Opeth, Cynic, The Ocean - Toulouse, France, 28.11.2008
|Event:||Opeth: European Tour|
|Written by:||Jeff, Darkside Momo|
Opeth, Cynic, The Ocean - Toulouse, France, 28.11.2008 by Jeff (22)
After the interviews of the three bands in the afternoon (which will be published a bit later) now comes the time for real entertainment: the shows themselves.
Momo: The Ocean was the first band on stage. Well, on what was left of the stage anyway! With Opeth's and Cynic's stuff packed behind them, the five members of the collective barely had place to move. But move they did! Jona Nido (the second guitar player) kept jumping, while the bass player and Mike Pilat (vocals) banged their heads as much as they could. The drumkit was ridiculously small for the same reason, but it was enough for a powerful delivery.
And yes, it was powerful. They were impressively better than when I first saw them at Hellfest, their set was packed with energy and conviction. The lights were great too, especially the stroboscopic use of violet lights, which gave a really cold but great atmosphere.
As they had only 35 minutes to play, they did only four songs. The first three were taken from the excellent Precambrian, and the last one was The City In The Sea out of Aeolian.
Well, well, short but excellent. Gotta catch'em all on their next tour with Burst.
Jeff: First band of the evening, The Ocean was a first newcomer. I knew the band on CD but it was my first time live and I have to say that it was extremely good. The band was charismatic and their songs worked pretty well. Obviously a lot of people were there to see them too and they got a really good and positive answer from the crowd. Even if it was too short the few songs that we heard were all really good and the songs of the last album were totally convincing for me. No doubt that The Ocean will become a major band in the future…
Now, it's time for Cynic to come on stage.
Momo: Sean Reinert's drumkit was situated on the left of the stage, so the audience could have a better look at his drumming technique. And, let's face it, he's awesome, and it's a real pleasure for the eyes. I was in front of him, mesmerized, and I missed quite a bit of what the others were doing.
The sound was good, the setlist was focused on... no, not Focus, but Traced In Air, of course. All those new songs were performed nearly flawlessly, and they sounded more heavy (more metal) live. However, the only Focus song played, Veil Of Maya, was mellower and lacking a bit on the aggressive side. But, all songs seemed to fit in a seamless whole, a kind of unity. However different their two albums might be, in a live situation they are united as one.
Cynic also used the same vocals-triggering technique that they used last year for the grunts, but this time it was for the female vocals of King Of Those Who Know. The grunter
(Tymon) was good, and it's always better to have real vocals.
Their set was short too: 35 minutes. Because of the Havana's curfew, both opening acts saw their playing time reduced a bit; that's what I learned anyway.
So, for me it was great, as I expected, but most of the audience were badly surprised, and were disappointed. Most people here knew only Focus, I suppose, Traced In Air being only out since a few days, and it's a quiet but difficult beast to master. The mellow side to Cynic music surely didn't help, either.
But, as I said, I was really happy. And now I'm waiting for their headliner tour.
Jeff: I was expecting a lot of Cynic performance but I heard before the show that their last shows weren't so great. Actually I have to agree with this statement, no Cynic was not a bad band but yes, something was missing: anger! Sure it was a great musical demonstration but as an example a song like "Veil Of Maia" which is absolutely fabulous on CD was just average this night. The problem came from a really too "cool" interpretation from the band. Sure the guys (including the two new musicians) were good but their performances clearly lacked of power and violence. I like the last album so it was not really problematic but Cyinic didn't play a lot of old songs and unfortunately we didn't heard "How Could I" (despite the fact that we heard the electronic intro at during the setting…). Maybe that the set-list had to be short but even if it was good, it was a bit disappointing for me (even if I'm sure that it will be better after some more concerts).
Jeff: It was the fifth time that I saw Opeth but it probably was the best performance that I saw coming from the Swedish band. The previous time were all good (especially the one under the storm at the Evolution Festival this year) but I don't know why, Opeth in Toulouse was just great. For sure we saw two really good bands before Opeth and it probably helped a lot to have a good atmosphere during the show but the venue was full of motivated people and Opeth was happy to be there apparently. Akerfeldt was at the top of his form, wearing a silly but funny shirt with a good ol' picture of Conan - Gouvernator. One more time the leader of the naughty Opeth talked a lot to the audience doing a lot of jokes (nothing scabrous this time) and we didn't have any breaks during the show. The few songs (that's always the same problem with Opeth) were all really good and the new songs, believe me, were just exceptional. Some of you maybe believe that songs like "The Lotus Eater" for example are too Prog or I don't know what but there were violent and extremely heavy and they worked really well for me.
Jeff: Opeth was extremely catchy and even if I have to complain one more time about the fact that it was too short (I don't really understand why and how they cannot play more than one hour and thirty minutes…) I had a good evening at the Havana Café. The beginning of the last song, "The Drapery Falls", was also really funny in reason of a total misunderstanding between the musicians who didn't really know when to begin and even how to play the song but Akerfeldt, as a great artist, found the way to transform this mistake into a really good moment for the fans. Actually Opeth performance was powerful and without any let down, sure some people said that it was a bit different in reason of the new line up (the last time that they come in Toulouse, the original line up was still there) but everybody agreed in the end to say that it was one of the best shows that we've seen in Toulouse lately.
Jeff: That's good really, our city is becoming Metal, the bands come now and the metalheads come to see them and are fucking enthusiast. Let's hope that it will continue like that in the future and just remember that Opeth is a must see, if you like their music or not. Sure their songs were long (of course…) and maybe not so easy of access but the performance of the guys was classy as hell and all in all it was easy to headbang. Let's hope that the band will come again in the future when they will release their future album, we will wait them for sure!
Thx to Charlotte of Roadrunner Records and Rose of SOM for the accreditations.
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