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 Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review

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LOR
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PostSubject: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Wed May 01, 2013 3:13 pm

Apparently, just seeing Opeth at a venue close to home on a reasonable weekend day was too convenient for me and my friends to be bothered with. And so we prayed for some excuse to go to a concert hall 4 hours away in Albany on a Sunday night to see them. This excuse came in the form of a concert where they would be sharing the stage with Steven Wilson and Katatonia at Upstate Concert Hall in New York. Our prayers were answered.

One would imagine that driving a total of 8 hours and finally returning home at about 5 in the morning would diminish the perceived quality of any concert experience. Luckily, this little ordeal added to the fun and made the whole thing seem like an adventure. The only negativity in our minds on the way to the show, was the knowledge that Opeth's and Steven Wilson's sets would be shorter than normal because of the double headliner.

The stagnant line of black clad metal-heads was extremely long (apparently waiting in line for 2 hours had some secret purpose I'm not privy too). So obviously, because my friends are people of good sense, we decided to make a trip to the grocery store across the street and buy beer to keep us entertained while we waited. This took longer than expected, and as we were imbibing alcohol in the parking lot of the venue, we missed a good portion of Katatonia's set. Only one of our group was a big enough fan to leave our delinquency to watch the performance. I am not a huge Katatonia fan. I saw them open for Devin Townsend months ago, and I honestly had no desire to see them again. I thought it was a very monotone and unexciting show made more monotone and unexciting by the fact that I am not a listener of theirs to begin with. These sentiments were mostly confirmed by the friend who saw the set. He enjoyed the music for the most part, but he was not blown away by the performance. We all walked in for the last few minutes of Katatonia's set. It looked very much like the show I saw earlier in the year so I had no regrets.

I am not the biggest Steven Wilson fan. I enjoy some Porcupine Tree every now and then, and I haven't listened to his new album yet (though I probably will eventually) so I had a neutral mindset going into his performance. Sonically, the set was fantastic. The venue seemed to sound a bit better than most around my area. I could hear everything, and it didn't get too muddy. They all played extremely well to boot as they are all top-notch musicians. The stand-outs for me were Guthrey Govan (guitar) and Theo Travis (flute/sax) who are just astounding players. One thing that can help a listener be engaged with unfamiliar music is musical prowess and they kept me thoroughly impressed and interested throughout the set. This is not to take anything away from the other members as they were all fantastic. I am aware that I complained about stage presence for Katatonia, and the Steven Wilson band isn't a bubbly cacophony of charisma either, but they were a step up, and I feel I just got a lot more out of them musically. Wilson's banter, although sparse, was entertaining as well.

I know Opeth the most out of all the bands. As a consequence, I enjoyed their set the most. Unlike their last tour, which I've heard contained mostly Heritage material, this set featured songs from all over their catalog which is great for someone like me who hasn't listened to that album enough yet to really feel the need to see it live (and for those legions of people who just hate that album in general). Akerfeldt at some point explained that he was sick and that his singing was suffering a bit, but I would have been fooled if he had never even mentioned it. Once again, it was a technically sound performance. There was nothing for me to complain about as everything seemed to be played exactly how it should be. The one exception being Demon of the Fall, which performed acoustically and I actually enjoyed that quite a bit (which is odd, I am not usually too fond of acoustic renditions of things). Akerfeldt's banter was charming and delightful, constantly making stabs and jests at himself and the metal scene. He also interacted with the audience at times which was amusing. Once again, like the previous acts, Opeth is not a band to loose their shit on stage and break their amplifiers with their broken guitars while the drummer lights his cymbals on fire and frisbees them off into the audience. This is simply not their, or the other bands' “thing”. Nor is this something they SHOULD be doing as the music does not call for it (for the most part). This entire show was more focused on atmosphere and we got that by the bucket load. The lights were also enough to keep the sugar(beer)-addled 5 year old in me engaged (OOO PRETTY).

In conclusion, this was a great concert. It might not be one of my all-time favorite performances but it was a good-ass time. The overall experience with the insane travel time and all was awesome. I enjoyed the adventure.

Fucking hell was it expensive though

Katatonia- N/A Steven Wilson Band- 7.5/10 Opeth- 8/10

Concert Overall- 7.75/10
Overall Experience- 8.5/10











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PostSubject: Re: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Wed May 01, 2013 7:20 pm

Great review man. Sara was actually at the Opeth concert when they came by Southern Ontario, said the singer kind of lost his ability to scream.

Sounds like you couldn't tell the difference, good for him. Opeth comes off as a class act, I'm a fan

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PostSubject: Re: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Wed May 01, 2013 8:33 pm

Maybe he was in better shape for us. i also expect things not to be absolutely perfect sounding in a live situation. thought it was pretty awesome though. and thanks!

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PostSubject: Re: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Thu May 02, 2013 8:56 pm

Wish I coulda been there man. Sounds like a damn good time. Shits been so busy though. Anyway, this was really well-written.
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PostSubject: Re: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Fri May 03, 2013 3:21 am

thanks! there's def some grammar issues with it though- not a writer

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PostSubject: Re: Opeth/Steven Wilson/Katatonia Concert Review   Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:47 pm

I saw Opeth when they were touring for Heritage and Katatonia opened. It was a great show! The acoustics in the space were not great; the instruments overpowered too much at times. Even so, it was a tight performance and everything was right on. It wasn't very $ either! The hubs saw this particular tour this year and said it was even better.
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