Despite the onset of the Beast From The East Apocalyptica ‘s Glasgow gig went ahead as scheduled, which was just as well as many have travelled miles to be here tonight. Takes more than a bit of snow to keep the Scottish fans indoors and the folk we met who had come across from Canada for the gig did wonder what all the fuss was about, it’s not proper snow until it’s 6ft deep !!!
The snow did make the queueing interesting, the line was round the corned and up the ever so steep hill which was rather slippery because of the snow. Carefully we made our way into the venue and after a quick pre gig drink to warm up we made it inside the venue which was already 2/3 full.
Just in case you are not so familiar with Apocalyotica they are a Finnish cello-metal band formed in 1993 and made their name playing Metallica songs. Since then have collaborated with many artists and have certainly created a unique sound of their own which has gripping, dynamic and full of melody definitely a band you want to see live. The band consists of cellists Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, Paavo Lötjönen and Antero Manninen (take that spellchecker) with the lineup completed by drummer Mikko Sirén who would be hidden away until the second (heavier ) half of the gig . They are currently on tour celebrating 20 years anniversary of their seminal “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos album, which is what tonight is all about !
There was no support band to get the place warmed up, but kicking off their set with classics like The Unforgiven and Enter Sandman got us all in the mood and ready for a night where Apocalyptica would masterfully mix the classical and rock world ! Not only are these Finns outstanding musicians they have a fine line in between-tracks chat, at one point Eicca joked that finally Scotland has got a proper winter, and they should know. On the other hand the serious Antero Manninen, who the band label Mr grumpy by contrast is dressed in a sleek suit and sunglasses combo (we prefer to call him Mr Cool)
The first part of the set finishes with Welcome Home (Sanitarium) which was the perfect ending to a acoustic set and the start of drummer Miki’s shift for the evening. Now normally this is when you go get a drink or two and come back to your seat but as the o2ABC is a standing venue most fans stay where they are to keep their spots, thankfully Eicca promised its only going to be a quick 10 minute stage change . We did take the opportunity to check out their merch desk, they had some handmade Apocalyptica pendants that looked rather tempting…
After a short interval the spartan set of the first half has been replaced by this rather futuristic looking drum kit and finally drummer Mikko Sirén appears which means the gig is gonna get wild! Part 2 kicks off with Fade To Black which got the place bouncing again. We then went on to For Whom The Bell Tolls, Orion and an up-tempo blast through Fight Fire With Fire with Eicca and Perttu jumping around the stage (as far as a cellist can). Even though Paavo had a broken leg that did not stop him from standing up to get the crowd going!
On the other hand Mr Cool stays cool 😉
Heading towards the end of the set they played Escape which Eicca joked they never play this live (neither do Metallica) because it’s so damm hard. Of course being Aoocalyptica they nailed it with so much skill and passion the crowd went wild! After Battery the band finished the set with the beautiful Seek & Destroy which gave audience a great opportunity to sing along .
After typical Glasgow style chanting the Finns returned the stage for the encores, kicking off with Nothing Else Matters and even managed to snuck in a nod to their host country with a little bit of Flower Of Scotland, such a lovely touch which had been very well received .
What a wonderful way to spend otherwise a rather miserable day ! I have seen Apocalyptica many times and I would see them again in a heartbeat.
So should you !