Opeth Soar in New Jersey With Gojira and Devin Townsend Project
A long line of fans stretched outside of Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, N.J., on Sunday, May 7, in anticipation to see Opeth, Gojira and Devin Townsend Project on one of a few tour stops.
Devin Townsend Project started the night off with uplifting and stirring vocals as they performed newer tunes “Stormbending,” “Failure” and “Higher” from the band's latest release, Transcendence. Witnessing Devin Townsend live is indeed a transcending experience, not to mention he makes being nerdy look cool, at one point asking fans if they knew the square root of 43.
He blew up the spot of some fans in the crowd, too, stating, “These guys look confused but f--- it, I’m too old to care." Townsend and his gang ripped into sky-high anthems “Kingdom” and “Supercrush!” By the end of the set those perplexed fans couldn't deny the talent and innovative qualities of Townsend’s music.
French metallers Gojira then took hold of the stage, hours after Emmanuel Macron was election President of France, but didn't mention any politics during their set. Instead they focused on delivering their killer brand metal to the crowd. They kicked off their set with a new track “Only Pain” off of their latest album Magma. The intensity grew as they went into “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe,” which garnered a “Holy Sh-t!” chant from fans to the delight of the band.
Frontman Joe Duplantier told the crowd that as a vocalist it’s a bit “traumatizing” to come out and sing after Devin Townsend because "he's a f---ing genius." Throughout the night the bands on the bill expressed admiration for one another.
Toward the end of the set, Gojira unleashed “Pray” which had one of the heaviest breakdowns of the night and they continued to emit massive amounts of sweat during the set-ending “Vacuity.” Gojira continue to be one of the most forceful and impressive metal bands both in their music and in their live performance.
Not many bands can follow Gojira, but Opeth have a very loyal fanbase and longevity on their side. The Swedish metal giants began their set with the title track “Sorceress” from their new album. Favorites “Ghost of Perdition” and “Demon of the Fall” delighted old-school Opeth fans.
After their second song, singer Mikael Aketfeldt humorously said to their admiring fans “We’re Opeth.” They cranked out funky snippets of “Black Rose Immortal” and “Bleak,” and took it down a notch with the very dreamy “In My Time of Need.”
Akerfeldt shared a story about the last time Opeth were supposed to perform in Jersey. He said he was late for the show because he was at Vintage Vinyl shop, a notable music staple in Jersey.
Opeth provides the perfect mix of the heaviness of Gojira and the melody of Devin Townsend Project, which is why this tour package works. The night ended with the fan favorite “Deliverance,” lasting over 13 and a half minutes. The light and production combined with the band’s distinctive sound is an elevating experience. Each Opeth song is a roller-coaster ride of different melodies and tempos with their mix of smooth and harsh vocals.
Check out a few remaining tour dates where you can catch Opeth, Gojira and Devin Townsend Project together here.
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