Apocalyptica - Lyon, France, 5th December 2007

Event: Apocalyptica: European Tour
Written by: Collin
Published: 08.12.2007

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Apocalyptica - Lyon, France, 5th December 2007 by Collin (22)
The Night Before
While the last show I attended was the Hellfest Festival Tour with Nightmare and Freedom Call on November 17th, I had back-to-back metal nights ahead of me. It could have been three in a row if I had gathered the will to go to the Riverside set on Monday, December 3rd. But my natural laziness and an uncontrollable urge to keep my couple intact forced me to stay home.

So, Tuesday, December 4th. I found myself arriving right on time at the Ninkasi Kao to see Vreid. Or so I thought. While the show was said everywhere to start at 8:00, when I invested the place at 7:55 the ex-Windir guys announced it would be their last two songs. While cursing the concert websites and the band's myspace for not being able to announce correct times, I could not help but be blown away by the band's performance. I enjoyed their Enslaved-like progressive black metal so much that I ran to the merch stand and grabbed their last album on the spot (with Unleashed's "Across The Open Sea").

Surprisingly, Marduk played in second position. The bill had them headlining, but for some reason that is far beyond me, they weren't. I was pretty happy about it, and enjoyed all the more their 55 minutes of brutal black metal. While there's really nothing to be said against their performance or their energy, a live Marduk somehow becomes tedious after a few songs. Though, the setlist was very cool and I saw what I came to see, namely "Baptism By Fire", "Wolves" and "The Hangman Of Prague".

Unleashed found themselves closing the night and came up onstage while some people who came only for Marduk had already left the venue. I feel sorry for them. Unleashed unquestionably blew Marduk right out of the water with their Viking old school death metal. Johnny Hedlund showed once again that he is a great frontman - he even managed to have an unsuspecting crowd sing along on most choruses - and the natural groove and headbangability of their songs (many of which were taken from the first albums) easily gained them the support of the crowd. Was it not for the three or four skinheads in the pit, I would have fully enjoyed that very brutal yet very entertaining night. I was home quite early since I live right beside the venue, tried to watch the news on tv while eating a sandwich, gave up after three depressing and useless reports and ended up reading a few pages of Philip Ziegler's "The Black Death" - amusingly quite in tune with the shows of the evening. I went to bed in a happy frame of mind.



The Morning After
I awoke to a throbbing migraine. As always after a metal show. Somehow, I can't stand flashing lights and loud noise, even with earplugs. In my next life, I want to be a proteus. Aspirins and coffee did nothing to relieve the pain, so I resigned myself to be a miserable wreck all day long and decided to take a shot at Apocalyptica's discography, so I would know what the evening was going to be like. In the light of the migraine, the perspective of going to another metal show didn't seem too sexy, even less so when I realized that I am definitely not a fan of Apocalyptica. I've always considered them to be more or less a gimmick band. While I really like their covers, I've never found anything of real interest in their own compositions. I've known them since their very first steps, I even remember reading a lukewarm review of their Metallica covers album in my then favourite magazine, back in 1996, and I never counted them among bands of interest. A gimmick band, as I said, only gaining fame due to the whole cello metal originality thing. But, I thought, if a band with normal instruments played the same songs, it would be tagged as subpar heavy metal and would never break the surface. Amusing, at best. Morbid thoughts, I agree, but I had 45 minutes of public transports before me to get to the Transbordeur.
And of course, while the sun had been shining brightly all day long, I found myself waiting at the back of a 300-metre queue under a light but mercilessly freezing rain.



The Foreplay
By the time I arrived at the gates, I was pretty much soaked through, but the sight of the bar through the windows made me immediately feel better. I had just enough time to grab a beer and swallow it in one gulp before Tokio Hotel, whoops, excuse me, Lacrimas Profundere, opened hostilities. Their show was as I expected. It was ok, nothing more, nothing less. While I really loved this band during the doom/goth period of the "Memorandum" and especially "Burning: A Wish" albums, I have never been convinced by their new goth rock (or rock'n'sad as they call it) direction. "Ave End" is a decent album, but artistically speaking it just doesn't bring anything. The new one… I don't even want to mention it. My only hope was that they would play at least one old song, possibly "Adorer And Somebody". Of course they didn't and stuck to their wussy easy tunes for goth-wannabe 14-year-olds. At least it was catchy and a lot of people seemed to enjoy the show. Still, Tokio Ho… dammit, Lacrimas Profundere was a disappointment to me. I miss Christopher Schmid badly, by the way.



The Intercourse
The half-hour wait between the bands allowed me to listen with interest to the couple arguing just behind me. They fought for about twenty minutes before the guy left. I think there must have been a break-up involved. I know it's none of my business, but the "-You do nothing for me / -What the hell are you talking about?" discussion was very entertaining to hear while I was waiting for the lights to fade and the actual show to kick off.
This was my first time with Apocalyptica and I wasn't prepared for what happened. After the first few notes of Worlds Collide, I already knew the show was going to be a blast. The sound proved to be brilliant, though the pounding drums were a little too loud and sometimes covered up the cellos. Same as the show in Tallinn as it seems. I was happy to note that Apocalyptica hired Dirk Nowitzki to take care of the drumworks.



The band quickly set the pace pretty high by playing Refuse/Resist and Fight Fire With Fire. I, who stupidly expected a static show with the four guys sitting on their chairs, was struck by all the headbanging in front of the crowd, the jumping around and running and the great interaction with the audience. Only Antero Manninen did not get out of his seat at all, but that was part of the fun to see him so serious with his suit and little glasses while the others were headbanging like crazy. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. I think I almost hoped it would be a more laid back show that would allow me to recover from the evening before. Well, think again dude. The beginning was pretty brutal.



Then came "I'm Not Jesus". Knowing that the band had guest vocalists on a few dates, I was really wondering if it was going to be so in Lyon. It was not, and I'm pretty happy about that, too. I think I have to take a stand against the addition of a tour vocalist to Apocalyptica. The songs that I found so bland on album were rejuvenated by the cello taking over the vocal duties. Somehow it sounded more musical than the vocals of Corey Taylor. Closer to what I expect from a cello quartet. Also, one of my big grievances against studio Apocalyptica is that the cellos too often sound like guitars ("Life Burns!" being a prime example) and kind of diminish the interest of the band as an unidentified musical object. Nothing like that here, in a live environment the cellos definitely sound like cellos. Yet another good point.



The best was still to come. While the aggressive songs where indeed most enjoyable and fun to watch, with their whirlwind of flashing lights and flying hair, I think the show reached an emotional peak on the softer, more melodic songs. "One" and "Nothing Else Matters" are definitely perfect for cello covers and took on a new dimension with the brilliant intimate lightings and the crowd singing along. I couldn't help but note that, while Lars Ulrich fucks up the end of "One" every time, Dirk Nowitzki/Mikko Sirén didn't miss a single beat. Judging by this show, the guy's a brilliant drummer.





Anyway, and surprisingly enough, the best song of the night was the one they did with Cristina Scabbia. Yes, "S.O.S. (Anything But Love"). I can't stand this song on album. But this live version almost drew tears from my eyes. At the very least, it certainly gave me goose bumps. The clear, desperate cries of Perttu Kivilaakso's instrument sounded so much better than Scabbia's whinings and the accompanying red lights gave the whole thing a very warm, yet very sad touch. Intimate? Yes, intimate.
Somehow, the only calm song that didn't entirely convince me was "Seemann". I couldn't really tell why I didn't really enjoy it. Maybe I expected more. Who knows.



There would be so much more to tell, about Antero's burning cello on "Life Burns!", about the jumping contest on "Enter Sandman", about the headbanging contest, about the awful Finnish accent of all the musicians, about the great lightshow (I can't stress this point too strongly), about the amazing response of the crowd etc. But I don't want to go into a boring song by song, so I'll leave it at that. You just need to know that the Transbordeur is a big venue and that the show was sold out, something that even Within Temptation in the same place could not achieve.



The Orgasm
^ Well, not really. Not for me at least. My pants were already wet and sticky when I left the venue. I was feeling strangely serene and fulfilled. This is a weird sensation, feeling more complete than you expected. This show had caught me completely offguard. While I was going mainly for the hell of it, I was blown away and saw one of the best shows of the year. I was obviously not the only one who enjoyed the evening. While waiting for a tramway back home, I could watch with undisguised amusement what a great night does to the high spirit of people. First, that nice brunette took her drunken and noisy friends as a pretext to come hit on me, so much so that I had to explain that my girlfriend would not be too happy if I brought another girl home (lol). Then, I watched this young couple play tonsil-hockey for about fifteen minutes before the guy said he had to go back home. Which was met with an impish look and an immediate "unless you want to stay…" that left little to the imagination. I think there's even a guy in Siberia who caught the hint. When the guy stopped, turned around and said "this is tempting" with the horniest look that I've ever seen, I couldn't help but burst out laughing. So they left, probably in search of a more intimate place where people could not eavesdrop on them. I assume a mattress suffered terrible pain that night.

Humans are funny. I know, this has nothing to do with Apocalyptica. That was just to explain that this show was very uplifting indeed.


A big thank you goes to Roger of Base Productions for the press accreditation!


 




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Collin - 08.12.2007 at 00:23  
Sorry about the sometimes blurred quality of the pictures. I'm too cheap to buy a camera that works well when you can't use the flash
wrathchild - 08.12.2007 at 01:09  
A fun read, to which I can almost totally relate.
I was also sort of lazy so I missed Riverside the day before (in Paris)...
And I once again stepped out of the venue happier than ever, or at least as happy as I did the first time I could see Apocalyptica on stage. They simply rule. I can only laugh at those who still insist that they don't play metal "coz metal is all about guitars!". Guys, after seeing Apocalyptica live twice, I can state that they're the best live band I've ever seen (granted, I'm still young, and single BTW) and I always fear I'll have a hard time being moved by an "ordinary" metal band afterwards (hopefully, I did attend the Anathema show the week after, and Anathema are probably the second best live band I've seen so far - even though you can hardly call that metal anymore).
destroyah - 08.12.2007 at 01:27  
huh huh... intercourse...
destroyah - 08.12.2007 at 01:45  
Pretty much agree. Except with "I'm Not Jesus" live version which i find to be utter crap. Job well done


Oh and I need you to tell me how "this is tempting" is in french
Darkside Momo - 08.12.2007 at 12:00  
Written by wrathchild on 08.12.2007 at 01:09

I can only laugh at those who still insist that they don't play metal "coz metal is all about guitars!". Guys, after seeing Apocalyptica live twice, I can state that they're the best live band I've ever seen (granted, I'm still young, and single BTW) and I always fear I'll have a hard time being moved by an "ordinary" metal band afterwards (hopefully, I did attend the Anathema show the week after, and Anathema are probably the second best live band I've seen so far - even though you can hardly call that metal anymore).

Agreed, except for the 'best live band' part. One of the best, it's clear; I've seen them the 30th of November in Toulouse the show was like the one in Lyon, really great, with a little most pit.
And I'm happy to see you like Anathema too. Evenif they're not metal anymore on albums, their live shows can still be...

Written by destroyah on 08.12.2007 at 01:45


Oh and I need you to tell me how "this is tempting" is in french

"C'est tentant" nearly a copy/paste from french to english

Edit : I forgot, but you're too kind with Lacrimas Profundere, Collin. They were absolutely boring, the songs sounded the same... With a friend of mine (Nicolas Guerri, I think you know him) we traded jokes to pass the time. The audience wasn't really receptive either, except the youngest girls in the audience (i.e. less than 15)
Collin - 08.12.2007 at 12:53  
Written by Darkside Momo on 08.12.2007 at 12:00

Written by destroyah on 08.12.2007 at 01:45


Oh and I need you to tell me how "this is tempting" is in french

"C'est tentant" nearly a copy/paste from french to english

Edit : I forgot, but you're too kind with Lacrimas Profundere, Collin. They were absolutely boring, the songs sounded the same... With a friend of mine (Nicolas Guerri, I think you know him) we traded jokes to pass the time. The audience wasn't really receptive either, except the youngest girls in the audience (i.e. less than 15)


Yeah, "c'est tentant", that's exactly the words that guy used lol.

About Lacrimas Profundere, I know their music pretty well, so maybe that's why I didn't fall that much to intense boredom And there's one song I really liked, it's "One Hope's Evening". But well, they were much more interesting before they decided to follow the rule of doom/goth band and play pussy rock.
Ivan - 08.12.2007 at 13:28  
Haha, I like the link to Barry's profile on the word 'intimate'! He should copyright it
wrathchild - 08.12.2007 at 15:09  
Written by Darkside Momo on 08.12.2007 at 12:00

Edit : I forgot, but you're too kind with Lacrimas Profundere, Collin. They were absolutely boring, the songs sounded the same... With a friend of mine (Nicolas Guerri, I think you know him) we traded jokes to pass the time. The audience wasn't really receptive either, except the youngest girls in the audience (i.e. less than 15)


I also forgot to comment on Lacrimas Profundere... Exactly the same in Paris, boring, repetitive, with almost no interaction with the crowd... Instead of a warm up, they gave us quite a good cold. I was very afraid that they had succeeded in freezing the audience to the bones as nobody was really excited and participative when Apocalyptica entered with "Worlds Collide" (a great track known to many since they played it for that Eurovision show). Hopefully, Refuse/Resist did solve the problem
Collin - 08.12.2007 at 15:13  
Question: do the thumbnails work for you people?
Ivan - 08.12.2007 at 15:26  
Written by Collin on 08.12.2007 at 15:13

Question: do the thumbnails work for you people?

They do for me...
Collin - 08.12.2007 at 15:28  
Ok, there must be a problem with Firefox or with my Internet config or something. It loads but the image never appears.
Ivan - 08.12.2007 at 16:36  
Written by Collin on 08.12.2007 at 15:28

Ok, there must be a problem with Firefox or with my Internet config or something. It loads but the image never appears.

Oh, sorry, I thought you meant the thumbnails themselves. The pictures don't load for me either...
Bararey - 08.12.2007 at 16:54  
I too arrive in venues few minutes before they show starts, and several times missed the opening bands due to an error on either the ticket or the venue's website, so i made it a habit of calling on the day of the show and asking about the start time

And yeah Antero Manninen is very still, I even thought he could be blind (is he?) because when he left and re-entered it was always accompanied by someone else.

PS, I use firefox, and when i click on the thumbnails they white thing pops and stays in the loading state.
Collin - 08.12.2007 at 16:58  
The pictures issue is fixed, thanks to Ivor
Darkside Momo - 08.12.2007 at 22:43  
Written by wrathchild on 08.12.2007 at 15:09

Written by Darkside Momo on 08.12.2007 at 12:00

Edit : I forgot, but you're too kind with Lacrimas Profundere, Collin. They were absolutely boring, the songs sounded the same... With a friend of mine (Nicolas Guerri, I think you know him) we traded jokes to pass the time. The audience wasn't really receptive either, except the youngest girls in the audience (i.e. less than 15)


I also forgot to comment on Lacrimas Profundere... Exactly the same in Paris, boring, repetitive, with almost no interaction with the crowd... Instead of a warm up, they gave us quite a good cold. I was very afraid that they had succeeded in freezing the audience to the bones as nobody was really excited and participative when Apocalyptica entered with "Worlds Collide" (a great track known to many since they played it for that Eurovision show). Hopefully, Refuse/Resist did solve the problem


quite the same here, except that not many people recognized 'Fight Fire With Fire' just after Refuse Resist. Bah.

And I forgot to add that, even if the show wasn't soldout, the crowd's response was good enough so we had 2 encore !
Baz Anderson - 10.12.2007 at 12:03  
hahahaha, funny commentary at the end
I'm not an Apocalyptica fan at all so I don't have any comment to do with the band, but I just noticed the link on my apparent favourite word. hahahahaha that made me chuckle!
Bad English - 11.12.2007 at 00:38  
Written by Collin on 08.12.2007 at 00:23

Sorry about the sometimes blurred quality of the pictures. I'm too cheap to buy a camera that works well when you can't use the flash


The Morning After ist like Tankard song and video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw5ZT4pbYpI


I had such migranes too after concerts nothing dont helps, only sleeping whot out moving head, terible feeling ... but watermelone sometime shelps

Lacrimas Profundere - dont talk about them ...And the Wings Embraced Us and ...La Naissance d'un Rкve beautifull albums, I adore them but after .... hmm and fan shoot John Lenon
+{Jonas}+ - 17.01.2008 at 20:28  
This is not an article... It's a masterful chronicle of a concert. 10/10 Collin, amazing amazing amazing chronicle. 'cause you weren't expectin sucha a great show, and you let us know through your words how great it really was, without the need of a song by song or entering into a lot of deatils.

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