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Date: 4/7/10
Venue: Terminal 5, New York City
Reviewed by: Andrew Jantas

For a band to be around for 20 years is an absolute milestone, and to survive member changes without breaking up adds to the saying "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". That's what Opeth celebrated with a few friends (3000 to be exact!) in NYC. 20 years of fantastic composing and great musicianship from Mikael Akerfeldt and crew.

When this special anniversary tour was announced it was understood it would only be hitting 6 destinations (Sweden, Germany, France, England, New York, and Los Angeles), and Opeth would be playing 2 sets. First set: ALL of their 2001 breakout album "Blackwater Park" in order from start to finish. The second, would then be selections from throughout their history including songs they've been asked by fans to play for years.

I purchased the VIP package (which was well worth it) and had the opportunity to enter the venue early with 99 other lucky people to watch a brief sound check/3 song set. 10 minutes before the general public was let in we rushed down to stage and I am happy to say I was directly in middle where Mikael would be standing.

As the band kicked into ‘The Leper Infinity’ (the opener off "Blackwater Park") instantly we were all slammed against the barricade. Mikael's unforgettable clean vocals and growls get better and better every time I see him. On the songs ‘Bleak’, ‘Harvest’, and crowd favorite ‘The Drapery Falls’, everyone (as with myself), sang their heads off. It was also a delight to finally hear ‘Dirge of November’ and ‘The Funeral Portrait’ live. Every time I've seen Opeth Mikael and Fred are super tight on the guitar and never make a mistake. I never really liked the title track to "Blackwater Park" as much as the other songs but it grows on you like a fungus, hahaha. The last few U.S. tours Opeth have done they left the song out so it was actually great to finally hear it again. Concluding "Blackwater Park" the band went off the stage for a brief 10-15 minute intermission.

The second set was the one I was really looking forward to as they were playing 2 of my most favorites, ‘April Ethereal’ and ‘The Moor’. Unlike the first set, Mike did a lot of talking this time through going though a brief timeline of the band with each song and album. It was also the usual "Comedy Hour" with Mikael Akerfeldt as he is a jokester on stage. Fans of the "Orchid" album were THRILLED to final hear ‘Forest of October’ once again, this my first time hearing it live and it did not disappoint. Spot on was Mike, again. The next album would be "Morningrise" and to alot of people's disappointment (and mine) the song would be ‘Advent’ instead of ‘Black Rose Immortal’. ‘Advent’ though was great to hear live and done flawlessly by Martin Axenrot on the drums. ‘April Ethereal’ followed and this epic opus had me attempting to throw my neck out of alignment from start to its thrilling ending. The rest of the set consisted of ‘Wreath’, ‘Hope Leaves’, ‘Harlequin Forest’, and ‘The Lotus Eater’.

Even though we did not get ‘Black Rose Immortal’ like we were expecting, still, a great way to celebrate 20 years of existence. I’m hoping it won't be too long before a new album is released and Opeth comes back again so we start looking forward to the NEXT 20 years or so.


Set 1:
The Leper Affinity
The Drapery Falls
Dirge for November
The Funeral Portrait
Patterns in the Ivy
Blackwater Park


Set 2:
Forest Of October
April Ethereal
The Moor
Hope Leaves
Harlequin Forest
The Lotus Eater

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