|» Apocalyptica 2005 05 26||
I have to admit that I had my doubts about this concert beforehand. Would Apocalyptica be able to keep their concept of playing metal with cellos intact live on stage? And since the band's song material consists of about 95% instrumentals, would they be able to keep up the interest for roughly one and a half hour? Was I wrong? Well, yes and no.
Right from the start Apocalyptica proves that four cellos, four chairs and a drum set is all that is needed to create atmosphere. That and five highly skilled musicians, obviously. The sound is flawless and the performances are captivating. The opening track is "Path", the band's breakthrough hit and after five years still one of their greatest songs. The band members look concentrated; they head bang occasionally and get up to bow in front of the audience before they start playing the next song. Your typical classical metal concert, in other words.
Next track is a Metallica-cover, a little song called "Master of Puppets". The show offers a total number of eight (!) covers, six of them being from the Metallica catalogue. Apocalyptica pulls them all off masterfully, especially "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Nothing Else Matters" (although personally I'd choose "One" any day). They do play some of their own material as well, and it's the more recent tracks such as "Somewhere Around Nothing" and "Quutamo" that impress the most.
As I stated above, some of my worries about this concert were justified. Since almost all of the songs Apocalyptica has to offer are instrumental, it can't be helped that the gig feels a tad monotonous at times. This could have been corrected easily, either with voices on tape or even better, live singers! I secretly hoped till the very end that Linda Sundblad (of the Swedish band Lambretta) would be in the neighbourhood, so that she could make an appearance and sing on the beautiful ballad "Faraway". But alas, no Linda.
With no Linda Sundblad on stage, there was still a chance that Lauri Hylönen (of The Rasmus) would set things straight, since he was actually present, standing by the side and watching the whole gig. It's understandable that Lauri missed his duet partner Ville Valo (of HIM) on "Bittersweet", but why he didn't make an appearance on the latest hit single "Life Burns!" is anyone's guess. A simple detail like this would have lifted the concert to an even higher level. Disappointing.
Singers or no singers, this is still an impressing show. Mostly thanks to the great interplay between Eicca, Paavo, Perrtu and the others, but also because of the strong song material. The temperature also rises several degrees towards the end. Apocalyptica has played their cards well and started the show at a calm pace, before the orchestra gets up from their (not very comfortable) custom-made chairs to start running around the stage towards the end. Especially during the encores, which really get the audience going. I mean, who doesn't know the lyrics to "Enter Sandman"?
To give this show an even more Scandinavian feeling, with a Finnish band playing in Sweden with almost half the songs from the set list co-written by a Dane (Lars Ulrich), Apocalyptica discharges "Hall of the Mountain King" as the last song of the evening. A well-known classic written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in the late 1800's. Just like "Enter Sandman", this is a composition that everybody in the audience knows by heart.
If this orchestra travels through your town, you should definitely catch them. And as a final note; no, they don't break their cellos after the last song. Those things are expensive, you know.
7 chalices of 10
18, Enter Sandman