After having seen Tragedy the night before and being crushed by their utterly filthy heaviness, last night I was looking forward to something for a nice contrast – something interspersed with more gentleness, utilising negative space in the song arrangements. Arriveth early to check out Karatonia as I’d not heard them before but walked out halfway through. I wasn’t too impressed; they’re not a bad band but not terribly exciting either.
So I sat at a cafe to work on my psychedelic love story. I was filling up with the bodily memories of my magickal time exploring London’s hidden reverse and synthesising these feelings, distilling them into words. This put me into quite an enchanted space for which to experience Opeth.
They opened with The Devil’s Orchard and it was epic, setting the tone perfectly. Mikael was fucking hilarious throughout, as usual. They played a selection of earlier songs and an acoustic interpretation of Demon of the Fall. I really appreciated that; having seen some bands a fair few times and feeling cheated for hearing the same set list over and over, I see it as a mark of respect to the audience to make an effort, to be creative and to give us something interesting for our money. Häxprocess was a personal favourite. The Heritage album has snuck into my essential listening list slowly but firmly, and I had a strong desire to hear as many of those songs as possible.
We were treated to an encore of Harlequin Forest – totally heavy and beautiful as always. I felt happy with the whole experience, and in this spirit of gratitude lay down in the midnight park in Newtown and stared peacefully at the doom-grey sky for an hour before walking home.
The drugs were wearing off and the Fear was kicking in as I walked home from the party through the midnight park. I took in the old-but-not-quite-ancient trees. They were all so beautiful – broad, tall and gnarled, yet proud. There was a smarminess about them though that I really didn’t like.
I soon realised why: these trees were the sole survivors of the other act of genocide that was waged in Sydney at the end of the 18th century – the environmental holocaust. Smug sentinels that declared their own eliteness, and belligerently mistook sheer luck for evolutionary supremacy over their felled forest comrades.
I sat beneath one of the tallest ones and sculled some sweet nectar from my sack.
The war memorial stood in the clearing, looming over the pretty city park in silent territoriality. It was a monument to grief; a monument to thieves. There was a young couple making out in the locked doorway of this concrete monolith. They looked so much in love, as though they had so much to taste of each other that was new, and a rushed desperation to feast now, now, now.
As I watched them from the shadows of the trees, I felt hopeful despite the onset of my comedown, but also sad and anxious as amplified by my frail state. I was okay with this though, because aren’t all of the most profound experiences flooded with seemingly incongruent emotions?
I gave myself a layback and meditated on the interconnectedness of sex and death. I wondered how long it would take before the glory of bloodshed that this couple lusted after each other underneath would permeate their relationship. How long until they, too, were at war?