Opeth – The Prologue

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In a country where metal concerts are put under the same category as live bands in dance bars, one will understand the frequency and the freedom with which ‘real’ shows occur. Even during those occasional music festivals, justice is never done to a metal band because of sound problems. In competitions, judges always seem to have an aversion towards non-clean vocals, and we lose out there as well.

The only remaining options for us are college rock shows. Here, again, the concept of a ‘rock show’ is vast and badly interpreted. Nevertheless, people still attend these shows, though they know they are going to end up watching at least one amateur band trying to nail ‘zombie’.

With this introduction, you will know why the news of Opeth performing at a college fest seemed beyond hilarious to most of us. In fact, it didn’t even fall into ‘rumour’ category because more than 99% dismissed it as unbelievable.

But it’s true.

Jaws dropped, eyes popped and astonished explanations formed an orchestra of disbelief. The reason – Opeth. And Opeth in INDIA.

IIT is known for its college fests and rock shows, but the students and organizers will now be elevated to a level of worship because of their long-haired guests of honour. When effective people have a good taste in music, it always is of benefit to the masses; lets just put it that way! So, if you actually want to see it to believe it, check the link – http://www.opeth.com/index.php/tourdates

However good Saarang maybe, there will always be the question – why Opeth at a college fest, of all places? And Chennai? All I can say at this point is that we should be thankful that it’s atleast happening at a college fest, or it probably never would have, at any other time. And, its in India, and therefore accessible. So, no more complaints.

A bit about the band for those who aren’t really familiar. Opeth is a progressive metal outfit that hails from Stockholm, Sweden, and is currently comprised of Mikael Åkerfeldt on vocals and guitars, Martin Mendez on bass, Per Wiberg on keyboards, Martin “Axe” Axenrot on drums and Fredrik Åkesson on guitars. The band’s victory lies in its versatility from ferociously aggressive uber-heavy metal, to soothing acoustic progressive numbers, they’ve done it all. They’ve done it well. The albums released so far have been Orchid (1995), Morningrise (1996), My Arms, Your Hearse (1998), Still Life (1999), Blackwater Park (2001), Deliverance (2002), Damnation (2003), Ghost Reveries (2005) and Watershed (2008).

Saarang 2009 is definitely going to be beyond memorable. All we can pray for now is a peaceful concert, with no security or sound hassles. Many will check the news everyday and all the way till Januray 25th, in order to digest it’s enormity.  But I’d say it’s needed, especially since its Opeth!

You can do that, and also keep an eye open for tickets and related information here (http://saarang.org).

Being a metalhead in India, once came with restriction and the acceptance that we would not see our heroes perform for us in any place apart from on-screen, and that too thanks to piracy. That notion has killed itself already, and hundreds are, even at this moment making a list of bands they would like to see perform live in India.

A few words of precaution – Models who strut the ramp and there to cut short the show, be warned. There will be blood. College newspaper photographers, if you want close-up shots, welcome to the moshpit. And bollywood and kollywood fans, contact the student council for evacuation arrangements.

So, with fingers crossed, lets hope that on the night of January 25th 2009, we are left with no lamentations. Amen.

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