The Swedish prog metallers headlined the second edition of Summer Storm, Bangalore backed by a couple of local metal acts and two obscure international bands, from Germany and Maldives.
“One, two, three. Fuck off Mikael”
In its first edition in 2010, Overture’s Summer Storm booked American metal giants Lamb of God to play Palace Grounds, Bangalore. Late last year, the organizers announced that Swedish prog metallers Opeth would be headlining the festival in its second edition, supported by two other bands - German metallers SuidAkrA (read our interview with them here) and Maldivian metal act Nothnegal – with local acts, Eccentric Pendulum and Theorized.
Summer Storm 2012 kicked off at about 5pm on Sunday at Palace Grounds, Bangalore to a bunch of earlybird metalheads who were still pouring in to the venue, which was only expected to get packed by the time Opeth took the stage at the headlining slot. Theorized was the first band of the evening, playing a traditional prog metal set with a couple of new singles thrown in.
Eccentric Pendulum played the next slot; the unethused crowd kept alternating between ‘Behenchod, madarchod’ (reminiscent of a Zero gig) and ‘Amma, akka’. Both the local acts had their respective fans, and their in-jokes were well appreciated by the local punters. Yet, they failed to warm up the audience sufficiently for the international acts that were going to take the stage.
Up next were Maldivian metal act Nothnegal, who entered with intro music that seemed apt for a WWE superstar. The band played more of symphonic set, with Finnish keyboard played Marco Sneck of Kalmah accompanying. Overall, the band played a tight set, but their performance failed to connect with a crowd craving Swedish prog. However, as compared to the Indian acts, the band from Malé utilized the stage way better, and came into their element towards the latter half of their set.
Following Nothnegal were German metallers SuidAkrA. With massive Celtic folk influences in their sound, and the inclusion of bagpipes, the band were the most impressive act of the evening thus far. Frontman Arkadius Antonik seemed far more comfortable dealing with the growing audience. When he asked if everyone was doing okay, and hadn’t hurt themselves in the moshpit, girls up against the barriacade were quick to respond, “You’re a nice guy!”
Opeth took stage at sharp 8pm after a break of about 30 minutes. Playing a set that spanned most of their catalog including their debut album, and also played stuff from Blackwater Park (2001), Damnation (2003), Ghost Reveries (2005), and their most recent release Heritage (2011).
The set was a rather odd one, wherein the band didn’t play a lot of crowd favourites but picked out tracks that showcased the different aspects of the band’s sounds and their experiments over the years. In a particularly cheeky mood, frontman Åkerfeldt kept asking the crowd to ask him to “Fuck off” on the count of three. Also, his responses to being asked to fuck off ranged from “charming” to “heavy, you guys are quite heavy.” As one of the fans told us after the gig, it wasn’t a gig that any Opeth fan would have liked, but a hardcore fan would have really enjoyed; the diversity of the set and the lack of crowd favourites made for a performance that only Opeth obsessives would cherish.
Stay tuned for some cool contests, downloads and a chance to win Opeth’s drumstick, signed by Martin Axenrot!
PS. If you were at the festival and picked up one of our Summer Storm Throwaway cards, enter your code on the official Kingfisher Facebook page and pick up a bunch of free downloads and other digital goodies.
Photos and report by Naman Saraiya and Abhimanyu Ghoshal.