The Ocean + Cynic + Opeth @ Madrid, 30 Nov 2008

Posted by prla1983 on December 10, 2008 • 1 commentsEmail This Post

The truth is I'm tired of receiving email literally begging me to write something on this blog. I hadn't realized we had this audience of millions around here.

Actually, only one person complained, but we care so deeply about our customers that we heeded that single request. Thus, here I am talking about something utterly unimportant that no one will read. The wonders of Internet democracy.

Back to the subject at hand, a week and half ago saw me and a couple of friends doing the nonsensical act of driving all the way to Madrid to attend a music gig (the horror!). Back to Sala Heineken almost three years later where we saw Opeth in what was our first time (it didn't hurt much, if you ask me) and Opeth again we went to see. Tagging along - and maybe more than half of the reason why I bothered to travel over 1000 km in two days again - were the reunited Cynic and the German prog/post/sludge/screamo/rock/metal outfit, The Ocean. Also, we decided to stay an extra day so we could take time off to go see some of Madrid's offerings and let me tell you that, yes, the Prado museeum is beautiful, Real Madrid's stadium is amazing and Starbucks is lovely as always.

Strictly speaking about music though, The Ocean were the first to hit the stage and they definitely took the prize for most energetic band that night, what with the bass player ending up bleeling from his forehead and all. With only around 30 minutes to do their thing, they chose to go the heavy screamo way, which I don't really complain of, but left me kind of cold as I was expecting much more of Precambrian's second disc heavy prog sweetness. In any case, they rocked the house by being loud and tight and I look forward to listen to their albums many times over.

Next up were Cynic, a band that achieved cult status back in 1993 with their only EP, "Focus", disbanding right after releasing it. They got back last year and recorded "Traced In Air", 14 years later, and as far as I'm concerned, didn't lose any charisma or ability. Quite the contrary. I was especially impressed with Paul Masvidal, who seems to have a way about him that I seldom see on stage. My only rgeret was that bassist extraordinaire Sean Malone isn't part of the live band these days. They played a short set (around 40 minutes) focusing especially on "Traced In Air" but "Focus" wasn't entirely forgotten either. And I got one of Sean Reinert's drumsticks! That guy can surely play and seemed completely at ease behind his kit.

Finally Opeth hit the stage to the sound of "Heir Apparent", arguably Watershed's (or rather Watershit, as Mikael put it) heaviest song. Opeth are always Opeth and despite a lot of personnel changes in recent times, these guys are stronger and more solid than ever before. Fredrik from Arch Enemy is a huge addition to the band's sound, despite the charisma Peter had, and Axe is a fucking drum machine. The man destroys even if he certainly doesn't have Lopez's salsa. Their set wasn't too long either, they played maybe 90 minutes but it was one of the many perfect setlists they could have played so everyone left happy, I guess. Highlight for me was Still Life's "Godhead's Lament", a definite surprise, and of course the fans' favorites "Deliverance" and "Demon Of The Fall". Oh, and Akerfeldt's banter was hilarious was always...

To get a glimpse as to how it actually went...

In the end, this felt like the turning of a golden page for me. I've been fortunate enough to attend many many concerts of bands I've gotten to love over the years and I've been quite insistent in going to certain gigs of certain bands on consecutive tours. I've seen Dream Theater six times, including two very very special evenings in London, Opeth three times, Iron Maiden three times (including two early years tours), Porcupine Tree, Tool, etc etc... the list goes on and on. I feel that for a long time it is enough for me and that now I feel like attending smaller shows in smaller places with smaller bands, bands I've come to really enjoy to discover and listen to. And also to explore different genres, no matter how great it is to go out and headbang.

Slated for 2009 already are Mogwai and God Is An Astronaut, for instance...


Blogger i said...

fico comovida de saber que dás tanta importância aos teus leitores. Devias era ter adaptado o post ao teu publico alvo :P porque na verdade a unica coisa que retive foi a nota mental: quando vamos ao starbucks?

Friday, December 19, 2008 12:50:00 am  

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