Apocalyptica/Dir En Grey
September 11, 2010
By Charlene Tupper
The night was cold and brisk, the line up to get into the Showbox Sodo went around the block, it could have gone around the block twice even. Fans from all walks of life came to see this event. None the less, everyone was brought upon this “Path” to see three bands come to life, and those were Evaline, Dir En Grey, and of course, heavy metal’s very own cello performers, Apocalyptica. These three groups may not be the typical billing you see on an average tour line up, but maybe this time, diversity between each other, was for the best of the bands. It may have gained each other a new spectrum of fans across the nation.
The first performance of the evening was Evaline. Their stage presence seemed enthusiastic and strong, but slowly dwelled into a slow, yet painful experience to endure. Giving this band credit, however, for being unsigned, they have a lot of potential to grow as a group and become more powerful with more presence to their performance. This particular band, in my opinion, did not suit the billing of this tour at all, most fans attending this kind of show were expecting metal. When Evaline walked on stage, they were very pop rock, giving that sweet, innocent vibe, which is not what being in a metal band is all about. You want raw and savage power combined with energy that is in your face extreme. Unfortunately, this band had little to no crowd feedback during their performance.
This next international group, however, had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Dir En Grey hit the stage and the audience went wild. This Japanese Rock band formed in 1993, and made their first appearance to North America in 2007. They are currently expecting to release a live DVD/CD box set from their sold out performance in Japan last year. They had Japanese girls all across the front gate, holding signs saying “we love you” ,filling the room with screams that left me feeling as if all these girls were screaming the equivalent of American girls seeing Justin Timberlake. With that thought in mind, musically, the two have nothing in common. Dir En Grey walked on stage with a Gothic, yet dark vibe upon them. Guitar riffs sped up the tempo, and the singer burst on stage full of spark. Jumping and running across the stage, making up for the lack of energy the rest of the band did not possess. For a couple songs, this band was amusing to watch and partake, however after the first few, the performance became a bit dry and plain due to the other members on stage standing as if they were cemented in place, incapable of movement. Later on in their performance, they had a female vocalist contribute to a couple songs throughout their set. Their overall performance was well executed, but maybe next time, they can boost up their live stage presence with more movement, and maybe more crowd involvement.
Down the “Hall of the Mountain King”, the infamous trio of cello players, Apocalyptica hit the stage with a classical, yet epic stage appeal. In 1993, these Finnish men from the prestigious Sibelius Academy, Toppinen(founding member) originally came up with the idea of forming a cello-cover band of Metallica songs. Years pass, and now Apocalyptica is much more then your ordinary cover band. “Cult” was the band’s breakthrough album, in the sense of breaking out of their “old habits” and moving forward musically. The band is now writing their own material, with deep and personal instrumental songs, however still maintaining their cover song abilities converting any heavy metal song, into a classic masterpiece. Touring in support of their 7th full length album, “7th Symphony”, their stage presence was beyond phenomenal. Out of all the performances, Apocalyptica had the most energy, most enthusiasm, and most importantly, the strongest fan feedback of positive reinforcement. Playing mostly newer material from their recent albums, they still did perform some of their Metallica covers throughout, and closed with my personal favourite song, “Hall of the Mountain Kings”, which the audience absolutely adored. The song is a classic after all, no pun intended. Their performance was to die for, they performed their songs perfectly, and with such enthusiasm and high energy, it gives you a vision of how two musical genres, and how their “World’s Collide”.