This was the third of my three shows in a row this week, and I think I've earned a rest.
The concert was already sold-out (about 2300 people) since a few days and even before the first band had started, the place was packed. Since the Metropolis isn't the most adapted venue for fast crowd movement, getting out of it or just going to the bathroom was painful. On the other hand, the full venue had its advantages: when Ghost hit the stage, they were greeted by incredibly loud chants and applause. Just like when they played at the Corona Theatre last time, they gave a spectacular and theatrical performance. I believe that their costumes and their use of incense no longer need explanation. They played a very short set of songs from their album Opus Eponymous
(next time they play here, they really need to pull out some new songs). The only thing that seems to be changing over time is that "Papa Emeritus I" is gaining more confidence as a frontman. He talks more and more with the crowd, and his vocal performance is stunning. I was a bit disappointed by the briefness of their set: they didn't even play their first single, "Elizabeth". Though, a Ghost show is always fun to watch, because of the catchiness of the songs and the quality of the staging.
Then came the first of the co-headlining bands: Mastodon. The huge backdrop picturing the special edition cover of The Hunter
and the very Rush-inspired way of using the lightings (a lot of color changes, and rays making shapes in the air) gave a really cool visual aspect to the show. Musically, they were almost as good as when they played on their headline tour in 2011. They just had a bit less energy, especially Brent. This time they played their most recent record in its almost-entirety (with the exception of "Creature Lives", that they had played last time as their finale). They namely played "The Sparrow" for the first time ever, and the awesome "Hand of Stone" from Blood Mountain
! "The Sparrow" was particularly beautiful, with Brent playing spectral notes on a horizontal guitar (maybe a steel guitar, I couldn't see) for the first half of the song. For the older songs and for some new ones ("Spectrelight" and "Blasteroid"), there was a huge, overcrowded, but still fun pit. I would have liked to hear something from Remission
, but it was still an excellent Mastodon performance.
This date had Opeth closing the bill, probably because Mastodon had recently headlined here. I was happy with that and I was really looking forward to see them; they hadn't played a real show here since 2009 (they played at Heavy MTL, but I don't count a 40 minutes set with idiots moshing and talking as a real Opeth show). I knew what to expect from the setlist, a pretty high concentration of new songs, but I was still hoping to hear something pre-Deliverance, namely "The Drapery Falls". Unfortunately, their song choice hid no surprise. However, the new songs sounded good live, especially "Slither" and the masterpiece "Folklore", but the highlight of the set for me was the beautiful "Windowpane" from the soft/emotional album Damnation
. As always Mikael was hilarious, making jokes about hard rock, hockey, and about how the Swedes were a superior people.
Like Mastodon, they had interesting visual effects: they had four white screens with the "O" logo printed on them and they projected animations that fitted with the songs on them. For example, for "Windowpane" they had windows with faces behind them that "disappeared and returned again" (that's a reference to the lyrics by the way
). The sound was almost impeccable, just as for the two previous bands, but I would have lowered the bass in the mix a little bit. As they promised earlier, they rewarded us with two death metal songs at the end. Like they did in 2009, they closed with the excellent "Deliverance", which was my second highlight of the set. Before playing it, Mikael teased the crowd and joked about playing a death metal cover of "Welcome to the Jungle". He even played the first riff as the intro to the song, which was hilarious.
I wasn't disappointed by any of the bands that night, but I wasn't that much impressed neither, mainly because of the song selections. It was a great concert, but I just don't know if it was worth the 46$ I payed for it.
Con Clavi Con Dio
Satan Prayer (extended)
Hand of Stone
Dry Bone Valley
Octopus Has No Friends
Crack the Skye
All the Heavy Lifting
Curl of the Burl
Blood and Thunder
The Devil's Orchard
I Feel the Dark
The Lines in my Hand
The Grand Conjuration