Opeth have excelled over the years. It feels as though, whenever they’re in NY, they have to book a legendary venue. Back in 2016, we saw them perform at Radio City Music Hall. While we flew out to Colorado for their impeccable Red Rocks concert, four years later, these Swedish progressive metal masters have selected their return to NYC to be held at the iconic Apollo theater.
These Swedish progressive metal Gods’ tour in support of their new masterpiece, In Cauda Venenum, kicked off on February 13th in Cleveland, OH. Sadly, the trek is coming to a close tomorrow (4th) in Los Angeles. We were there during the band’s iconic set at the Apollo on February 21st, 2020. A few days before their scheduled appearance, frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt was diagnosed with acute laryngitis as we feared the NYC appearance could potentially get cancelled, along with the rest of the tour. Luckily, it didn’t.
The overall vibe had a chill atmosphere, which makes you want to see more concerts held at the Apollo. It was a fully seated event, but, of course, that didn’t stop fans from standing throughout Opeth’s set. The placement of the bar wasn’t in an awkward area, and everything was laid out for all to feel at ease and comfortable.
Sweden’s psychedelic rockers, Graveyard kicked off the night as they warmed up the crowd with their tranquilizing beats. Their set continued to attract the early-bird audience with positive vibes as they grooved through songs such as “An Industry of Murder,” “Hisingen Blues,” “Uncomfortably Numb,” and “Cold Love.”
After a short break, it was time for Opeth to take the stage, and this was probably the best lighting set up I have ever seen from them. Despite a recent health scare, Åkerfeldt’s voice sounded on point and, at times, heavy. The cinematic background of the band only enhanced the dramatization as fans were at a wholly entranced state. Although many of their songs are at least ten minutes long, the night flew by as they continued to perform a number of tracks consisting of their new album along with some heavier classics including, “The Leper Affinity” and “To Rid the Disease.”
While there are fans who remain disappointed by their progressive shift, many consider Opeth one of “the best bands in the world.” There’s not one dull moment seeing these Swedes live. The group’s energy was visible, and the detail behind each touring cycle never goes unnoticed. The new album, In Cauda Venenum’s, run was clearly made special as they had a decent split between celebrating their new album and honoring their earlier catalog.
“The Leper Affinity”
“Hjärtat vet vad handen gör”
“Moon Above, Sun Below”
“To Rid the Disease”
“The Lotus Eater”
“Allting tar slut”