OPETH w/ DARK TRANQUILLITY AND THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND- FEB. 21, 2006
Last night was a night of metal to remember. Nine hours away from home to witness three bands tear it up, and let me tell you, it was well worth it. As I alluded to in my Queensrÿche review, seeing one of your favorite bands live for the first time is a very special experience. Opeth are one of my much-heralded top five favorite bands, so they qualified for that mindblowing experience.
For a show an hour and a half away with doors at 7 PM, my dad and I departed at 4:15 PM. We first went to Meijer so I could get a Mountain Dew and a notebook to take down the setlists, then we went to Fox's Pizza Den where I got chicken wings, more Mountain Dew, and stole a pen to take the setlists, then we were on the road. We then followed the MapQuest directions until we got to the campus of Ohio State University, which is basically it's own city. It bears no resemblance to the rest of Columbus. After wandering around there for awhile, we found the venue, turned down the street and parked in front of a fraternity house. Hey, it was free. At this point there was still a half hour until doors, so we stood in a line full of the most eclectic mix of obscure heavy metal shirts. From Dark Funeral to Darkthrone, Suffocation to Marduk. I asked someone who was drumming for Opeth, and it wasn't Martin Lopez. It was the dude from Bloodbath. Doors opened and we went inside.
First things first, I had to go to the merch booth. I picked up a Ghost Reveries shirt for $30, a copy of The Devin Townsend Band's new album, Synchestra, for $15, and a poster of them for $1. Needless to say, my wallet is much lighter than it was yesterday. My dad and I found a spot on the rail (of the upper level) and had an incredible elevated view. We agreed to both stick around there until Opeth hit the stage, at which point I was going to shove my way to the first roughly five rows and he would stay there.
After about an hour, The Devin Townsend Band hit the stage. He came out and said "Are you ready for some heavy metal?" and someone yelled "About time!" Heavy Devy said "About time, eh? Ladies and gentlemen, this man is downright clever." in the most sarcastic voice he could muster. He started off everyone's evening in high spirits as he ripped through a half hour set. His stage banter is possibly the most hilarious I've ever seen. He was taking an insane solo, and in the middle of it, the whole band stopped, and he pulled of his cap and yelled into the mic "HE'S BALD!". Everyone was cracking up at everything he said. The setlist drew primarily from the new album, Synchestra, which let me tell you, is a killer album that everyone should own.
After the DTB left the stage, there was about a half hour of downtime before Dark Tranquillity. My dad thought Devin was a pure musician and really enjoyed the DTB show. We held our spot on the rail, and I even spread to hold both of our spots while he got me a new pen, because the one I stole died. That's God speaking to me, I do believe. Anyhow, Dark Tranquillity opened with the keyboard line of "The Wonders At Your Feet" without introduction, then went through the rest of the set with very little commentary inbetween, save for "This is a song from ________. It's called ________." Dark Tranquillity are a testament to how boring and identical Gothenburg metal can sound. About three of the songs they played sounded different from the rest. I wasn't terribly disappointed, though, because upon purchasing the tickets, I knew these guys were just good enough for me to sit through. The setlist didn't go back too far in the catalogue, save for one song from The Gallery.
The Wonders At Your Feet
Lost to Apathy
The Treason Wall
The New Build
Punish My Heaven
After my dad deciding that he didn't like Dark Tranquillity, I departed for the lower level to see Opeth, the band I was there to see in the first place. They didn't take too long to get on the stage, twenty minutes at the most. Mikael came out and started blasting away into the growled opening vocals of "Ghost of Perdition". Mikael's onstage persona is hilarious as well, and he took his precious time between songs to crack jokes while tuning. Since he was up there two hours, there were quite a few memorable ones. I'll give you these: "Anyone heard of Bloodbath? Yeah, I did an album with them. I actually vomited before doing the vocals. There was some blood in the vomit. The doctors say it's a sign of cancer, but to me it was just a sign of death metal.", "I had one of those nutrition bars that Americans are so crazy about. It wasn't bad. I thought about putting some as a part of our stage set, but that's really not very metal.", "I went to the used record store on campus and found some cheap King Diamond records, so I bought them. I can't wait to get back to Sweden...to sell them." The funniest thing said, however, wasn't by Mikael, but a fan. Mikael started talking about how he and Peter were playing more and more tennis on tour, and how Peter always lost. A fan yelled over everyone else, loud and clear: "Peter, you suck!". Mikael and Peter looked in the general direction, and the guy timed it perfectly. He waited about three seconds and yelled "...at tennis!" Everyone, including the band, broke down laughing. The setlists wasn't the same as either we have, but a mixture of songs from each. He was very courteous, and said he would love to come back to Columbus.
Ghost of Perdition
The Amen Corner
The Baying of the Hounds
Under the Weeping Moon
The Grand Conjuration
The Drapery Falls
Dark Tranquillity were hanging out in the bar after the show. I gave them the horns, but they didn't earn me talking to them
. All in all, it was one of the best nights of my metal life, and I got a third Mt. Dew on the way home, so basically, the fun never stopped.
Go see Opeth, everyone!