at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022

MASTODON (Live at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022)
Photo: Mike Scott

Edmonton was treated to an assault of Doom, Prog and Sludge Metal earlier this week.

The last time Opeth and Mastodon shared a stage in Edmonton, little known Ghost opened for them. Those of us early enough to the show that day (and shame on you if you delay your arrival) were treated to one of the fastest rising Pop Metal bands in quite some time. It pays to get there ahead of the main bill.


KHEMMIS (Live at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022)
Photo: Mike Scott

This time was no exception. Denver Colorado Doom masters Khemmis blew the small but appreciative crowd away with the all too short 30-minute set featuring a couple from their Nuclear Blast Records debut Deceiver; “Avernal Gate” and “Living in Pyre.” “Thanks for coming early to check us out,” Boomed Phil Pendergast. Watch for them preforming to bigger crowds in the not-too-distant future. They closed out the night with “Conversation With Death” from their 2020 outing Doomed Heavy Metal. Short on lyrics long on heavy riffs and a sweet solo in the bridge it was the perfect ending to their set.


Mastodon kicked off the night with the opening track from their latest album Hushed and Grim. Not ones too eager to engage with the audience, they did state early in the set, “Thanks for coming out to the Rock and Roll show.” Then they ripped through one song after another with very little extra chatter although there was a bit of a talk at the end of the set. More on that in moment.

MASTODON (Live at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022)
Photo: Mike Scott

The setlist spanned their entire catalogue including “Mother Puncher” from their debut album; “This goes back to the beginning 20 years ago,” allowing the punters to mosh their faces off. “Gobblers of Dregs” slowed things down however the end of the song mixed perfectly in the last number. They whipped the crowd into one final mosh frenzy as they closed out with “Blood and Thunder” from their second album Leviathan.

Drummer and main vocalist Brann Dailor step up the edge of the stage after the show thanking people for the support and coming out to see live music again. He added, “Whenever we go to a city, we always add a famous person to our guest list. This time we added Wayne Gretzky. The staff were buzzing about thinking that Wayne Gretzky was going to show up tonight. Yup, 70 year old Gretzky is our biggest fan. I have some pieces of wood to give you and then we will wait for Opeth. Scream Opeth. One more time: Opeth!” He tossed his drum sticks and we waited for the next set.


Opeth kicked of their set with the Swedish version of “Heart In Hand” from their latest releases, 2019’s In Cauda Venenum also known as “Hjärtat vet vad handen gör.” “Ghost of Perdition” followed and it always amazes that these Prog/Dark Metal singers have such great melodic voices hiding behind their guttural growls. One of the most melodic voices belongs to Mikael Åkerfeldt as he seamlessly mixes from growl to harmonious vocals.

OPETH (Live at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022)
Photo: Mike Scott

Opeth were also one of the more engaging bands. All quotes are from Mikael: “We spent a lot of money on the visual screens behind you. Don’t look at us, watch the screens,” “Edmonton Canadia (sp) Is the place with the big mall, that has a pirate ship, and a beach, and a ice skating rink?” His reply to the punters screaming our song titles was a simple, “We have so many classics and we will get to some of those.” Another great line from Åkerfeldt was “I’m so happy so I’ll throw out a pick. It has my name on it in case I forget.” His banter between songs was genuine and humorous. Almost a sharp as Opeth’s musicianship. Their one hour and thirty minute set seemed to fly by.

“How are your voices Edmonton? Sing along to this one if you know it. If you don’t know it, sing anyway. Sing a fucking Rush song for all I care, just sing. This one is called “In My Time Of Need.”” And the crowd did sing along. At one point Åkerfeldt just let them go. It’s so wonderful to hear a few thousand voices singing as one again.

OPETH (Live at Edmonton EXPO Centre, Canada, May 5, 2022)
Photo: Mike Scott

Just before the last song of the night Mikael said, “We have one more song to play.” Which was greeted by a loud chorus of boos. Åkerfeldt then added “It’s no big deal, we will be back. We hope you enjoyed the three bands, but I hope you enjoyed us more. No just kidding. Thanks.” And they ripped into “Deliverance,” the heaviest song of the night.

All in all it was a great night. From a visual perspective, the stage was heavily back lit with a huge focus on lights and video screen scenes. I mean it is mostly Stoner Rock. The fans enjoy a little visual enhancement.

For more info check out:

Khemmis, Mastodon and Opeth

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