Opeth & Mastodon in Riverside, California

Swedish progressive metal band Opeth and progressive metal band Mastodon previously toured in winter of 2021. They enjoyed touring together so much that they announced another tour this year. Both bands have newly released albums and were still in tour for them. The final stop of the tour was the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California. Even when Khemmis started the show, the venue had already been packed. It was set to be a glorious night.

Mastodon came out and started their show with Pain With an Anchor from their newest album, Hushed and Grim. The fans went wild with mosh pits and crowed surfers were seen the whole night. Mastodon chose to play in primary dark lighting with lasers lighting up the stage making for an impressive sight. Mastodon played songs from almost all their albums with them playing seven songs from the newest album, which is half of it. The greatest hits played on this night included Crystal Skull, Megalodon, The Czar and Black Tongue. Guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are both underrated and deserve more recognition than they do. Drummer Brann Dailor himself is one of the best modern drummers who is also criminally underrated. After a few words from bassist/singer Troy Sanders, it was time for their segment of the show to come to an end. The last song played was their most popular song, Blood and Thunder. The biggest mosh pit of their set formed and the fans kept it up the whole time. Mastodon finished their set and left the stage making way for the headlining band of the night.

Opeth released their thirteenth album In Cauda Venenum (Latin for "Poison in the tail") in 2019. Plenty of Opeth fans were seen in attendance and surely they were excited to see Opeth again. The only downside was that drummer Martin Axenrot had left Opeth in 2021 after sixteen years and would be replaced by Sami Karppinen. The lights went out and the fans cheered as the screen on the stage drew an outline of the band's logo. Right after, Opeth made their way to the stage one at a time. The first song performed was Hjärtat vet vad handen gör (Heart in Hand) from the newest album. The newest album was a double album where it was released in both English and Swedish languages. Opeth is known for playing long songs so it was no surprise to see them open with a song that was just past eight minutes. A slow and peaceful song to start things off. The next song is a fan-favorite song Ghost of Perdition from the band's death metal days when frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt would growl which he hasn't done in the past few albums. Another lengthy song at just past ten minutes that got the crowd going in a mosh pit and with crowd surfers. In between songs, Åkerfeldt would tell jokes and respond to fans yelling in the audience. One instance was when a fan yelled something to the band to which Åkerfeldt responded by saying, "calm down, it's just a rock show". With the majority of their songs being long, Opeth was limited to playing eight songs. Some of the other songs played were In My Time of Need, Cusp of Eternity and Sorceress. After a few more words from Åkerfeldt, it was time for the final song of the night. The song was one of their best songs, Deliverance. It is also one of their longest songs in their catalog clocking in at thirteen and a half minutes. It has a beautiful and perfect combination of death metal and progressive metal. The mosh pit was big and crowd surfers were everywhere. The show finally came to an end. Opeth bowed to the fans and left the stage. It was a great night for metal and hopefully it's not a few years before both bands come back.


Photos and review by Misael Ruiz


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