Fresh of the release of “Sorceress” their 12th studio album, Sweden’s Opeth played First Avenue last night. The crowd was tall guys with some kids thrown in (brought along by their parents and sporting great hearing protection). Both bands had impressive merch booths that were busy throughout the show.
Opening was Austin, TX The Sword. Composed of John D. Cronise, Kyle Shutt, Bryan Richie and Santiago Vela. They just released “Low Country” an acoustic version of 2015’s “High Country”. There was already a good sized crowd at First Avenue to see them perform and The Sword did not disappoint.
Set List: Brujas / Buzzards / Thieves / Sisters / Mist / Agartha / Maiden / Mysterious / Temples
Opeth has a quite dedicated fan base and the anticipation during the intro before the band took to the stage was noticeable. Many shouts and raised hands greeted the five-piece. Singer Mikael Åkerfeldt exclaimed: “We’re going to entertain you guys with music tonight” before making a reference to Chocolate Torte and Creme Brulee – maybe one of the band members has hidden talents? Through the set Åkerfeldt chatted with the crowd with his deep voice and very dry sense of humor.
I was not familiar with Opeth before the show and was positively surprised. I have always been a sucker for bands with a grand orchestral vibe and Opeth delivered that. It’s metal but it has complexity – as another review put it, the music “warrants listening to in a dark room with the volume up”. Fans had a great time, with hands and fists raised at the start of pretty much every song. Overall, a great performance that resonated well with the crowd.
Set List: Sorceress / Ghost of Perdition / Demon of the Fall / The Wilde Flowers / Face of Melinda / In My Time of Need / Will O the Wisp / Cusp of Eternity / The Drapery Falls / The Devil’s Orchard / Hex Omega Encore: Deliverance