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Opeth Continue To Prove Their Worth At ‘Evolution XX’ Show

Posted by on April 8, 2010

It’s hard to believe that Opeth are celebrating their 20th year, but at least they’re doing it in style. Their 6-date ‘Evolution XX: An Opeth Anthology’ tour played New York City’s Terminal Five last night, one of two US shows. Seeing Opeth is like going to a classical music concert. Their sprawling songs are less tunes than movements, there’s a ton of dynamics and techinicality, and the crowd is more appreciative and civilized than what you’d normally see at a metal show. In fact, my homeboy Axl from Metal Sucks and I were remarking how amazing it was to see 2,800 people doing synchronized head-nodding as they played. It’s no wonder they’ve played at seated venues and had a ballet troupe open up for them before. There was one mosh pit with about 10 people in it, but everyone else was intent to lose themselves in the music, singing and intently nodding.

At the heart of ‘Evolution XX’ was a performance of their epic 2001 album, Blackwater Park, in its entirety. In fact, that was the first of the band’s two sets. That album shows the band firing on all cylinders, perfecting the combination of death metal and melody that’s continued to define them since. The most striking thing about the performance is that they played it without a single interruption. Anyone that’s seen Opeth knows that singer/guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt is essentially a standup comedian in between songs, given to telling stories and ridiculous non-sequiturs in his polite-sounding accent. Not for the first set. In fact, nothing really was said until after the 15-minute intermission, when the band returned.

Upon their return, the band continued by playing one song in from each of their eight albums other albums in sequential order. They mixed it up a little, playing songs like “The Moor” and “Harlequin Forest” (from Ghost Reveries) that they hadn’t played much before was the icing on the cake for the crowd, many of which had traveled to see this show. While Terminal Five isn’t the best place to see a show, the sound was great. I ran into a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in years there with her 15 year-old son. In the same way that I couldn’t believe how big the kid I remember as a baby had gotten, it’s also hard to believe that Opeth is 20 years old, and how amazingly big they’ve gotten over the years as well. Looking forward to the next 20. Set list after the jump:

Set 1:

The Leper Affinity

Bleak

Harvest

The Drapery Falls

Dirge For November

The Funeral Portrait

Patterns In the Ivy

Blackwater Park

Set 2:

FOrest of October

Advent

April Ethereal

The Moor

Wreath

Hope Leaves

Harlequin Forest

The Lotus Eater

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