Apocalyptica and Lacuna Coil in Boston – May 3, 2022
When the pandemic began back in 2020, the first tours postponed were tours that were starting imminently. One of those, was Apocalyptica with Lacuna Coil. The tour was postponed multiple times, and one of the 2021 rebookings no longer featured Lacuna Coil. Fortunately, when it was postponed for the final time to Spring 2022, Lacuna Coil rejoined the lineup. After a two year delay, the tour finally came to Boston. As you cut through the crowd of Celtics fans heading to the playoff game next door, you’d find some great music being played at Big Night Live.
Nearly 20 years ago, Lacuna Coil broke onto the scene with their third album, Comalies. After a couple of big runs on Ozzfest, these Italian metallers have been putting out great music ever since. Fronted by Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, their two voices compliment each other so perfectly.
In late 2019, they released their ninth album, Black Anima. They’ve obviously had little chance to tour supporting it thus far, so it made up half of their setlist tonight. Favorites like “Trip the Darkness,” and their breakout hit, “Heaven’s a Lie,” helped makeup the rest of a great setlist. With only ten songs, Lacuna Coil’s set came to an end all too soon. “Nothing Stands in our Way,” off of 2014’s Broken Crown Halo, brought their performance to a powerful close, though this wouldn’t be the last we saw of Cristina tonight.
Finnish band Apocalyptica first album, 1996’s Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, was exactly what the title says: a quartet of cellos covering Metallica. The band has evolved in so many ways since then, over time bringing in original compositions, drums, and vocals. We’ve been fortunate enough to cover them a few times, and their last few years of touring before the pandemic, they were paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of their origins, with a set full of Metallica songs. In January of 2020, the band release Cell-O, their first album since 2003 to not feature any vocals. Now consisting of three cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso, and jazz drummer Mikko Sirén, the band went back to their orchestral roots.
Their setlist tonight featured music from all aspects of their career, with plenty of songs of Cell-O, as well as many of the more mainstream songs with vocals, and even a couple of Metallica covers. Most of their albums with vocals featured guest appearances from singers of other rock/metal bands, like Corey Taylor from Slipknot/Stone Sour, Adam Gontier from Saint Asonia/formerly Three Days Grace, and Brent Smith from Shinedown. Obviously these guys can’t all be on tour with them, so singer Franky Perez rejoined the band on this tour, to sing the songs that require vocals. He puts his own spin on the melodies, but does a great job at delivering the songs people love, like “I Don’t Care” and “Not Strong Enough.”
After Franky had toured with the band for a few years, Apocalyptica released an album where Franky sang all the vocals, 2015’s Shadowmaker. Franky gave a brief intro about this album, before they played the title track. The band also recently released a new song, “I’ll Get Through It,” which features Franky on vocals, and legendary Black Sabbath bass player Geezer Butler on bass. Sadly Geezer didn’t make a surprise appearance, but I found that live, I was much more impressed with the song than I had been on my initial listen to it.
Now while most of their guest singers can’t be with them, on 2007’s Worlds Collide, Apocalyptica recored the song “S.O.S. (Anything But Love)” with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil on vocals. If you’ve made it this far through my review, you know what’s coming next. The band introduced Cristina back to the stage, and she joined them for an amazing performance of the song. I’ve loved this song for years, and somehow, when this tour was announced, it had never clicked in my head that they may do this. A welcome treat, for sure!
When the band returned for their encore, they kept the crowd moving and singing along to Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy,” before wrapping up the show with their cover of the classical piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” A strong finish to a great night of music.
Apocalyptica have a level of talent that is unmatched by most bands. They’ve found a unique niche of music, blending classical cello with modern rock, and it’s a formula that really works for them. A friend seeing them for the first time was impressed, saying “I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that!” Apocalyptica is a band I will never turn down an opportunity to see, and if you get the chance to see them, take it!