24th October 2010
Apocalyptica & Livingston
The live shows of APOCALYPTICA are known for their capabilities of setting a huge audience into rapture at once. On their actual tour, they played only four gigs in Germany, one of them at the C-Halle in Berlin. Support was no other than the South-African LIVINGSTON who sure knew how to bring the audience into the right mood.
LIVINGSTON is a British rock band which was founded in 2002 and consists of Beukes Willemse (vocals), Jakob Nebel (guitars / percussion), Chris Van Niekerk (guitar / keyboard), Paolo Serafini (drums) and Phil Magee (bass). The members of this band accrue from different countries and continents. They have published three studio albums, their last in 2010. They started to play in Germany as support acts for different bands like ICH + ICH and REVOLVERHELD in 2007. In 2009, they gave a successful tour through Germany as headliners. Since then, they have a close relationship to Germany and the German public and even moved to Berlin for a while. http://www.livingstonmusic.co.uk/ / http://www.myspace.com/livingstonlondon
Music & Performance
Most of the audience at the C-Halle didn’t know LIVINGSTON before, probably because their music is very different of the music APOCALYPTICA plays. Thus, almost half of the audience was still standing outside the concert hall, when LIVINGSTON started to play at a quarter to eight. But bit by bit, people entered the hall and were soon captivated by the remarkable performance of LIVINGSTON. They play a real good rock / indie music, impassionate and of a high quality. They also convinced by their non-pretentious and likeable behaviour at stage and left a very good impression to the public, although they only played until half past eight.
APOCALYPTICA is one of the great, if not the greatest, Finish metal and dark rock bands and surely one of the most innovative music projects of the last years. Founded in 1993 by four cello players, their name is a combination of the Greek word “apocalypse” and the band name “Metallica”. Their first album, published in 1996, consisted of METALLICA cover versions arranged for four cellos. They soon started to compose their own songs instead of only covering known metal and rock songs. Since the third album, they begun to use drums, and since 2005, APOCALYPTICA consists of three cellos, played by Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen and Perttu Kivilaakso, and Mikko Sirén at the drums. They have published seven studio albums, and their last album, ‘7th Symphony’, was out in August 2010. http://www.apocalyptica.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/apocalyptica
Music & Performance
People were already waiting impatiently for the cello rock stars, when thy appeared, dressed in black and with dramatic light effects. Their background image, which changed several times during the performance, was at the beginning a rocky landscape with grey cellos at the foreground. They started with some songs of their new album, ‘7th symphony’. Eicca was spreading a lot of enthusiasm, head banging and playing the cello with a very impassionate attitude. The audience had some difficulties to get into the music, probably because APOCALYPTICA started with new and still not so known songs. Things changed with the next song, a well-known METALLICA cover: ‘Master of puppets’. Yet with the first chords, audience started to be exalted. At this song, Mikko Sirén showed that he is a really master at the drums, although sometimes the drums were a little bit too dominant for the three cellos. After this song, Eicca earned a lot of laughing asking the public if they had already bought the new album, or at least obtained a copy of it.
At the next song, ‘End of me’, a song of the new album, the touring vocalist Tipe Johnson made his appearance. Tipe Johnson is the vocalist of the Finish Rock band THE LENINGRAD COWBOYS. His performance didn’t convince at this song, because his voice was too weak to coexist with the exceptional cello and drum performance. For first time in Germany, APOCALYPTICA played ‘Broken pieces’, which was not very well received, I think because of the vocals. In change, at the following song of their performance, ‘I’m not Jesus’, Johnson’s performance convinced and the listeners were thrilled. In the meantime, the background image had changed, and instead of the cellos and the landscape, the woman with the cello body (the cover of the last album) could be seen, often underlined by beautiful light effects. During ‘Beautiful’, Mikko Sirén left the drums and played a fourth cello. ‘Beautiful’ is a very romantic, sad song, but even more heartbreaking was the next song, ‘Sacra’, which had the rhythm of the human beating of the heart. Mikka played masterly a transparent drum, and the audience was excited.
Anyway, the audience was, spoken in general terms, difficult to captivate, and the atmosphere was not as good as it could have been. Before ‘Bittersweet’, Perttu removed all his clothes except his trousers, and started to present the members of the band. He also made a biting remark about Berlin, surely due to the attitude of the public. Towards the end of the concert, Eicca intended several times to animate the public to show more excitement. At the last song, the SEPULTURA cover ‘Inquisition symphony’, Eicca excelled himself with his outstanding performance, playing not only the cello with virtuosity, as usual, but also playing sometimes the drums. APOCALYPTICA appeared for the first encore with the stage completely immersed in darkness, the only light coming from little lamps placed at the head of their cellos. They played a total of three encores, among them ‘The hall of the mountain king’, a cover version of the well-known classical piece of Edvard Grieg.
It can be said that APOCALYPTICA gave a great show at the C-Halle. Both the cello and the drums were really remarkable played by the members of this excellent dark rock band. Also the light show and the special effects were worth to be underlined. Only two things avoided the concert to be a complete exit: the vocals, which did not reach the level of the regular members of the band, and the mood at the C-Halle, which was not as good as it would have been desirable.
01. On the Rooftop With Quasimodo
04. Master of Puppets (Metallica cover)
05. End Of Me
06. Broken Pieces
07. I'm Not Jesus
08. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover)
12. Last Hope
13. Bring Them to Light
14. Seek and destroy (Metallica cover)
15. Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura cover)
16. At the Gates of Manala
17. I Don't Care
18. Hall of the Mountain King
Total: 8.5 / 10
All pictures by Nadine Ginzel (http://www.dyingsun.de/)