Opeth @ Shepherd’s Bush 2008

On the one hand, I found a side road to park on, so that is a plus for future shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire, on the other hand, their organisation was sadly lacking again.  There was no clear distinction between the queue for the upper levels and the queue for the box office to collect tickets, so that process took an age, and then at least half of those waiting to get into the stalls missed at least some of The Ocean.  I only caught their last two songs – so I will try to get a better view on them on Saturday in Nottingham.

I was talking to someone in the queue about Cynic.  I had seen and heard them for the first time earlier in the week at Birmingham, and told him that while I enjoyed the individual parts of each of their tracks, it all seemed disjointed – he assured me it was meant to sound like that.  And on seeing them a second time it did come together far better – I am looking forward to seeing them again at Nottingham.

And now the reason for the title to this blog – Opeth were wearing the same tshirts they had on at Birmingham, so they are either a smelly band, have multiple copies of the same tshirts, or have access to some excellent laundry services.  I’m going for smelly !

Opeth had a big screen at the back of the stage this time, with extended images from the album relevant to the track they were playing – which added some visual and colour stimulus to the whole experience.  They were on fine form again, in front of a packed crowd – it was sold out in advance.  Mikael Akerfeldt had the crowd in his hands, as always – a particular favourite from last night was “This is a ballad…so I will try to sing it with 300% feeling…just like Bon Jovi”.  He also managed to introduce the drummer, Martin Axenrot, twice – but did point out what an excellent surname he has.  Lots of power and energy both in the performance and in the crowd, as the band flow seamlessly from all out aggression to beautiful softer moments.

There was a slight change to the set list from Birmingham

Heir Apparent
The Grand Conjuration
Godhead’s Lament
Lotus Eater  Bleak
Hope Leaves
Demon Of The Fall
The Drapery Falls

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