Last Tuesday, Finnish symphonic metal band Apocalyptica returned to Michigan for a show in Flint at the Machine Shop.
The show was the band’s first in Flint and one that the sold out crowd had waited for after a originally scheduled date in November had to be rescheduled after one of the band’s cellists Perttu Kivilaakso became ill.
Apocalyptica spent the Summer touring in support of their seventh album 7th Symphony that included a July stop in Pontiac.
The tour was a international success selling out throughout it’s dates and prompting the band to create this second run.
Tuesday’s show saw the band run through most of the songs off of 7th Symphony as well as focusing a bit more on their origins as a Metallica tribute band.
The evening began with a Apocalyptica meet and greet for fans that purchased VIP tickets to the show.
The meet and greet was kicked off by a surprise acoustic performance of one of the band’s most popular and emotional songs “Bittersweet”.
The show itself was opened by local alternative rock group Avenue Sky who, after some early sound problems, ended up performing a solid set that mixed in a number of different genres and got the crowd warmed up.
Their set was followed by another Flint band Givensix whose set walked the edge between alternative music and death metal.
Vocalist Jamie Taylor seemed pretty comfortable moving back and forth between the styles and the crowd seemed to enjoy the contrast.
Apocalyptica is a rare band in that it is comprised of three classically trained cellists in Kivilaakso, Eicca Toppinen and Paavo Lotjonen and completed by the heavy sounds of drummer Mikko Siren.
Their live shows are unlike any other and are something that everyone should try to experience at least once.
This was proven again on Tuesday as the band performed a set of 17 songs that touched on all aspects of their career and provided something new for those that had seen them on the first part of the tour.
Throughout their set, the band members seemed to be soaking up the crowd’s enthusiasm and spent quite a bit of time teasing and laughing with one another.
Both Kivilaakso and Toppinen also spent time joking and talking with the crowd to their obvious delight.
The only negative of the entire show was a scary moment when Kivilaakso slipped on the edge of the stage and fell down into the pit but recovered quickly and began to finish the song from down there.
The band took the stage with “On The Roof With Quasimodo” which began quietly as the three cellists began to perform and then ramped up as the drums came in.
The band kept the heaviness going with the new track “2010” before slowing things down for a emotional performance of “Grace”.
In the U.S. Apocalyptica is most known for it’s popular guest vocalist tracks and to bring those songs to the stage the band once again brought along vocalist Tipe Johnson who does a amazing job of making the songs his own.
Tracks “End of Me”, “I Don’t Care” and “I’m Not Jesus” translated well but it was Johnson’s performance of the metal “Bring Them To Light” that was really impressive as he showed his own diverse vocal range.
Throughout the evening Apocalyptica pulled out many of the Metallica covers that they’ve done over the years including “Seek and Destroy” and “Enter Sandman” that had the crowd singing along.
However, the set highlight was a performance of “Nothing Else Matters”, which was one Metallica song that they had not performed since the band moved to three cellists.
The band found it hard to recreated the sound that they were looking for but Toppinen recently sat down and found a way to make it work.
The sit down performance was a huge thrill for those of us lucky enough to witness it and was paired with the equally wonderful “Beautiful”.
The band closed their show with a performance of the epic “Hall of the Mountain King”.
On the Rooftop With Quasimodo
Master of Puppets
End of Me
I’m Not Jesus
Nothing Else Matters
Bring Them To Light
Seek and Destroy
I Don’t Care
Hall of the Mountain King