Opeth and Mastodon @ The Orpheum Theatre – May 1st, 2012


Why is the Orpheum Theatre such a cool place? I mean not to bash the Queen Elizabeth Theatre or anything, but for some reason the Orpheum is just has this vibe about it, that I love. Maybe it is the intricate wall carvings or the deep swooping horizon that is the upper balcony. Regardless of the reason, it makes for a damn good place to host a rock show.

Tuesday night, as I entered the belly of the beast, I was amidst a see of long-haired metal lovers. The headliner was Opeth, the second billing was Mastodon and the appetizer was Ghost. I, unfortunately, only made it to see the main act. But I did hear that both other groups shook the foundation of that joint and had the house mesmerized.

I was set to shoot the show, but as it turns out the reviewer that was lined up, decided to no show. So I took it upon myself to take on both roles. I was what some might call a photo-journalist, or what others might call a jerk with a camera, and poor grammar. Regardless I found myself in this situation and was pleased to do my best, and cover this amazing night.

As I stood at side stage, waiting on the main act, I looked around the room and saw this pulsating energy swirling about. Their wasn’t even a band on stage and people were pumping their fists and cheering. It was setting up to be a chaotic experience.

The house lights barely lowered, as the stage lights began to glow. From the darkness a series of shadowy figures appeared. The five members of the Swedish born Opeth were towering before us. In one solid movement everyone in attendance stood from their seat, and saluted the musicians with a hardy roar. I could feel the excitement coursing through my veins, my pupils dilated , my heart beat raced, I was ready to rock.

They started the night off with ‘The Devil’s Orchard’ off their latest album, entitled ‘Heritage’.

That was it, they had me like a tractor beam. Those melodic sounds, and that mixture of droning and growling vocals, I was hypnotized. The entire band remained mostly static, throughout the performance. They didn’t have to rely to heavily on “performing” they relied on their musical prowess, and worked the crowd over and over.

The stage lighting added to the level of mysticism of the show. A waft of theatrical mist passed across the stage, as huge blue and purple cone lights backlit the prog-metal masters.

The set was very short, but intense none the less. It probably had to do with the early curfew of the venue. I had a blast none the less

Here is the set list, if you want a peek.

Set List from
The Devil’s Orchard
I Feel the Dark
The Lines in My Hand
Demon of the Fall
The Grand Conjuration

By the end of the night, I turned towards the exit and walked out with my fellow concert goers. Even thought this was a seated event, it felt like I had just left a mosh pit. The light stench of body sweat and hard rock, still lingered in the air. To eh boys in Opeth, I thank you, that is what every Tuesday night should be.

Photos © Jamie Taylor

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