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Witnessed

Opeth, Enslaved, 2009-05-27

25/06/09  ||  Trauma

Where: 9:30 Club. Washington, D.C., USA
When: May 27th, 2009

Mark this as the third time I’ve seen Opeth in a live setting. What I can say about them, after seeing them over a period of 4 years, is this: they are like a well-oiled machine. Mikael could go on chatting for hours if he felt like it, and he’s always got something to say. He spent a good deal of time chatting about cock rock at the House of Blues in L.A. This time, however, at the 9:30 Club in the District of Columbia, he was talking about his cock.

I got there semi-late, a little bit after 8pm. I had a long fucken walk from the Metro and around a few ghetto blocks since I have zero experience with the city grid. I think I missed one song or two from Enslaved, but I’m not gonna cry about it.

They were good, and I was quite impressed by the bassist’s range for growling. They do the growling and clean vocals that are handled by the keyboardist.

insert jerk-off motion here

I'll show you my cock

I kid, I kid. From what I could hear down in the stank-and-sausage-fest that is the floor they at least know how to play. They have a sense of humor, too. Can’t go wrong with that. The best part about their show was in between their second or third song they had to mention they were laughing in between because the guys from Opeth set up a fart machine on stage that they’d activate as soon as they stopped playing. Notch one in the win column for Opeth. Farts are always funny. As long as they don’t burn your nostrils, amirite?!

So after Enslaved’s set, which included songs like “GUARLGARGAARBORKBORK”, “Lake”, “River”, and “Penis” (I obviously don’t remember what songs they said), they gracefully exited the stage from their last performance of this tour.

It was around this time that I followed instructions laid out to me over the phone by fellow staffer Inquisitor Generalis, IG, or Iggy Smooth, whatever floats your seamen-vessel. I waited for him in the upstairs bar of the venue because getting me on the guest-list wasn’t the only surprise he had waiting for me. I had myself a beer while I waited, he arrives finally and hands me a piece of sticky fabric (not his underwear) that said VIP. You see, I got to see Opeth from a nice, unobstructed view on the balcony.

The view

They started their set off with “Heir apparent”, which honestly is a great opener. Next up was “Ghost of perdition” which was their opener when I saw them on tour for “Ghost Reveries”. A great song as well, and quite catchy in many places. Many a time my not-so-metal sister would hear that song and say, “That sounds really cool.” Then they decided to dip into their “Still life” catalog with “Godhead’s lament”. This is where I’ll get all pissy and wish they would have chosen “Moonlapse vertigo”. Although the end-result was fan-fucken-tastic. Next on their set-list was a song I’m not a big fan of. Mikael explains that the previous day in New York, he fucked it up royally and I guess didn’t want to end the tour with such a sour note having not played the song successfully. I was expecting it to be some mellower song but there starts “Karma”. My metaphorical penis was stroked when they did “When” a billion moons ago, so it was nice to hear a different song from the album. It’s just not my favorite from that disc by any means. I believe it was after that song that they went into one that I forget from their latest album, with some extended jam sequence in the middle where Per did his best metal impersonation and headbang like a motherfucker. I must say I did yawn during that song. Afterwards we got a “promise” to see Mikael’s cock and tits if we sang a couple verses and the chorus from “Harvest”. He of course told us he was going to reneg on his offer and still tell us we did an okay job. I didn’t sing out loud but I do it all the time to that song in my truck. Windows up, of course.

Heir Apparent

A nice treat after that was when they played “The night and the silent water”. I don’t really get why the fans pressured Mikael into taking back his dislike of it, or at least that’s what it seemed like. He had it listed as a song he disliked and now he doesn’t. Bad experience recording it, but I’m sure he never thought it was a bad song itself. That’s what retarded fans do, though… speaking of retarded fans, I saw a mosh during one of the songs and started laughing to myself. I think it was during “Ghost of Perdition” at one of the least mosh-worthy moments. Anyways, back to the report. Whatever the case may be, Mikael digs the song more and more and plays it during shows, which is only a plus when something from Morningrise (which is not an erection when you wake – his words) is played. We then were told that they were playing their “last” song, which was “The Lotus Eater”. Cool and all, but the best closer (aside from their obligatory “Demon of the Fall” encore) is by far “Blackwater park”. If I was to knock off some points of the show, it was because they did not play that powerhouse song at all.

So, the show rocked. Opeth always sounds great and heavy. Martin Axenrot sounded awesome, Frederik had a wanker shredding solo in between a couple songs, Mendez just kinda was there and playing awesome, and Per was headbanging in between pressing a couple keys (I’m being mean, but he does do some cool stuff).

Enslaved did an alright job and Opeth did an amazing one. I won’t score their performances, but the girl that was checking out my body while waiting for the train gets a 10 out of 10. She even took the time to talk to me about the show I saw. I would knock points off because she couldn’t tell the difference between an Amon Amarth t-shirt and a Behemoth one, but… wait, this isn’t about Opeth’s show anymore. Good day.