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E-Werk, Cologne, Germany
28th October 2010
Apocalyptica, Livingston

It was going to be APOCALYPTICA’s last gig in Germany… for a while… two days and if you don’t get to play for two days to come, you’re aiming to make the current one count, right? As expected before the queue was nothing to call it short. Everyone wanted to see that spectacle going down. Support was the multi-cultural group LIVINGSTON and I wondered how they’d be accepted by the Metal audience.


The story of this band started a few years back in South Africa, where two of the future band members meet at a concert and come to see they're vibrating on the same frequency. Eventually, their way would lead them to England and there the line-up would continue to gain contours. Following a series of recording sessions at legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, Manta Ray Records signed the band. With a string of support shows for renowned German bands they began to cultivate a following in Germany as well. After releasing some EPs and singles, the debut album 'Sign Language' was released in October 2009 and a new one is in the works already. LIVINGSTON is Beukes Willemse (vocals, keyboard), Jakob Nebel (guitar, percussion, backing vocals), Chris van Niekerk (guitar, backing vocals), Phil Magee (bass) and Paolo Serafini (drums, backing vocals). /

Music & Performance
LIVINGSTON chose for an upbeat start of their show with ‘Smile’ showing the band in top mood and with unquenchable joy o f playing, at first bathed in erratically flickering lights; later inside a little visual universe of effects. ‘Six By Four’ followed it up with a drum section tamed in tempo, equipped instead with a higher amount of melody. You could anticipate the reaction not being as euphoric as on a gig we attended earlier this year, but the crowd did not completely remain static all the time either, especially not when getting presented that mutual drum & percussion section on ‘Disease’. The loyalties were set however obviously to another band. The ballad ‘Broken’ had all it took to sing it along, yet no one audibly did as they would on a previous experience.

‘Man Overboard’ ended the short set after about 30 minutes and even though they’re exposed to a completely different audience, they did well in my opinion.

01. Smile
02. Six By Four
03. Whatever
04. Disease
05. Broken
06. Man Overboard

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 7.5 / 10


The four classically-trained cellists have rose to a major force in today’s popular music. They attempted to fuse together the seemingly disparate worlds of classical music & hard rock and they were lucky. They created a style, blasting out every genre borders and which is commonly referred to as Cello Rock. The 1996 release of the debut ‘Apocalyptica plays Metallica by four cellos’ made a quick rise in the scene and the band became well-known over night so to speak. Some years - and also some line-up changes - later that band has toured half the world, received several major music awards, worked together with artists such as German “punk godmother” Nina Hagen or Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT) on the prior single to their album ‘Worlds Collide’, released in September 2007. APOCALYPTICA’s seventh full-length release is titled ‘7th Symphony’ and has been put out in August. APOCALYPTICA is Eicca Toppinen (cello), Perttu Kivilaakso (cello), Paavo Lötjönen (cello), guest singer Tipe Johnson (vocals) and Mikko Sirén (drums) /

Music & Performance
It was striking to see just not that many people left after LIVINGSTON played, even though they’re attracting entirely different audiences. Anyway, after a good 30 minutes changeover, the lights went dim and the people began to scream loudly to the gang walking in on stage and starting the show with the rather soft ‘On the Rooftop with Quasimodo’ to be followed by the more powerful ‘2010’. Afterwards, Eica Toppinen did his first cheered announcement with the audience cracking up completely already at this early point. Eventually, he told us that ‘Grace’ was to be the next song “…to get the party started”, and what can you say, the party did really start. It was like they had merely started to get going and the peak wasn’t remotely reached yet. First tones of ‘Master Of Puppets’ stirred even the last idle minds within the venue and the Finnish guys did what usually only rockers do: Stalked the stage back and forth, hardly playing a cello like anyone else would do.

Up to this point we had solely experienced instrumental gadgetry. But for the first single off their current album ‘7th Symphony’ ,‘End Of Me’, Tipe Jonson was asked on stage to do the vocal parts, as he would do on the following ‘I’m Not Jesus’. Loud screaming got audible when ‘Refuse/Resist’ was announced and head banging became the standard movement in the audience. With the next tunes however, it all got a little calmer and in the proper sense of the word classical. After Mr. Toppinen told us about his wet dream with drummer Mikko playing the cello as well that dream actually came true for ‘Beautiful’ with Mikko leaving his drums for once to make a cello quartet with the others. ‘Sacra’ then saw him returning to a more traditional way of playing with a “mobile” drum for a few tympani-like sounds. Humorous excursions are part of every APOCALYPTICA show and Perttu was our host for the evening on a hilarious band introduction with him getting off-topic all the time, while you hardly could stop laughing.

At the end of it all he announced his “favourite of all time” ‘Last Hope’ and the reaction gave away it’s not only his. Mikko has outdone himself on this one with the most dynamic drum parts. Time for more energy & tempo with the galloping ‘Bring Them to Light’ and Tipe’s return to the stage. The agile Finnish guys concluded with two cover versions that easily blasted away anyone. But the audience screamed for more and so they came back for a 3-piece encore, ending with ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’. It is always an entertaining pleasure to watch these guys doing their extraordinary art and the Cologne show underpinned their status clearly.

01. On the Rooftop with Quasimodo
02. 2010
03. Grace
04. Master Of Puppets (Metallica Cover)
05. End Of Me
06. I’m Not Jesus
07. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura Cover)
08. Beautiful
09. Sacra
10. Bittersweet
11. Last Hope
12. Bring Them To Light
13. Seek & Destroy (Metallica Cover)
14. Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura Cover)
15. At the Gates of Manala
16. I Don’t Care
17. Hall Of The Mountain King

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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