LACUNA COIL / EVE TO ADAM / ANTI-MORTEM
Date: 27th May, 2014
Venue: The Bottom Lounge
Ticket: $22.50 (€16)
DimK: Anyway, the timetable was followed to the letter and right at 8:00pm the young faces of ANTI-MORTEM showed up to get things going. Clearly, the audience had no idea about these guys from Oklahoma, so the band had to work hard for its money. “Hate Automatic” kicked in and before anyone thinking that this would be something like Southern Rock, ANTI-MORTEM went into full distortion and made the most of the small onstage space they had in their disposal. Comparing this performance with the previous one (supporting MONSTER MAGNET in November 2013), I’d say right away that there has been a lot of improvement in terms of confidence and onstage presence. It was funny watching the majority of the LACUNA COIL fans wondering how to deal with the already sweating guys who were jumping up and down in a PANTERA-esque fashion. Soon, the band’s hard onstage work started paying off and during “Stagnant Waters” one could see quite a few headbangers with their number steadily growing, especially during the rhythm guitar driven part. “The next one is call “Words Of Wisdom” and basically talks about that there are no words of wisdom”, said the band’s frontman Larado Romo who has to reconsider soaking his hair wet before headbanging, especially when there are a lot of ladies in the front rows, although it was funny watching their reaction. “It’s ok to start foot-tapping and then headbang during this one”, was Larado’s way to introduce the Southern groove and melody galore of “Track Stop Special” that sounds ten times better live than on the record. But this was a short set, and ANTI-MORTEM left the stage after the PANTERA groovy and sing-along “100% Pure American Rage”. This was a great opening set and I really enjoyed how ANTI-MORTEM won the audience via the non-stop Southern raised Metal.
PS: By the way, they will be supporting the almighty MACHINE HEAD in the upcoming US tour, so I am sure there will be more action.
01. “Hate Automatic”
02. “Ride Of Your Life”
03. “Stagnant Waters”
04. “Words Of Wisdom”
05. “100% Pure American Rage”
06. “Truck Stop Special”
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DimK: Next on the billing were the modern rockers of EVE TO ADAM who apparently had some fans inside the venue who quickly assumed positions as close to the stage as possible. The set started with “Bender” but to be 100% honest with you I have to admit that I am not sure if I liked what I saw or not. For whatever the reason, the drums were too loud in the mix, so the vocals and the guitars were buried. Unfortunately, there was not any improvement during the more melodic “Fortune Teller”, so the nice guitar leads were nowhere to be found and still the vocals were M.I.A.. This was EVE TO ADAM’s last show supporting LACUNA COIL and I think one could see and (occasionally hear) the fatigue on Taki’s voice. During the groovy and BUCKCHERRY-like “Locked & Loaded” and the following “Immortal”, there were some signs of improvement, putting some ladies from the audience in dancing mode . Taki took the opportunity (after all, it was the Memorial Day the day before) to dedicate the latter song to those “who have fought and died in battle” and rightfully gained a loud round of applause. Gaurav Bali was Taki’s wingman in terms of working the audience, and despite the unbalanced sound mix, he found his way to showcase his lead-guitar virtues, especially during the solos. Taki seemed to have some issues with his ear monitors but he dealt with this with humor, especially when a member of the stage crew was helping out, by saying “this feels like a TSA pat-down”.
“This is dedicated to all of you who came to see us supporting LACUNA COIL” the frontman said and then the characteristic opening melody introduced Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. I was surprised to see the young audience singing along the chorus while I was thinking that the higher pitches were not handled well by Taki’s tired vocals chords. Anyway, “Straightjacket Supermodel” was the last song of a set that did not go as good as I was expecting, but at least the audience had some fun, so I may be wrong.
EVE TO ADAM
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MariaV: It had been more than five years since the last time I had watched LACUNA COIL live in Greece’s ‘Rock Em All’ festival (in July 2008, if I am not mistaken), so I was quite curious to see what Cristina and Andrea had to offer onstage, especially after the band’s change of direction to more keyboards-oriented for the last three years or so. Plus, the departure of Cris ‘Pizza’ Migliore (guitars) and Cristiano ‘Criz’ Mozzati (drums) from the lineup had already created a couple of question marks of how the Italian Gothic metallers would respond to the demands of a US tour.
At 10pm sharp, the tiny stage of Bottom Lounge was lit with purple lights as the keyboard-esque intro of “Trip The Darkness” started raising waves of enthusiasm among the young audience. First onstage was Ryan Folden (who performed live with the band for the majority of the 2012 and 2013 ‘Dark Legacy’ and ‘Dark Adrenaline’ tours respectively), followed by Marco and Maus, leaving last but not least the singing duet that draw all the attention with the high energetic performance, even though the long US tour was close to its end (it started on February 20th). “Chicago, let me hear you and raise your hands up in the air” said the black-dressed Cristina who, no matter the tour-fatigue, gave 110% by constantly jumping up and down (keeping the headbanging minimum though), being the best partner in crime to Andrea’s onstage intensity. By the way, I happen to consider Andrea as the most expressional singers I have ever seen live and during that set, he maintained his energy at high levels for the entire 90-minute show. “Kill The Light” and “Die & Rise” came back-to-back and the audience seemed to have a really good time, following the band’s energy surge, although to me it felt like watching two singers performing the songs over the sound of the pre-recorded parts and nothing more. I really missed the double-guitar action or the strong presence of a bassist, and maybe I have to admit that LACUNA COIL is just a well-oiled macchina driven by the electro melodies and not by the guitar leads / solos / or whatever.
“Here is an old one – do you remember it?” Cristina asked and I think most of the audience did by identifying the “Swamped” intro before getting into some serious headbanging, leaving me to wonder why the heck the Italians do not play more songs from the “Comalies” era (and back). Ok, “Dark Adrenaline” is the best-sold album in the States, but still, I feel many would enjoy the addition of a few songs from the band’s more guitar-driven days. “This goes to everyone who tries to make this world a better place” were Cristina’s exact words as a short introduction to the brand new “Victims” that received a really warm response from the audience. “Fire” and “Fragments Of Faith” were served without pause, and there was some serious clapping action during the latter, following Andrea’s guidance. Unfortunately, one could see the band’s fatigue from the extensive touring, especially as we reached the middle of the set, so we only saw Cristina once or twice doing her crazy headbanging thing near the drums, like it happened in “Zombies”, so there was no surprise that from that point and on, things would run a bit faster with minimum pauses. Another oldie, “Heaven’s A Lie”, came next and saw the crowd going bananas before singing-along the refrain every single time. “You guys are unbelievable” Cristina noted before “Spellbound” that was also the last song of the regular setlist because everyone wanted an encore.
Hands down, the highlight of the set was “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow” as it was pure delight watching the two singers performing in an almost theatrical synchronicity with the music leaving on the side the still gathering fatigue. Then, Cristina took the chance to share some words of wisdom saying that bad things always happen in life but everyone should fear nothing and stand strong, no matter what, giving the perfect pass to the new track “Nothing Stands In Our Way” that was really well-received by all the COILers that night. The final song of the evening, “Our Truth”, found the entire audience jumping up and down and singing along on top of their lungs, underlining that Chicago loves LACUNA COIL, and maybe deserved a little bit longer setlist as it was noted in the tapped on the stage setlist (there was one more song that was left out).
This was a very good show, although I have to admit (again) that I missed from the onstage action having two guitars on the lineup. This would also have taken some of the performing-burden that currently lies on the shoulders of Cristina and Andrea and I am sure it gets hard some times. I think if this passionate and historic band decides to bring more of that lost glory in their future shows, things will work even better live in the demanding market of the US. Of course, what matters the most is to keep the fans satisfied, so judging by the smiling and sweaty faces, I don’t think anyone felt dissatisfied that night...
LACUNA COIL setlist:
01. “Trip The Darkness”
02. “Kill The Light”
03. “Die & Rise”
08. “Fragments Of Faith”
10. “Heaven’s A Lie”
13. “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow”
14. “Nothing Stands In Our Way”
15. “Our Truth”
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