A Houston winter must be a strange thing for a Swede to behold. The only real discernible change from autumn is that the mosquitoes fly south every year. The air outside of Warehouse Live on Friday was a good 40 degrees or so warmer than the weather in Stockholm right now, and it was a hell of a lot warmer inside, where fans crowded in to catch a couple of Scandinavia's longest-running international metal acts.
Though Opeth and In Flames might hail from a region that is fiercely proud of its contributions to the uglier, more extreme end of the metal spectrum, both groups have largely eschewed the brutal trappings of death metal in recent years, pursuing instead an interest in their homeland's popular and pleasant strains of pop and folk. The audience that showed up to see them last week didn't always resemble a death-metal crowd, but it certainly looked big, with people crammed into the big ballroom from the stage to the doors.
If there's been a larger heavy-metal show at Warehouse all year, I didn't see it, and I saw quite a few.