It seems like I’m only visiting shows of Swedish bands over the last weeks. Dark Funeral, Grand Magus, Amon Amarth, Europe and now the mighty Opeth. However, in the end it shows the variety and quality of Swedish rock/metal music and that's what counts.
So, this time it was Opeth that played a show in The Netherlands and it was the 013 in Tilburg that hosted the Swedish quintet.
Mikael Åkerfeldt and his band mates constantly developed there sound towards a next level and with fan base that's constantly growing. Therefore it wasn’t a big surprise that the venue, eventhough Therapy? played at the same location as well, announced ‘sold out’ already a few days prior to the show.
It was a grey and rainy day in Brabant when Norwegian Sahg entered the stage at 20:00. The four Norwegians have been one the road with the headliner for the earlier shows and it was the night in Tilburg that also marked the end of this touring package. Opeth will continue their tour, with Anathema as support in London and Myrkur for a few more shows in the coming days. Anyhow, Sahg played a great set that had a focus on the latest release named “Memento Mori”. During the first songs played that night the crowd was observant eventhough the songs where great, loud and heavy with agood sound too. It felt a bit like the band and the crowd had to get used to each other because during the set the band/fan interaction was intensified and led to an enthusiastic ending of the gig. Sahg’s powerful metal show was exactly what was needed to prepare the audience for the headliner and I guess that the four guys from Bergen gained some new fans that night.
Opeth is pretty unique. Their sound covers a wide range of metal, coming from death metal and shifting their music towards progressive rock. Opeth’s magic is that they combine everything to a unique mélange that’s still exciting for fans from the earlier days as well as new fans that discovered the band in the more recent prog rock phase. In line with this, it was the audience that was quite diverse too and Åkerfeldt made clear that he and the band tries to entertain everybody in the best possible way. These words weren't only empty phrases and he kept the promise with a setlist that covered almost the entire back catalogue. “Sorceress”, as being the newest album, made it with only two songs to the setlist while the rest of the songs were a ‘best of…’ program, something everybody was looking forward to. Deep growls during songs like "Ghost of Perdition" stood next to fragile vocals ("In My Time"). Long instrumental parts showed the full potential of each of the five musicians who always kept the focus on the music and not on their great technical skills. Opeth plays songs that are more complex and progressive, but they never forget to make them thrilling also for ‘non-musicians’.
Next to 100 minutes of metal and progressive rock its Åkerfeldt’s stories in-between which makes the whole show even more entertaining. In a dry sense of humor he talked about the moment he met Tom G. Warrior from Celtic Frost and so on. Between each of the tracks he offered either a short story or talked with the audience about e.g. age.
All this together made this evening to an awesome metal night that included a short shouting contest at the end of the regular set while a smaller pit started during “Deliverance” - the grand finale.
After almost two hours the last chords faded away in the big room of the 013, leaving a crowd behind that was exhausted but happily heading home, accompanied by the music of an accordion player that was sitting in front of the venue.
- Ghost of Perdition
- Demon of the Fall
- The Wilde Flowers
- Face of Melinda
- In My Time of Need
- Cusp of Eternity
- The Drapery Falls
- Heir Apparent
- The Grand Conjuration
- Deliverance (Encore)
- Hollow Mountain
- Black Unicorn
- Blood of Oceans
Location: 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Date: November 18th, 2016