Tonight sees Rock ‘N’ Load on a road trip to Dublin, exiting the UK and into the European Union (Ireland) to see a Swedish Band, Opeth supported tonight by yet another European band in Vintage Caravan from Iceland.
That may seem very simple and for a while it was, but with Brexit on the horizon shizzle may get a lot more complicated for touring bands down the road, time will tell. For now, I shall envelop myself in this European goodness while I can.
Tonight we are in the Olympia Theatre, a stunning venue dripping in history and host to many historic acts over the years and one of my favorite venues in this magical city.
First up Vintage Caravan an Icelandic power trio that is fuzz infused and with a savage sound that just resonates around this beautiful venue, this trio are tight as a tigers ass and frontman Oskar Logi is like a man possessed as he rips his way through their set, slashing his way through gnarly blues-infused riffs on a seriously abused looking tele. Oskar’s vocals are absolutely on point which is a testament in itself as his energy levels are through the roof! Likewise, Alexander Orn on bass equally matches Oskars lunacy to bring a majestic energy level to their performance, of course, all backed up by a truly savage performance on the skins by none other than the mighty Stefan Ari.
Oskar has some serious skills on the guitar, shredding his way across the fretboard and a shout out to the late great Rory Gallagher goes down well with the Irish crowd, but his six-string wizardry and bluesy licks grab the attention whilst a seriously solid all-round performance form this hefty trio leaves the Dublin crowd begging for more.
Catch them here: https://www.facebook.com/vintagecaravan/
9 pm and the crowd is still spilling in off the busy Dublin streets, as expected tonight’s gig is yet another sold-out one for Opeth on this tour dovetailing the release of their latest album In Cauda Venenum. The stage is beautifully set up, multi-layered, with various platforms creating a staggered layout for various band members to take their place. Mikado and Fredrik both planted center stage with the bassist and keyboardist Martin & Joakim raised up behind, and Martin Axenrot higher yet again on drums, quite a sight and well suited to this glorious venue, an old theatre which has seating behind the standing areas which seems to rise into the clouds! The visuals are strong with beautiful atmospheric lighting to match the equally dark emotive songwriting that Opeth brings to proceedings.
Their music taking you on the most audacious sonic rollercoaster imaginable pushing and pulling at you throughout their powerful live set. Anyone familiar with Opeth will know what to expect but I remember back to my first time catching Opeth live, it was my first time ever hearing the band and I remember vividly being mesmerized by the majestic musicianship on display and the ease in which they took the audience on this crazy sonic journey with them, tonight is no different. The band as always are in top form, Mikael taking the time to interact with the Irish audience who try the best to take the piss out of his hat but he keeps coming back with “Why thank you, I bought it in a ladies shop in Las Vegas”
The intricate nature of the way Opeth chop and change through their set, from dark guttural vocals to clean and hypnotizing with delicate and poised guitar work that would be beyond most Metal bands, but not Opeth. In the hands of these gents, the music just rips at your soul dragging you through the emotive masterclass on display that just leaves you breathless. But wait! I just heard a bum note !!! They’re human after all!! Mikael gives a rye smile as he acknowledges it.
Mikael himself acknowledges that occasionally one or two of his tracks are “absolute motherfuckers to play” and on this bat-shit crazy rollercoaster the guys test our senses with a plethora of mind-bending songs from their back catalog, filling two hours with a display to make these Irish eyes happy. The Olympia Theatre exits satisfied, bewildered and in Awe at what they were lucky enough to witness tonight, it may just be another notch on the bedpost first these Swedish maestros but for the Irish crowd in attendance, it is a special evening indeed.
One of the finest bands out there bringing a little bit of magic wherever they go, if you have not yet sampled Opeth live yourself you need to rectify that, you can thank me for it later.
Check out our review of Opeth’s latest album here: https://rocknloadmag.com/news/opeth-in-cauda-venenum-album-review/
Review & Photography // Mark McGrogan