Copenhell - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

When doing field-work, I like to take notes to help me create the review when I come home. Sometimes I have many notes to work with, sometimes not so many. At singular times I see a show so awesome I completely forget to take notes even though there are tons of things to work with. Never have I walked away from a show without notes because nothing at all happened.
Enter Opeth…

Opeth was probably the most hyped up band to visit Copenhell anno 2011, and well, one of the most hyped up bands in general for that matter. I myself can only applaud their flawless technique as musicians, but have still after 10 released studio albums no found a single song which has stayed with me.
I do, on the other hand, recognize that I am a minority in this question, and try to keep as open a mind as possible, so of I went to see what these Swedish wunderkinds had to offer for Copenhell.
I quickly became aware that I was not the only one who was interested in seeing the band, the place in front of the Helvíti stage was absolutely littered with fans of the death-prog orchestra, anxiously awaiting the start of the show.
And on came the band; not a word of greeting, not a tune of intro, just walk on up to the mic and began to play. And played they did, and again as I mentioned earlier, quite flawlessly.
But you see, it takes more than flawless technique to make an interesting live performance (actually, a flawless technique is probably at the very bottom of the list, if it even appears), but that was all that Opeth had to pull from. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING happened except the playing of music during the five million years, sorry, about 60 minutes + that Opeth held the stage.

At first the fans acted like they were having a great time, shouting appreciatively and following the music the best way they could, but it soon became apparent for even the most die-hard follower that this was all they were going to get, miles and miles of guitar noodeling and the odd soft/harsh vocal part here and there. No connection whatsoever was attempted to be made, and no connection came of its own free will.
To call this show a complete disaster would be to put it nicely; Opeth single-handedly managed to send 9000 wild, drunk and rowdy metalheads to sleep in almost no time at all, which of course in itself is quite a feat!

If I’m treading on some sensitive toes here, then so be it. I would still like to consider myself open enough to be swept up in this wonderful cloud of Opeth-love which nearly everyone else has already occupied for some time now, but their show at Copenhell certainly didn’t do anything to get me of the ground…

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