Gig Review: Unseen Underground Pub Fest III (Chennai)

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It has been just six months since Opeth played their very first concert in Chennai. The fans of the progressive metal can never get enough of their music as its varieties are almost close to infinity. When the starvation was still on, Unseen Underground organized a tribute show to Opeth in association with Geoffrey’s last Sunday.

Unseen Underground Pub Fest III – A Tribute to Opeth concert featured members from the bands Soundscape, Blood & Iron, Escher’s Knot, Skrat and Third Harmonic. Frankly speaking, covering Opeth songs is one of the toughest things to do. One would expect that local bands may not be able to play such complicated compositions and so it was a sceptical scenario for all the Opeth fans before the tribute show. But they were all proven wrong.

It was a packed house at Geoffrey’s even before the band members started doing the sound check. It was a delayed start because of some technical issues. Escher’s Knot took the stage first before the medley of bands started playing Opeth numbers. They played some of their original compositions. Abhijeet’s vocals- the brutal type, were mellowed down a bit as he chose to be little modest and settled with a rhythmic kind, which made him as one of the best candidate to sing Opeth. Then the members from other bands joined the stage to pay tribute to the Progressive Metal giants. The first song was The Grand Conjuration, which was a shocker when most people were expecting something from the Damnation album as it would be much easier to cover and melodic.

Vijay from Soundscape did the soft vocal parts along with the bass guitar role. It was even more shocking when the fans realized how well they covered this track and most of them were awestruck to listen something that is impeccably closer to Opeth. The second one was Windowpane; it was the first mellow song of the day. Rudy took the in charge of vocals department.  It was a good change in decibel level and well performed. What followed after that was again a bolt from the blue, a track from Morningrise called The Night and the Silent Water. Vinay and Varun brothers absolutely nailed the twin guitar harmonies. Rudy came to the stage for a second time and again one would expect a melodic number but not on a day when the band decided to keep shocking the crowd. It was Bleak from Blackwater Park- another heavy number. Rudy’s other side of vocals was revealed for those who saw him for the first time. The next one was from the Still-life album called Face of Melinda, a harmonious starter and shifts suddenly to a spine chilling heavy guitar riffs. Vivin’s presence came into spot light with the next song Burden from Opeth’s latest album, Watershed. The crowd paid good respect to the band by staying calm and enjoying this beautiful soft number.

May be the band doesn’t like that calmness to last long as they followed it with Demon of the Fall, considered to be Opeth’s biggest hit. The calmness to wildness was not a kind of shift you would too often see in a metal concert. Demon of the Fall caused chaos at Geoffery’s as the people moved towards the stage and formed the mosh pit. There was a huge sigh of disappointment when the band announced that next one is going to be the last song. They chose to keep The Drapery Falls as the encore track like what Opeth did when they played in IIT-Madras. After the chants for “One more”, the band members came back on stage for one final encore. It was Bleak once again. Rudy seemed to be totally enjoying this track.

All in all, it was one of the best metal events that Chennai had ever seen. A special credit should be given to the drummers Hudstin, Manu and Tapass. Vijay too did a Mendez with his bass guitar. They all really worked hard to deliver a performance like this. There are so many bands playing Opeth covers all over the world, you can see their covers in YouTube. But this is the best line-up by far to play incredibly close to Opeth. If you had missed it then, you can watch the broadcast of the show on Sunday morning; 10 a.m. on S.S. Music.

Written by:

Nicky & Vijay
Unseen Underground.

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