Opeth and Graveyard at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Center, Irving, TX 2/29/2020

One of the cool things about being an old guy is that I’ve gotten to witness a number of bands early in their career playing at tiny clubs and then seeing them mature and grow over the years into these large professional touring entities.  I remember seeing Opeth playing at the old Back Room in Austin when they were just a small death metal band with proggy sensibilities.  Seeing them play a slick and fairly new music only theater in Dallas over the weekend kind of blew my mind when thinking back 20 years or so to that packed club show.  It seems as though Opeth has graduated to a new level of success on this latest tour because they pulled out all the stops with this show.  This was a downright spectacle of a stage show with intricate video screens and light show.  It was cool to see such a wonderfully underground band seeing the fruits of all their past labor finally paying off.  And the setlist was amazing.  Great blend of both the old death metal stuff for the geezers like me and a ton of the new proggy centered newer material for the music nerds in the crowd.  And it is still all tied together nicely with the best in-between-song banter from frontman Mikael Akerfeldt.  He seriously has no competition in this area.  Topics this evening included musings on how there isn’t a comparable word in Swedish for “mother fucker” (It’s such a rude word.), memories of watching the TV show “Dallas” in Sweden as a youngster and even a few thoughts on the band Abba.  I would seriously pay money to hear him do a spoken word tour.

Opener Graveyard was in fine form.  I saw them last year on one of their headline treks and they honestly seemed to be suffering from road fatigue.  Tonight felt like we were witnessing a band that was rejuvenated.  Sparks were flying from the moment the band hit the stage.  It was good to see them performing on a high level again.





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