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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   OPETH - DOWNSCARED
Opeth © Cora Gonser Matrix - Bochum (D)
September 28th 2003

http://www.opeth.com
http://mitglied.lycos.de/downscared/

Before Opeth were to enter the stage it was DOWNSCARED's duty to open the night with their show. I had no information about them, all I know is that Opeth have local support bands for the current European tour (except the upcoming Skandinavian dates). What can I say? Downscared play heavy rock in the vein of HIM/Sentenced/Heroes Del Silencio and their singer, who's definitely having potential, doesn't really fit to this kind of music imho. Besides they could use a real keyboardist because they use keys in every song but it's all programmed, which in my opinion shouldn't be a permanent solution. And while I was thinking they offer nothing special at all with their music a girl turned up for a duet. Of course it's nothing really new also, but still a variation. Too bad she couldn't really sing that well. In one song they had mixed lyrics, both English and German, and some of the guitar solos sounded a little Paradise Lost-influenced. Their appearance was very uninspired, I have no idea if they didn't enjoy playing there? But the band is probably not very experienced with playing live, so there's still hope for improvement.

Mikael Åkerfeldt © Cora Gonser Then it was time for OPETH. As I had just seen a close-to-perfection performance a few days ago in Stockholm (see my other review) I was curious to see how the show would turn out this night in an ordinary venue. To make it short, they didn't top the show in Stockholm but still were great. The sound was quite good, I've expected much worse in the Matrix. When they started to play I got goosebumps and with anticipation I waited for Mikael's beautiful vocals to set in. The "Damnation" album was again played in sequence, this time without "Harvest" in between but with "Benighted" closing the first set. Or what I thought would be the first set. I was so sure they'd play more or less the same show like they did in Stockholm and in the beginning Mikael even said they'd play some older, more metal songs later if we were nice to them ;) But Opeth wouldn't be Opeth if they didn't do just exactly what they want to do. And so to my very surprise they indeed played older tunes but stayed more or less acoustic. "To Bid You Farewell" was the second track that was not off the "Damnation" album. Suggestions from the audience for an other older song ("Black Rose Immortal") were rejected after Mikael as well as Peter had tried to remember the chords for it and failed ;) I very much like the way Mikael communicates with the crowd by the way. Even though it's not all too much and he's such a quiet/relaxed (I don't know how to say) kind of guy - with his humour shining through he always manages to make people smile. Peter Lindgren and Mikael Åkerfeldt © Cora GonserAnd looking back I'm wondering why it appears to be entertaining when he says "Ich bin verheiratet" ("I'm married") and claims this to be his only knowledge in German, hehe. But on with the songs. Another surprise came in form of a Deep Purple cover "Soldiers Of Fortune", followed by "Face Of Melinda". Then Opeth said goodbye and off they went. But people were screaming and clapping for more, so they returned for an encore, which of course had to be "Harvest". Again superb backing vocals courtesy of guest musician Per Wiberg. I was perfectly fine with this more acoustic based set as this is probably how I like Opeth best. But I guess there were quite a few fans that would have loved to hear some more metal songs as well that night (I would not have minded either but as I said, I can very well do without). Either way, this was only the second time in total that I saw the band live, both dates being within one week. No idea how representative these gigs were. Opeth is not a band that is putting up a great "show" on stage but it's a band with some guys that "live" their songs while playing them. They're about the music itself and it's easy to let go and absorb each and every note. And I got the impression that they're damn happy Mikael Åkerfeldt © Cora Gonserwith what they do.

Setlist:
Windowpane
In My Time Of Need
Death Whisperd A Lullaby
Closure
Hope Leaves
To Rid The Desease
Ending Credits
Weakness
Benighted
To Bid You Farewell
Soldiers Of Fortune
Face Of Melinda
Harvest




submitted by Cora 29.09.2003

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