Opeth - Speaking of related genres... Opeth have long been one of the finest compositional bands in the metal field and have used folk elements and progressive moves for many years. I was curious to see how the crowd would react to the brand new material which is as progressive as it gets with arguably no metal in any of the songs. They begin with the newer material which goes over well from what I can hear. The fascinating thing was that when they dug out lots of cuts from older albums, they chose the most progressive or folk oriented cuts. The demon voice did not appear in the nearly two hour set (I did not stay for encores, so perhaps Mikael summoned up the beast). There was some back and forth with the crowd, with Mikael Akefeldt coming up with the better punchlines or just telling them to shut up. But the humor was good and I did not sense that too many people were disappointed. The acoustic guitars made a long appearance, but the crowd stayed with it the whole way. And ultimately the set was quite rewarding. I think I enjoyed the sharper contrasts I saw in the last tour a bit more, but I think what I really enjoyed more was the stronger sound at the 9:30 Club, as the sound was again too compressed from where I was standing. Late in the set, the crowd clapped along with a conga bit without any encouragement from the stage. That felt good, as the crowd indeed proved itself sharp and willing to follow this extremely and versatile band in whatever direction they wish to go. There is so much skill here, that I would not dream of jumping ship. If anything, I will settle in for an even longer voyage.
Quote of the Day: I paraphrase Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt as he spoke about eye contact he does from the stage and how as a fan he always felt he was being looked at by the band... "I was in a club watching Dee Snider with his SMFs band and there were only a few people there, but they were all about five meters in front of me as I stood in the back leaning against the wall. Dee Snider then looks at me and says 'You motherfucker, why aren't you having a good time like the rest of them.'"