Metro City, Perth WA
February 11th, 2017
Support – Caligula’s Horse
Freakin’ Opeth, man. Not just your average Saturday night out in Perth, that’s for sure. The forefathers of death metal closed their Aussie leg of a special tour, having played at the Sydney Opera House last week. The band have been touring their latest masterpiece, ‘Sorceress’. The band are no strangers to our shores, and always please fans to the core with their performances; but after this show, I actually heard people say ‘that’s the best they’ve ever sounded’ – we agree, this is not an exaggerated description.
Joining the Swedish maestros on this epic tour, were the most fitting band in the country; Caligula’s Horse. The band’s sound is very obviously influenced by the evening’s headliners, which must have been a huge bucket-list check off the item for these guys. Playing a punchy half hour set to a growing crowd, the Queenslanders harnessed the bassy acoustics of Metro City, and went through a handful of technically impressive tracks, truly building up to crescendo in typical prog/metal fashion. It was the band’s closing track ‘Rust’ that really stood out though. The riffs were massive and the song bled through the venue to a very full crowd.
We all knew Opeth were scheduled to play a two hour set, but we didn’t necessarily know what material they’d be playing; after the last tour, a mellow set was expected. Well, the band minus front-man Mikael Åkerfeldt entered the stage and got prepared to play the opening notes to the ‘Sorceress’ title-track. And then Åkerfeldt gracefully appeared and that groovy intro resonated through the building. Metro City was electric, people were packed all the way to the back of the venue, next to the bars, peering over shoulders to get a sight of the musical masterminds.
Ok so, some new stuff to get the night going, expected, right? A collection of live tracks from the ‘Ghost Reveries’ and ‘Blackwater Park’ albums? Yep, a little unexpected. After delivering a well-rounded melody in the opening track, Åkerfeldt kept playing his guitar and gently leant forward ever so slightly, and then gasped a naturally demonic roar to set off ‘Ghost of Perdition’ – holy Moses it was spine-tingling.
The double-kick drums and the bassy riffs were ticking along with perfection to the resounding growl that prolonged. The vocalist engaged with the audience frequently, and created a ‘fine-Saturday-evening-dinner-party’ vibe, BYO wine and cheese. The classy pioneer joked with the crowd, referring to the show as ‘Operth’ and informing us that they weren’t looking forward to the dreary cold of Sweden they’re returning to, despite their “two weeks of summer”, he says before the crowd laughed together.
The set-list was quite a journey as the two hour appearance crawled deep into the band’s back catalogue, and then back to the surface from the last few records, including ‘Cusp of Eternity’ from the Pale Communion album. The band said goodnight after playing a head-banging rendition of ‘The Drapery Falls’, but the ‘Opeth’ chant began before they could even completely leave the stage.
After only a minute or two, the band returned on stage with smiles on their faces. Åkerfeldt introduced his band to the audience, who of course knew them all very well, but it certainly added to that ‘dinner party’ feel. The Front-man thanked Perth’s highly enthusiastic crowd who were all grinning from ear to ear, and then introduced ‘Deliverance’ with his last spoken words – “enjoy the next thirteen minutes”; oh we will mate, we sure will.
Check out the photo gallery by Jerika Faithfull here: