I'd been waiting for this show all week, since the weekend was really shitty and stressful, and I was ready to blow off some steam. I took the bus downtown and got there about an hour before the doors opened at 6:30. For whatever reason, they took forever getting people in and I didn't get in the door till 7. I'd noticed that the crowd was 90% high school jerkoffs in bondage pants, which is pretty much what I expected.
Anyways, I had just enough time to go to the bar and slam a $4 Heineken before Sanctity came on. They got off on the wrong foot right away, because the singer's mic was fucked up and you couldn't hear a thing. The lead guitarist's amp kept cutting out as well. I suppose it was for the better, though, since the singer was AWFUL and the lead guitar player couldn't solo for shit. They didn't get the mic working until their last song, and I think the singer mentioned that their set got cut short, as if that were a bad thing. I have to give them credit, though, because they really put their hearts into it and looked like they were having a good time.
Judging from the crowd's demographic, I was expecting Opeth to get a cold shoulder from the audience, but I was surprised at the huge reaction they got. As soon as they launched into Ghost of Perdition (after a shockingly quick setup), you couldn't hear Mikael, and I was worried for a second, but they got it fixed almost instantly. As I expected, they completely blew me away. The whole band was impeccable, and although Martin Lopez is gone, his replacement is more than qualified to fill his shoes. The setlist was great, and we got a song that Gigantour didn't, "The Grand Conjuration," which was probably the highlight of the night for me. Here's the whole setlist, 100% correct and in order:
Ghost of Perdition
The Leper Affinity
The Grand Conjuration
ADD was right, Mikael is a funny motherfucker on stage. My favorite line: "We're from Sweden, and we're very nice people. We are also big fans of porn." He also got the crowd to say "Mikael is a fucking cunt" in Swedish
Overall, their set was amazing and mindblowing, and as I said earlier, the crowd was really into them.
I could tell right away that the push for the front was going to be pretty intense for Lamb of God, and I was right. I had to stonewall a few fat bitches in eyeliner who were trying to get closer. Once Lamb of God hit the stage with "Walk With Me in Hell," the place fucking exploded. I have honestly never seen a crowd that intense and insane before. I couldn't move for the first couple of songs (a shame, since they played some of my favorites right out of the gate), but eventually I was shifted to a spot that wasn't so bad, or so I thought. Everything was good for a while, but then a circle pit broke out right next to me and I took two punches to the stomach within about 10 seconds, and that's when I decided I had enough. After flipping off some dipshit who wanted me to lift him so he could crowd surf, I headed for the back to grab some water and watch the mayhem from a safer, less annoying distance. Most of the people at this show may have been total fucking retards, but goddamn they were energetic. The band themselves sounded pretty tight, and were really into it. The light show and visual effects were extremely well done, and really enhanced the show. Randy Blythe's banter was pretty dumb, with every second word "fuck," but he knew how to get the crowd going. Here's the setlist, it's out of order except for the first and last songs:
Walk With Me in Hell
Again We Will Rise
Foot To the Throat
Blacken the Cursed Sun
Laid to Rest
Now You've Got Something to Die For
What I've Become
As the Palaces Burn
Some other song I didn't recognize
They closed with Black Label, and then called it a night. Overall, it was an amazing show, especially from Opeth. If I hadn't been so preoccupied with not getting clobbered by 13 year olds who can't mosh, I probably would have enjoyed Lamb of God's set better, but it was still great.