LACUNA COIL / STITCHED UP HEART / 9ELECTRIC / PAINTED WIVES
Date: 31st May, 2016
Venue: The Bottom Lounge
Ticket: $20/€17.5 (in advance) - $25/€22 (day of show)
Man, there are so many words coming to mind when thinking about LACUNA COIL... I truly love this band and have been following their doings since the very early days (who remembers 1999’s “In A Reverie”? Let me see hands), even though I wasn’t a big fan of their most Pop-infused releases, “Dark Adrenaline” and “Broken Crown Halo” that without doubt opened the gates of the (bigger) US market. Fortunately (for me, at least), the Italian Dark / Gothic metallers decided to create one of the most in-your-face album of their career (of course that being “Delirium”) this year, so it seemed like the perfect excuse for a massive US tour which included Chicago and give us countless goosebumps during their 80-minute set, but let’s take first things first...
For this trek, LACUNA COIL were supported by STITCHED UP HEART, 9ELECTRIC and PAINTED WIVES, but we just entered the always friendly Bottom Lounge during the last track of female-fronted STITCHED UP HEART who have managed to warm things up pretty good, judging by the sweaty faces around us. The preparations for the Italians started immediately the moment Mixi and the boys headed backstage (and this is one more reason why we love this venue so much), so it didn’t actually take much to enjoy our beloved darksters who having rocking us hard for the last 2+ decades (wow, time does fly...). The clock stroke 10pm and saw the members of LACUNA COIL taking their positions in front of the well-prepared audience under the tunes of “Nothing Stands In Our Way” that managed to put the crowd on headbanging mode in no time. “Wanna hear you sing”, screamed Cristina Scabbia during the “we fear nothing” lyric line, proving from the early beginning her strong connection with the COIL-ers who aren’t afraid of showing their ageless bond with this band. The groovy “Die & Rise” was next, setting the mood for a Metal night, before Cristina asking how we were doing, passing immediately the baton to “Kill The Light” skipping the too-much talking, taking advantage to the max the time LACUNA COIL had on their disposal.
Then, it was Andrea Ferro’s time to greet the fans; “Good evening Chicago, it’s good to be back”, were his first words and it was really cool watching the fans responding with the same enthusiasm as they do for his co-frontwoman, showing that LACUNA COIL’s success isn’t based on the band’s looks but on the energy levels / coolness every member possesses onstage. “The next one is dedicated to everyone who tries to make this world a better place - it's called “Victims””, Cristina filled in. Everyone inside Bottom Lounge was headbanging / fist-pumping, proving that no show-goers were present that night but only fans, and this made things even better. “Spellbound” followed next, along with an even bigger wave of enthusiasm by the crowd who were singing the refrain at any given chance - and please note that when a crowd is that faithful to a band, the energy levels only can go up, being a win-win situation for both the band and the fans.
““Delirium” is officially out and we’re so proud of this release. This is our home and you are all invited”, Cristina said, before adding “welcome to “The House Of Shame””. It’s pretty difficult to resist this song’s SLIPKNOT-like tempo and groove, so one could only see people jumping up and down making the audience look like raging sea waves. Also, watching the band’s solid and strong performance was priceless. “Wow, that was fun! Now it’s time to throw something little older”, were Cristina’s preamble to “Heaven’s A Lie”. Judging by the fans’ reaction, there was no need for a special introduction because no matter its position on the setlist, it’s impossible to not recognize it. And to tell you the truth, I got a bit emotional during this one as I was watching everyone singing all the lyrics, no matter if it’s almost a 15 years old track. “Upsidedown” and the one-more-blast-from-the-past “Swamped” came back to back, before Cristina taking the chance to speak a bit more for the new record and introduced the following song by saying “when we started writing “Delirium”, we were thinking the weak and the helpless, so this goes out to every “Ghost In The Mist”...”. And boom, Andrea’s “Well, now get out of my face” intro-growling sent shivers down my spine, proving it was about time for LACUNA COIL to fully take advantage of his Metal mojo. Yes, this track worked like a charm coming from the stage, and if you think it sounds sick on the album, wait till you hear (and experience) this live...
Cristina chose to introduce the band and the newest member of the LC family (as she referred to LACUNA COIL), Diego Cavallotti on guitars, right before the DEPECHE MODE cover on “Enjoy The Silence” (which marked the end of the regular set), and reminding that it was again time for us to sing along. Which we did, and really I didn’t expect for a US crowd to actually know and not mumbling the lyrics of a European song. So, well done, Chicagoans! The lights were dimmed and the band quickly found its way to backstage, but not for long, since it was time for the encore 3-song part. “Trip The Darkness”, “Zombies” and “Our Truth” hit merciless the speakers, determined to drain every drop of energy left inside us. It seems that LACUNA COIL isn’t just a thirsty band wanting to satisfy their crowd, but they’re also determined to have fun, bouncing the energy levels back during the entire set. There wasn’t a single weak moment, a filler track or a yawning second during their 80-minute set, and right after the show, I caught myself wondering when will be the next time the Italian metallers will visit us and grant us with more tracks from their “Delirium”...
Nothing stands in our way
Nothing stands in our way...”
LACUNA COIL setlist:
01. “Nothing Stands In Our Way”
02. “Die & Rise”
03. “Kill The Light”
06. “The House Of Shame”
07. “Heaven’s A Lie”
10. “Ghost In The Mist”
14. “Enjoy The Silence”
15. “Trip The Darkness”
17. “Our Truth”
(click to enlarge)