I found out that Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth was sick in a roundabout manner last week. The BandsInTown Application sent me a notification about a headlining Graveyard show scheduled for the very same night as their original scheduled slot opening for Opeth in Toronto. I read the email a few times with mixed feelings; firstly saddened that Opeth wasn’t going to perform, and secondly elated that Graveyard would play a more extended set the same night in a smaller venue.
The merits of Graveyard’s catalogue of five studio albums are many. They play tight songs that harken back to a simpler time in rock n’ roll; a 1970’s era when bands would write and tour material on the strength of their guitar playing and lyrical prowess alone. When I play Graveyard, I think of acts like Rainbow and UFO, bands that made great-sounding rock n’ roll.
Joakim Nilsson, Jonatan Ramm, Truls Mörck, and Oskar Bergenheim showcased material spanning their five-album back-catalogue. While it was great to hear tracks from their most recent 2018 release Peace, it was tracks like “Hisingen Blues,” “Uncomfortably Numb,” “No Good,” “Mr. Holden,” “Ain’t Fit to Live Here,” and “The Siren” from 2011’s Hisingen Blues that got the crowd to swoon.
Another critical trait from the 1970’s era bands is their unwavering mantra that “The show must go on.” Thanks to Graveyard for keeping that dream alive, and turning around this performance on a dime. It would have been easy to hole-up somewhere until Åkerfeldt was well enough to continue touring. Toronto loves you.