emilio angel

October 3, 2017

Apocalyptica Rock old school Metallica Cello at a sold-out Vancouver show

Apocalyptica vancouver tour nightmair creative

Apocalyptica at the Commodore Ballroom
written by Emilio Angel

Apocalyptica has been on tour over a year now celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their first album, “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”. I was stoked to say the least, thinking to myself. “I had seen Metallica barely 2 months earlier after 7 years, playing THE best show of the year. Now I get to relive the experience on cello in a much more intimate venue like the Commodore”. And the fact that they had already sold out multiple venues including the Commodore. The hype was real.

Apocalyptica was the only band to perform that night (no openers). The band started strong, with a darkened stage, the 4 musicians seated with strong lighting on a dark gray wall behind them; their reflected shadows adding a certain goth feel. Mr. Cool to the left of the stage keeping his composure without a single smile from start to finish, Perttu and Eicca front and center, they frequently talked and directed the audience and Paavo to the right. The band brought back Antero (Mr.Cool) just for this tour, as he was the original performer in the band’s first album.

Apocalyptica played the original album head to toe, starting strong with “Enter Sandman” and “Master of Puppets”, albeit to a quiet audience, the first set of the night had the audience barely singing the words to the Metallica instrumental, Although Eicco would later inspire the entire audience to sing along to the classic 80s tunes.

From the first set the most powerful songs would have to be “The Unforgiven”, played impeccably with an amazing solo, “Creeping Death”, a personal favorite from Metallica, (and the song everyone sang the infamous “Die, Die” bridge to) and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” which closed the first set.

The band goes of stage and I head through the sold-out venue to the back for drinks. The stage gets rearranged with the addition of a big drum kit. Twenty minutes later Apocalyptica come back on stage to perform their second set of the night. The second set was a mixture of their second album and a hand full of Metallica covers that exude more power with the additional drums in the live show version. Literally every good song from pre- Load era of Metallica was played on the second set. Classic’s like “Battery” and “Fight Fire with Fire” played with a ferocious headbanging and a crowd that finally got the memo that this was a metal show, not a classical orchestra.

The absolute best song of the night was, of course, “Orion”. Apocalyptica was made to play this long instrumental, featuring some of Metallica’s Cliff Burton’s best bass playing. The already 8-minute-long, 1986 masterpiece was turned into a true work of art!  Apocalyptica knows how to portray the emotions set out in the original, and amplify it through their cellos. Cliff would be proud!

As with every single Metallica show for the last 20 years, they played “Seek and Destroy”, deceiving the audience to think this would be their last song. Despite the quiet singing of most of the setlist, the chants and celebration of the band were very loud. Apocalyptica left the stage for a couple minutes but the chants from the crowd were very loud, demanding more songs, especially since we were missing a couple classics. The Finnish band would return to the stage to play a shortened version of “Nothing Else Matters” and “One”. Apocalyptica vowed to return, not surprising after they played the sold-out Commodore.

The show was amazing, Apocalyptica is truly a world class act and a great spin to the original Metallica stuff, if anything I would have enjoyed hearing “Blackened” or maybe mix up “Orion” with “Call of Cthulhu” Metallica always changes their setlist every show, Apocalyptica should too!

The 2-hour show was a fun time I’ll make sure to see them again next time they’re around.

Show: 4.5
Setlist: 3.9
Performance: 4.7
Audience: 1.5 You know you sucked.

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written by Emilio Angel



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