Believe it or not, Lizzy and I drove all the way to Athens, Georgia (via Chattanooga, Tennessee) to see Opeth and Katatonia at the historic Georgia Theatre last night. Being the über-fan that I am, we sprung for the VIP package, which included a meet-and-greet with the band before the show and bag o'schwag, with a limited edition 180-gram clear-vinyl edition of Heritage (German pressing!), a beautifully produced photo booklet, a snazzy VIP laminate and a cool T-shirt. A bargain at twice the price.
Meeting the band was a trip. When they arrived, they seemed as nervous and shy as the twenty-or-so folks who sheepishly milled around the room. As it turned out they were very nice and attentive with the fans. I was afraid I'd be a tongue-tied idiot when I met Mikael Akerfeldt but he was a every bit the sweetheart I imagined:
Figuring when else would I have the opportunity? I gave him a copy of my CD, Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano and Drums), and he actually seemed interested in the "punk-jazz" hybrid idea. Maybe he tossed it in the trash as soon as he left the room, but he did prominently hold it up for the obligatory group shot:
There are not many bands I would stand in line the rain to see, but Opeth is one of them. The show itself was totally awesome. Liz parked herself upstairs in the balcony and I headed down into the moshpit. They're playing a much heavier set this year, featuring such epic tracks as "Deliverance," "Ghost of Perdition" and "Blackwater Park" and they did not disappoint. Wow, I hadn't moshed like that since I was in my twenties! It was blast--and I was able to get right up next to the stage during all the chaos. But I am not in my twenties -- I am about to turn fifty! Today, my body is bruised and sore. But it was worth it! God, I love this band! In fact, we're going to see them again in a couple of days. Yes, I am insane.
SHAMELESS PLUG DEPT.
Want your own copy of my CD? Just click below: