Here`s a review that some lucky bastard wrote about an Opeth gig he went to on Wednesday.
With the lone, notable exception of NoMeansNo, Opeth is the greatest band that ever was or ever will be. Live, they take it up a notch. Parts that were interesting and relaxing on iPod are suddenly devastatingly heavy and all-consuming. They're like Led Zepplin in that regard -- live shit outclassing tremendously classy recorded shit -- except Opeth doesn't look like a bunch of swish, anorexic gypsies. Tonight, the fourteenth of March in the two-thousand and six, I was lucky enough to catch the Los Angeles appearance of the band's Chronology 1995-2005. Happening only in New York, Chicago and LA (take that you San Fran wannabes), Opeth aims to play cuts off of all eight of their records in chronological order. Seriously, they actually fucking thought this up and then pulled it off. How was it? Keep reading.
OK, so Opeth set out to do what for fans is honestly the coolest fucking thing a band could possibly do. I mean, three straight hours (no opening bands!) of music spanning their entire career. I think the show sold out before some of the younger kids in the audience were born. But... the whole setup was ridiculous. First of all, it was at the Wiltern. While beautiful and historic and all that, I'd rather sit in my car then get felt up by some security asshole, charged $7 for twelve ounces of beer and have to pay $10 to simply park. Second, we were fifty yards away from the stage and my ticket cost $28.50. I'm sorry, my ticket cost $38.30, as Ticket Master was kind enough to tack on a $9.80 "convenience fee." How these fuckers (T. Master) aren't rotting in federal prison for racketeering is beyond the realm of satisfactory answers. And I bought two tickets... Anyhow, we were hella far away from the stage, dude.
Furthermore, Opeth is ridiculous. Five thirty-year-old Swedish guys with hair down to their elbows singing songs about Demons, Hounds and Lepers. Mikael and Peter look like they are co-staring in the next Johnny Depp pirate movie. Cousin It is still on bass. Shockingly, Aeon, appears to be playing keyboards and the replacement drummer for the great Martin Lopez calls himself "Devastator." Yes, Mike made the blowjob face every time he soloed. Yes, his odd brand of black metal Borsht-belt humor was ever present between songs (take my drummer, please!) And yes, he did tell us that he would make devil signs whenever we the audience "pleased" him. And the crowd... My best friend and I were surrounded by 3,500 goofy-haired, acne-tragedies that have never taken their shirts off outdoors. To misquote an old Schultz song:
I do so much meth
Elmer's glue on my breath
Looking up Lita Ford's dress
Is my El Camino jacked up? Yes.
My fingerless gloves are mesh
AC/DC patch on my denim vest
I'm so hesh, fuck a John Tesh -- etc.
It was, in a word, grim. Then the band started playing...
I don't have a spiritual bone in my body. Come holiday time I only get horny. If something odd or serendipitous happens, I turn to science. A black cat crosses my path? I speed up. But fuck all that in the ear because tonight's set was straight up magic. I forget the names of the first three songs and I suppose I could look them up, but pay no mind. They were off Orchid, Morning Rise and My Arms, Your Hearse, respectively. I think I was just so excited to actually be in Opeth's presence that my mind slipped. Litereally, mind-blowing. Then they got to what I still consider the band's high-water mark, Still Life. True, they did not play "The Moor" nor "Melinda," but they did play "White Cluster" and holy shit, holy shit, holy fucking shit!!! So good... you people have no idea what you missed.
Then came "The Leper Affinity" from Blackwater Park. I almost impaled myself on my own erection. Hot fucking digity! Beautiful, simply beautiful.
You know what comes next, right? Blackwater Park was their fifth album, so therefore Deliverance, with the almighty title track, uh, "Deliverance" would be next. Wrong! Opeth pulled a fast one and played "A Fair Judgment," which, incidentally, sounded fifteen times better than on the record. Fucking incredible. They stop and Mike starts explaining to us how Burt Reynolds inspired him to not only write the album, but to grow the moustache. And something about how Burt taught him sodomy. I'm not making this up. We all know what's coming, so Mike says, "This is 'Free Falling' by Tom Petty" and then... Dant Dant Dant -- Dant Dant Dant, Guh-Dant Dant Dant -- Dant Dant Dant!
Opeth played "Deliverance."
People of earth, I've led a better life than you. You might have a loving spouse and adoring kids and own property and have a retirement account and a personal relationship with the imaginary sky-god of your choosing, but I've seen "Deliverance" played live -- so fuck you, I win. I don't even know what else can be said. Yes, it was that good. I wanted to hug the crowd, or at least hold hands with the burned out, overly-tattooed dude to my right. Touched my soul, man. For those of you that have seen Opeth live, "Deliverance" was so rocking that Peter moved.
There were a few tracks from Damnation next, and while still an Opeth album, it is the record you put on when you want to fuck a lame girl to Opeth and Mike's "normal" vocals bug her. Moving along...
For some idiotic, lazy reason I haven't taken the time to review Opeth's latest and greatest "offering," the mesmerizing Ghost Reveries. I mentioned my lust for it while I was fellating Mike, but it needs repeating that people who say Opeth has gone down hill should be murdered where they sleep. The three best songs off of Reveries are "Ghost of Perdition," "The Baying of the Hounds," and "The Grand Conjuration." And Opeth played all three in a row! I totally shit myself and I'm never washing these jeans. Even though Mike assured us that the band would never do anything as ambitious as Chronology again (three-straight hours of pure, ecstatic beauty and death), Opeth will continue touring and they will play the new stuff. Sell your blood platelets or your ovum for tickets. Serious -- beyond the scope of the word "rad." Opeth was glorious, magic, five hearts beating as one. Yes, I just said that.
Oh, and they closed the evening with "Demon of the Fall." To quote the great a greater mind than mine, "Ha ha!"