(Photo Credits: Gavin Ross Photography)
Gripped in the unusually severe cold snap, and subsequent large snow fall for the time of year, the crowd attending the Apocalyptica gig at Glasgows 02 - ABC were not put off. Though some travelling from further afield were beaten by the weather, those waiting to gain entry were snaked around the corner of Sauchiehall Street and up the steep incline of the hill on Scott Street as I arrived.
Deciding not to stand in the cold and, one coffee later, I made my way to the venue, collected my photo pass, and made my way inside to be met with an already half full hall waiting expectantly for Apocalyptica to take to the stage.
The remaining space in the hall was soon filled and at just after 8pm Apocalyptica, consisting of Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, Paavo Lötjönen and Antero Manninen took to the minimal stage, set for what would be a masterclass in classical music meets rock music.
Billed as ‘Plays Metallica By Four Cellos’ which was the name of the 1996 album, the band waste no time in establishing their ability to blend two very different styles of music together.
With there being no support act, Apocalyptica open the first part of their set with ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Master of Puppets’. They slow a little with ‘The Unforgiven’ pausing only for Toppinen to make reference to the weather and how nice it was for Scotland to be experiencing the same kind of weather the band are well used to.
Progressing through ‘Sad but True’, ‘Creeping Death’ and ‘Wherever I May Roam’ the absolute stoney face of Antero Manninen, who has returned to the band having previously left in 2009, is in stark contrast to the more animated, and sometimes downright headbanding, personas of his three bandmates.
Finishing the first part of the set with ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’ the crowd go wild with applause as a short 10 minute break is announced to allow a change of stage layout.
The interval over, and a massive and somewhat strange looking drum kit, complete with drummer Mikko Sirén is revealed from behind the screen that had divided the stage in the first part of the show. The band reappear to roars of approval from the welcoming crowd to begin this half of their set with ‘Fade to Black’ from the ‘Ride The Lightening’ album.
This allows all but Manninen, who remains his strong but seldom animated self, to cavort around the stage in time to the music, headbanging as they go. This is rapidly followed by ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ which can only be described as utterly manic but superbly controlled at the same time. An exceptionally high level of musical ability is clearly on display during this set. The track ‘Orion”, from ‘Master of Puppets’ is up next. One of Metallicas more progressive tracks gets the Apocalyptica treatment and has the crowd lapping it up.The song is more progressive than the band's previous work.
Heading towards the end of the main set, the band launch into ‘Escape’ followed by ‘Battery’ and leave the stage with ‘Seek & Destroy’, the latter allowing the crowd to add very audible vocals. Returning for the encore of ‘Nothing Else Matters’ this remains the best cover person of any track the band have performed. However, the show is not over yet as they finish with a rousing rendition of ‘One’ to send a very happy crowd on their way back into the cold and the snow having roared their approval one last time.
I could think of worse ways to spend an evening and to forget about life’s little problems, and the weather, for a couple of hours.
A highly recommended live band.
Acoustic Set List:
Master of Puppets
Sad but True
Wherever I May Roam
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Set list with Drums:
Fade to Black
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Fight Fire With Fire
Seek & Destroy
Nothing Else Matters
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