

Has it really been 20 years? Unbelievable, Opeth have been around for this long, since Mikael Åkerfeldt was 16 years old. I remember the day when I first heard Orchid and I just fell in love with their unique, stunning sound. Without exaggerating, they are one of today's most successful metal acts and seeing them sell out Terminal 5 on their own is something expected and so well deserved. I'm sure people flew in from everywhere, it was either NYC or LA.

To commemorate their 20th anniversary, Opeth put together 6 very exclusive shows across the globe: Stockholm(Sweden), Essen(Germany), Paris (France), London (UK), New York City and Los Angeles. Needless to say, all sold out months in advance. To make these events as special as possible, they announced they'd play 2001's Blackwater Park from beginning to end, and as a bonus they'd even perform some songs they never played before from their previous albums.

Having seen them live numerous times before, I can safely say that their performance on April 7th is one of the most memorable, and definitely their longest set ever, over two and half hours long! They always were a great live band, but now it's ridiculous to see how good they've become, how natural and relaxed they are while playing every single note to the perfection. It just makes so much sense to see them where they are now. Theirs is not just a simple success story. It took Opeth eleven years to finally break through with Blackwater Park, their fifth album that came very close to never being released. During the recording they almost broke down and abandoned everything - tensions were high, but Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree) saved them. He helped the band with the albums that followed too. The band has never compromised though. They always stood their ground, even while struggling in the underground for so many years, releasing the most out of the ordinary music - a stunning medley of heartbroken melancholy and neck breaking riffs. They had a serious loyal fan base but no real label support.

In New York City the fans just went berserk as soon as they came on stage. I've rarely seen such an enthusiastic crowd. Blackwater Park goes very deep with a lot of people, and even for the band it was a real turning point. So you could pretty much cut the excitement with a knife. People came for an experience to remember, and Opeth gave the audience their money's worth, and more. So many young kids who were probably barely born when Opeth started were even going nuts with every song, singing the lyrics, crowd surfing, moshing, you name it, a real metal show. As for the set list...you really couldn't ask for anything better. Anyone who's been at these exclusive events really got the best Opeth deal of their lives...I could go through every one of these timeless classics, but there's just no point. Check out the setlist with more pictures from the show below....

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Setlist:

1. The Leper Affinity
2. Bleak
3. Harvest
4. The Drapery Falls
5. Dirge For November
6. The Funeral Portrait
7. Patterns In The Ivy
8. Blackwater Park

9. Forest Of October (Orchid, 1995)
10. Advent (Morningrise, 1996)
11. April Ethereal (My Arms, Your Hearse, 1998)
12. The Moor (Still Life, 1999)
13. Wreath (Deliverance, 2002)
14. Hope Leaves (Damnation, 2002)
15. Harlequin Forest (Ghost Reveries, 2005)
16. The Lotus Eater (Watershed, 2008)

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Tags: Opeth, Terminal 5

Comments (22)

Oh damn, I wish I didn't have to go back to school the day before this =/

Posted by Michael | April 8, 2010 11:50 AM

I always defended T5, but damn, last night's show sounded like bad headphones no matter where I stood.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 12:02 PM

Haven't seen them since Webster Hall a few years back. So bummed I couldn't make it last night. That was a great review BTW

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 12:13 PM

I actually thought that the sound was pretty good for Terminal 5. And the show itself was fucking amazing, though the writer is wildly exaggerating the "moshing". The crowd was enthusiastic and into it, definitely, but it was a pretty controlled enthusiasm. The pit was very small and quite sporadic (which is fine, just saying).

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 12:36 PM

Probably the best show I've ever seen from a pure playing perspective... unfortunately have to agree that sound was very spotty. It in no way ruined the show though!

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 12:57 PM

SO bummed i missed this, but why did they book it at T5! Kudos to Opeth can't wait to hear the next one...

Posted by brian roach | April 8, 2010 1:51 PM

"It took Opeth eleven years to finally break through with Blackwater Park, their fourth album that came very close to never being released"

4th album? wrongggg

Posted by bernie j | April 8, 2010 2:27 PM

"4th album? wrongggg"

changed to 5th. thanks

Posted by brooklynvegan | April 8, 2010 2:48 PM

it was a good pit, wild but respectful.
fucking incredible 3 hours!!
and people, unless the band motions for the crowd to start clapping along during a song, DON'T CLAP!!
most people cant even clap in 4/4 time much less some of Opeth's time sigs.

anyone know what bryan adams song Mikael was referring to at the beginning of "Lotus Eater"?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 2:50 PM

I think he might have been pulling our collective legs... when I saw them in NJ last year, he intro'd "Lotus Eater" by talking about some Swedish jazz group. Maybe it's just a running joke he has or something, seems like the kind of thing he would do.

Mosh pit was fun EXCEPT for that one fat bald asshole who didn't mosh so much as just tip his fat ass over into people at wildly inappropriate times (like the beginning of "Harvest." what the fuck.)

Sound was shit at first but seemed to get better as the show went on. By the time they got to "The Drapery Falls" I stopped noticing.

Posted by Jack | April 8, 2010 5:50 PM

FWIW, I've never seen a show at Terminal 5. When I found out that it was the old Exit nightclub, I was psyched because I remember the three levels. I got to my spot on the floor about 30 feet from the stage and the view was great (I'm 6'2"). As soon as the show started I realized that there were only two speaker rigs in the whole place.

At a metal show, the bass drum needs to shake your insides. Akerfeldt's vocals were real low in the first set and the levels in the instruments were really low. Some guy kept screaming "LOUDER!" between songs. Had to agree.

I hope bands stop going there to play

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 6:52 PM

^^^ I rememeber that fat bald asshole, I was thinking the same thing, "Moshing during Harvest? C'mon!" I thought the sound was good other than it could've been a bit louder. I flew in from Houston for the show and it was so worth the trip.

Posted by Nicholas | April 8, 2010 7:37 PM

the mooooooooooooor. fuck yes. it was awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 10:10 PM

ex-actly! i hated the moshing during the slow numbers, and the clapping - which wasn't even in time - wth?!

i went nuts for the newer ones - prefer those to the old stuff somehow (except for the blackwater park album of course)!

i thought the sound sys was alright - opeth def blew my mind. i moved towards the side after awhile and the pipes above us were leaking, dripping on us! terminal 5 needs to seriously refurbish.

LOL at the Bryan Adams intro!! and also "mock the cross!" Mike is hilarious.

Posted by Carmen | April 8, 2010 11:05 PM

WOAH, I"M SURE THIS IS A GREAT BAND ETCETERA< BUT I HAVE HAD TWO WONDERFUL MEALS AT THE NEW PIES AND THIGHS!!!- DAVID SANDERSON

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2010 11:14 PM

Saw the show with my girlfriend (her first Opeth show and my fourth). We were prepared for a ear-splitting experience but the sound levels were just so-so in terms of balance and overall volume.

Despite that, Opeth played their balls off and the set list was PERFECT!

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2010 10:45 AM

We drove 8 hours from Cleveland to see this show, and it was worth every minute. And incredible performance, and an overall incredible trip to see our favorite band.

Posted by Noah | April 9, 2010 11:03 AM

Great show indeed. I think they've come a long way from the time I saw them at L'amours with Nevermore and Angel Dust, much more comfortable onstage.

I was under the balcony near the front door and there are speakers there. For the first set it was almost ALL vocal. When martin switched basses for the second set it got much more bass heavy.

Posted by Jeff | April 9, 2010 12:18 PM

I thought the sound was bad. Drums, keyboards and bass were most of what i heard. I was disappointed that the guitars weren't much louder. Second set did improve somewhat. The sound at the Chronology show at the Town Hall was much better.

Posted by a | April 9, 2010 1:22 PM

fwiw Mikael said it was Bryan Adams' "Reckless" album, but I also took it as just a random joke, like with the Ace of Bass references.

This was a truly incredible show, but it was my first experience at T5 and I don't like it. I agree the sound wasn't nearly as good as this band deserves, plus the sight lines are a real shame. A higher stage and some tiers in the balconies would work wonders. When we got closer to the stage the sound improved, but that shouldn't be the case. That said, Opeth being **awesome** trumped the sound issues for the most part.

Posted by AW | April 9, 2010 5:51 PM

Flew in from Atlanta for the gig, and for a special, one-time only show like this, wish they could've played a more special venue. Thought the sound could've been a lot clearer and more well-rounded. Plenty of bass guitar but not enough drums. Band played their asses off and it must've been a challenge for all of them to learn/relearn all that material. Was my 6th Opeth gig, and I'd only heard 4 of the 18 tunes live in person before. Would've axed the 2-3 older tunes in favor of more new stuff but it was still cool to hear each and every song.

Posted by John in ATL | April 12, 2010 10:15 PM

It was an awesome show, despite the venue being less than what Opeth deserved. I wrote a review of my own if anyone wants to check it out: http://wp.me/pMfF3-P

Posted by Renee Trotier | August 11, 2010 4:32 AM

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