Let me just start by saying GREAT SHOW!
The venue was pretty well packed. The last time Enslaved headlined Toronto they played the same place; the Opera House. I'd say it was 1/4 full at best then, this was in late-2007. This time around it wasn't a sellout, but at least 3/4 full. In fact, I think there were more people there for the first band Empyrean Plague than there were for Enslaved the last time they headlined in Toronto. So tours with Opeth and Dimmu Borgir has definatly payed off for the band.
As for the openers I wasn't familiar with any of them so I can't give any setlists. Empyrean Plague were a local-ish band and weren't very good. Straight up black metal. Junius were actually pretty good post-rock metal. They really reminded my of the band ...In the Woods mixed with Isis. They were cool enough. Alcest was a pleasent surprise. I'd never heard them but I'd heard of them, right now I'm even listening to a song called Printemps Emeraude
that I'm pretty sure they played. And the crowd was loving them. They could probably headline a smaller venue in Toronto no problem. Their last song threw me for a complete loop, after five songs of Sigur Ros-like coo-ing the singer burst out this black metal wailing. That was actually the worst song they played, it sounded like something from earlier in their career. Judging from the other setlists I've read of them from this tour and what I'm listening to on YouTube right now I think they played the same set tonight as Montreal last night, but I don't know enough to post. They made a fan in me tonight, I was very impressed. Overall a good choice for openers, they all sounded close enough to Enslaved that they fit in but not too close to the point where they sounded like clones (but who does sound like Enslaved).
After what was a much too long break, I swear it was 45 minutes, Enslaved came on and blew the roof off the place. I'm not sure if this was the best time I've seen them, in five times every show had something special, but this time will be remembered as the band at the best performance-wise. They just commanded the building and had so much confidence, it was great.
Herbrand Larsen has either been taking lessons or just gotten more confident in his roll with the band because the first few times I saw them his vocals were...well they weren't that great. And every time since then he's gotten better and tonight was the best. Grutle sounded great and seemed to be having a great time, telling some great terrible jokes between songs. I mean bad jokes. Ice Dale does have a bit of rock-star swagger to him but he ruled. Cato was great behind the kit and Ivar does what he's done every time I see them which is just stay off to the right of Grutle and hold things together.
1. Ethica Odini
3. Fusion of Sense and Earth
8. As Fire Swept Clean The Earth
10. Allfáğr Oğinn
11. Immigrant Song
As I said, the break before them was really long so I wonder if something was up and the Voices
got cut for that reason. Isa
wasn't as bad a closer this time. The band just sorta stopped and everyone was like, "okay, let's cheer", and they went crazy and the band did their bows. I've posted on here before my dissatisfaction with them not playing the Watcher
but didn't I get in my car and drive home and Sirius Sattelite's Liquid Metal channel 40 played the Watcher
. So the night ended perfect.