12.02.2003

TAPPING THE VEIN - PARADISE LOST - OPETH

@ The Mason Jar
Phoenix Arizona February 2nd 2003

live report  by Matthew "Matt" Haumschild 
Obviously a much warmer climate than the past few shows! But for those of you who are not familiar with the geography of the United States, Arizona is in the southwest portion of the U.S. next to California, I hate to make some of you jealous, but the day I got down there it was 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). Much warmer plus, when I was down in Arizona, up in Minnesota it had snowed twelve inches HAHAHAHA!!! Talk about dodging a bullet. More or less, knowing all that I was going on in Minnesota I knew this show would be starting off on the right foot.

I must say fore and foremost that I used to live in Arizona for two years and I have been to this club many times. The other excuse for me being in Arizona is that my daughter lives there too. This was the first time Iíve been in this club since I became legal to drink alcohol. This was the beginning of many Ďfirstsí for me anyway. Also, the majority of people who visit gryphonmetal.ch are Paradise Lost fans, and this was my first PL show. Before I started writing for this website, I had only heard of Paradise Lost, but I had never heard them, that is until I met Stefan and Dalia. I purchased Icon from PLís official site, I thought it was okay, then Stefan and Dalia sent me the Symbol Of Life digi-pak and holy shit, the flood doors opened and that CD hasnít left my car since then and it had been three months now! Look what they did to me! Hehehe.

I got to the club @ 6:00pm, for me this was late but I had to look over my daughter until 5:00pm then I had to visit my friends, then I got to the club, besides, this wasnít MinneďcurfewĒapolis, the doors open @ 7:00pm. When I got there, I saw the longest line I had ever seen at this place. It literally went down the street! I didnít have a ticket yet, luckily, this guy had a handful of tickets to sell, and so I got mine just in case too many people showed up which did happen. I could tell everyone was here to see Opeth. I was in Arizona when Opeth came last time, and they were co-headlining with Nevermore, and half the room left after Opeth got off stage. Just by standing in line, I just saw tons of Opeth shirts. Also while I was standing in line, I was talking to this nice guy from Poland and he was telling me on how PL headlines in Europe and they are much bigger over there. I guess I didnít know that. So now seeing them at this small club, I hope they didnít hate it.

 We finally got in the club, crowded as all hell, we went straight to the bar and I ran into the owner of the place, and I asked him how many tickets pre-sold, he said, about 250 tickets sold and he said there was around 400 people here. More or less breaking fire-code because this club only really holds 200 people.

Tapping the Vein came on about ten minutes after we got in. They didnít grab my attention at first. But after they played a few songs, they didnít sound half bad. I guess the only downer about there set was that, I couldnít see them. There were so many people at the show, and the ceiling was low and the stage was only about 6 inches from the ground. I could only see that they had a female singer, 1 guitar player, and 1  bass player. You couldnít see the drummer at all. Their set wasnít bad, itís worth a download or two of their songs.



My Polish friend (canít remember his name for the life of me) and I decided that after Tapping got off the stage we would venture in the sea of people. I ended up in one of the worst spots on the floor, right next to the P.A. speaker on Aaronís side of the stage. But PL got on stage and opened up with a song I had never heard, it must have been something from Believe in Nothing. Then they played a song I recognized, they played ďHollowed LandĒ from Draconian Times. The majority of their set was composed of songs from Symbol of Life, which was great for me considering itís the one album I am very familiar with. From SOL they played Isolate, Erased, Two Worlds, Mystify, Self-Obsessed, and Symbol of Life. They also played a song from their first era. PL played extremely well I thought but people in the audience were saying there were technical problems, that the mix wasnít good at all. I couldnít tell because I was right in front and I was just hearing stage noise. But from what I heard, it sounded great. I guess the crowd favorite was shockingly Two Worlds. Can I blame them? PL, played a marvelous set, they played almost everything I wanted to hear (they didnít play The Perfect Mask). I could hear almost all the instruments, the drums sounded great, I could hear the vocals clear as day, frankly, the only thing I would ask of them, is to play at a bigger place. The Jar is great, donít get me wrong, but I guess I could see these guys headlining at bigger venues.


The crowd favorite Opeth came on about a half hour after PL left the stage. The band opened up with The Leper Affinity. Iím not as familiar with Opethís music as some other people but I do have 2 of their CDís which I am kind of familiar with. I could also tell you they played my favorite and deffinatly a crowd favorite The Drapery Falls. They also played from what I remember Patterns in the Ivy, Demons of the Fall, and a few other songs from My arms your Hurst. Song wise, they pretty much played at least one song from every album they put out. I only have MAYH and Blackwater Park. The band played flawlessly. Just watching them and seeing how many different styles of music they incorporate, it just baffles me on how such a band doesnít sell as many records as other bands. I guess the only complaint was that this could have been either the sound guy or the singer, but when a song would end and he would talk to everyone, I could barley understand him, there was so much bass in the voice it sound like me when I talk when I am bored, tired and irritable. Itís a voice nobody wants to hear trust me, but I could tell that was not his mood. Other than that, he hit every note that were on those CDís just perfectly. These guys played much better than when I saw them last time, but I guess I have more appreciation for them now then I did when I first saw them nearly two years ago. Implore all of you to go get MAYH, Blackwater Park, and both of their new albums, deliverance and damnation. 
 
Matthew "Matt" Haumschild
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