Opeth in Santa Ana, CA 2/3/03
WOW! I almost didn't catch them on this tour since it was on a Monday night...but then I thought how much I'd regret NOT going. I ended up at the show by myself (my buddy couldn't make it). Got a dinner reservation and was seated a mere 10 feet from the stage . After a mediocre dinner, I had to sit for what seemed like an eternity watching the opening bands. Tapping the Vein were actually pretty good 9to me, at least). Female vocalist, sounded a lot like Siouxsie Sioux during many songs, but with a hard-rock approach (if that makes sense). Paradise Lost were next. Not bad, not overwhelming. Songs were pretty solid, but they definitely had a repetitve nature to them. (Think of a harder Sisters of Mercy without the drum machine). Finally (at 11:35pm), Opeth took the stage. I can't recall the full set list, but due to the track lengths these guys play, it was probably 8 or 9 total. Opened with "Wreath", played "Deliverance", "Demon of the Fall", "The Drapery Falls", "A Fair Judgement", "Bleak", "Serenity Painted Death", and "Credence". There may have been one or two others. While I don't listen to other artists in the 'dark/death metal' genre, I have to hand it to Opeth. Absolute perfection in their delivery. I can't recall a missed note or a flubbed part. 100% solid. Mikael & Peter played what appeared to be stock PRS (24-fret models) through Marshall full-stacks. (No Laney's were present). FOr effects, I thing they both were going through a Boss GT-5 or GT-6 (they used the acoustic simulater during the necessary parts). The bassist & drummer held down the groove PERFECTLY. Hearing them perform their songs is one thing. Seeing them from about 10 feet away sitting at a comfy dinner table next to a mosh-pit is something else entirely. A perfect end to a long night. Hopefuly on future tours the ditch one of the support bands and give themselves longer stage time. I could've happily sat through another hour of their playing. The coolest part was Mikael. In between songs while he was tuning up, the crowd continuously shouts "You rule!". Mikael just looks up with this boyish smile and almost whispers "Thank you". He comes across very humble. After seeing them, I respect them that much more.