‘In Cauda Venenum’ is the title of the last album of Swedish progressive metal titans from Opeth. The band visited Copenhagen on the promotional tour for this new record to play a sold-out show in Royal Danish Theater (Det Kongelige Teater) – a very special, historic venue located in the central part of Copenhagen.
The Vintage Caravan was the band opening for Opeth on this tour which made me very happy. The band from Iceland started the show and at the beginning experience a very tough crowd. Fans gathered in the venue wanted to get Opeth as soon as possible but the band led by Óskar Logi Ágústsson did all they could to warm up the crowd. I personally like this band and I have enjoyed the show provided by them, but for some of the fans expecting a prog performance that was not enough.
It was somewhere in the middle of the set when The Vintage Caravan finally managed to get the fans appreciation and the crowd started to enjoy their performance joining Icelandic rockers in their crazy dance. Well – as much as they could of course – it was still a theater with not much space between the chairs so the band members were performing their moves on stage while the crowd was headbanging to the music. Guys finished their part after 45 minutes and left the stage cheered by the crowd.
The main show started with a small delay. I was waiting in the back of the venue with other photographers when light technician passed me with a grin on his face and after looking at the camera in my hand said ‘you are going to hate me tonight’. We knew that light will be at least challenging for photographers, but a more important part was about to come up from the speakers. The venue went all black and this was the signal that the show is about to begin – the screens on the back started to project a picture of stars (which was a scenery for most of the evening) which slowly started to change into video graphics showing streets of Stockholm when the band started to enter the stage accompanied by ‘Livets Trädgård’ – an intro to their last record played from the tape.
The back of the stage was elevated with a drum kit in the central part and with a place for keyboards and a bass on the sides. Front of the stage was taken by guitarist Fredrik Åkesson and bands leader Mikael Åkerfeldt. Mikael hiding under a hat with a huge brim – just like the one John Turturro was wearing in ‘Secret Window’. After all musicians were on their spots, the band started the show with a ‘Svekets Prins’ (all songs from ‘In Cauda Venenum’ were sang in Swedish). First notes filled the venue and the people started to struggle with staying put on their seats.
It was a super cool picture to watch with all these metalheads completely filling this nice and fancy venue, jumping from their chairs with horns raised up or sitting and headbanging to the music. All to express their love for the music. Opeth put even more gasoline playing ‘The Leper Affinity’. Later in the show, Mikael introduced a song ‘Moon Above, Sun Below’ saying ‘I don’t like to play it because it is a hard song to play, and I like to play easy songs and get back to my Jack Daniels and heroin’. As usual, during Opeth shows comedy part was constant point of the evening with band leader pushing jokes in every break between songs. We got it all – small roasts toward his bandmates, anecdotes about Phil Anselmo and a standard Copenhagen joke during band introduction – ‘we are Opeth, we come from the capital of Scandinavia, Stockholm’ which as usual cause mixture of laugh and booing.
The full performance has been closed with two amazing tracks played as an encore – my personal favorite ‘Sorceress’ and one of the most awaited ‘Deliverance’. It was the final show on this tour for both Opeth and The Vintage Caravan – both bands joined the stage to say ‘thank you’ to the audience and watch a good-bye video prepared by a road crew which supposed to summarize this tour.
The video turned out to be a big joke with the crew members messing around with the equipment, sleeping in the bathtub filled with the march money or sleeping under the stage during the concert. After that short video band bowed for the last time and left the stage. The show was over and it was time to abandon this nice venue and get back to the streets of wet and cold Copenhagen -the real capital of Scandinavia.
Photos and Review by Kasper Pasinski