Thursday, April 02, 2009

To Bid Me Farewell

This one was the most overwhelming concert for me. Picture this, you're leaving a country for good tomorrow and one of your most favourite band is playing live today...what a perfect farewell huh!!! That's precisely what happened to me, while I was bidding my final good-bye to Mexico the Swedish progressive metal band OPETH were in town as a part of their Watershed Tour 2009.

The concert was held in Café Iguana in the Monterrey downtown on 28th March 2009. We entered the concert area by 7:30, it was dark and crowded with metal heads, with a thick red curtain veiling the high stage in front of us. The recorded music kept playing till the concert kick started, the stage was unveiled a little earlier than the concert. There were three racks of hefty Marshall amplifiers and, in Michael's words, "a sparkling golden drums chosen by Martin for the evening". There were sound testers who riffed some heavy rhythms and tested the microphones.

At 8:35, the stage went completely dark and a dense white smoke started emanating from the sides. A synthesized tone, pretty much like at the start of Lamentations DVD, filled the entire room while Mikael and his boys made their way to the stage. They belted out "Heir Apparent", a perfect opening track for from their latest album Watershed. This was followed by one of my all time favourite Opeth tracks "Ghost of Perdition", I was going insane, screaming my throat out for this song.

The setlist was as follows:

Heir Apparent
Ghost Of Perdition
Leper Affinity
The Night And The Silent Water
Hessian Peel
Lotus Eater


Boys from the northern land definitely felt hot in Monterrey and Mike mocked "We're sweating huh! We're looking for some ladies who can lick the sweat out of our armpits". The lead guitarist Fredrick Åkesson, showed off some blazing heavy metal soloing techniques which was f*#$kin impressive and the bassist Mendez got a great ovation. Closure, was almost as played in Lamentations DVD with some thrilling guitar effects and stuff. The Night And The Silent Water received the loudest response among all other tracks.

In the encore, the band came up with Indio cervezas in their hands, after a couple of swills Mike said, "We're gonna end this beautiful evening with a beautiful track" and started the mind-blowing solo of Deliverance. Deliverance again is one of my all time favourite songs with some brilliant intonations, solos and a f*#kin good outro. I expected them to play few of their anthem tracks like Bleak, Black Water Park, When, Windowpane but nevertheless the concert was altogether an out-of -the-world experience.

The Opeth magic didn't just get over there, I was serendipitous to catch the entire band at the Monterrey International airport. I handshook with all the band members, got their autographs and got photographed with them. I told Mike that I was from India and he told me that they had been to Chennai for the concert. Below are the photographs I took with the band.

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