Finnish band Apocalyptica released their new CD Shadowmaker earlier this year, and finally got around to tour Europe this fall. It was my first time seeing them, so I was really excited!
The concert at Amsterdam’s Melkweg was completely sold out this evening, and consequently there was a huge line waiting to enter “the max”. Kudos to the Melkweg crew though, didn’t take very long to enter after all! What I loved (and yeah, some others hate) was that the crowd was a bit more heterogeneous than at any average metal gig.
Tracer, the Australian openers, started right at 8pm. What a show! I haven’t checked them out, but definitely loved their live performance and their sound, which reminded me strongly of the Foo Fighters. Their 45 minutes just passed very quickly, and set a nice and cheerful atmosphere for the main act.
Then, finally after a short break, Apocalyptica entered the stage with Reign of Fear. What a start! It was followed by Grace, before the new singer, Franky Perez, climbed the stage to first perform I’m Not Jesus, one of my all-time favorites. The bliss! It was followed by House of Chains, which I didn’t like too much on the record, but worked really well live, and Not Strong Enough. After that, it got heavier with two covers: Enter Sandman by Metallica and Inquisition Symphony by Sepultura. Bittersweet and Harmageddon were played, just like all songs, to perfection. Next on the list was Hope, before the instrumental piece Riot Lights from the new album, which is heavily influenced by electronic and trance music. Very interesting to hear it live, and worked out really well! Besides some classics, the concert was of course also an opportunity to present the new songs, and so the evening continued with the title track, Shadowmaker, and the ballad Hole in my Soul. Franky Perez managed it very well to put a lot of emotion into these songs, which made it even more enjoyable to hear them live. Followed by these great tracks was a personal highlight, namely a track from the Wagner Reloaded show the guys made a couple years back in Germany: Ludwig-Requiem. This soft and mellow piece left no one untouched and was a truly great experience. After this, it surely was time to get heavier again, and Apocalyptica did what they do so well: cover Sepultura and Metallica once again, with Refuse/Resist and Seek & Destroy, respectively. The last piece of the regular concert was the fabulous Edvard Grieg cover, Hall of the Mountain King. The evening was concluded with two encores: I Don’t Care and Dead Man’s Eyes. Franky Perez put a lot of emotions into this last song again, and so it was the perfect end of a perfect evening.
What I really liked is that Apocalyptica knew how to put themselves perfectly in scene, without needing much light shows, animations and whatnot. There’s something many bands can still learn from… Also, the guys were very cheerful and knew how to create a good ambience. The almost 2 hours passed like nothing! This was surely one of the best gigs I have ever attended. If you haven’t seen these guys live, do so at the next opportunity!
1. Reign of Fear
3. I’m Not Jesus
4. House of Chains
5. Not Strong Enough
6. Enter Sandman (Metallica-cover)
7. Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura-cover)
11. Riot Lights
13. Hole in my Soul
15. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura-cover)
16. Seek & Destroy (Metallica-cover)
17. Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)
18. I Don’t Care (Encore)
19. Dead Man’s Eyes (Encore)