Lacuna Coil live in Athens 2017

With the country ravaged by torrential rains on a daily basis, my mood had gone suitably somber, so I was sort of almost unwilling to dislodge myself from bed to go to the gig, which must be a “first” of sorts… I did and thanks to it being a Sunday, traffic wasn’t too bad, so I managed to get to Piraeus Academy relatively quickly and even find a park right in front of the building, which I found “strange”. Outside the club, I was greeted with quite a queue, but once inside, things looked rather grim, with maybe 100 people or a bit more in at the start of the show.
Lacuna Coil Athens 2017 poster

Italians Sinheresy, opened the show and in the dark, because of the figure she cut, tall and thin, I mistook their singer for Elina Laivera (a Greek female singer that has relocated in Germany, which I found odd)… ehm, soon I conferred they were Italians and their style is a mix of mid-era Nightwish and early Lacuna Coil, sort of contemporary rock, with female vocals that doesn’t go too often into symphonic territory. They did lack cohesion and stagecraft and were at best OK, with their entire presence there feeling a bit awkward. Well time and tours will make em or break them, but they really failed to leave a lasting impression.
 
Cellar Darling were up next, a group that was formed not so long ago when Anna Murphy (vocals, hurdy-gurdy), Merlin Sutter (drums) and Ivo Henzi (guitars and bass) left Eluveitie and debuted only this year. Firstly, I almost fainted because their light show was so flashy, it almost caused me epilepsy. And I am not epileptic. Talking about overdoing it with strobes on the opener “Black Moon”… they were coy and quite spot on, on stage and while Murphy has a great technique and was able to sing her parts to the T, the hurdy-gurdy, just got buried in the mix and the in album dynamics, felt water-down live. Also the rich orchestrations in various parts were all pre-recorded, which didn’t exactly look good, but on the other hand, I suppose doing it all live would have been difficult. “Hullaballoo” and “The Hermit” were also aired, where we even got a little lesson about what “koine” means… hehe. “Six Days” wasn’t half as bad, but as I mentioned “Avalanche”, their bonafide hit, didn’t quite translate on stage all that well; it wasn’t terrible by any means, but their “dynamics” don’t quite translate all that well on stage; however they finally managed to get the crown going with this one. They did go on, without any significant highs and lows – a totally pro if not a little underwhelming performance which was rounded off by “Rebels” another decent moment in the show, “Starcrusher”, “Challenge” another one of their “singles” and “Fire, Wind & Earth”. While decent, I sincerely can’t understand all the fuss about them. Other than a couple of songs most of their debut fails to ignite a spark and their music doesn’t translate all that well live, despite them performing it satisfactorily.
 
Following a lengthy changeover and a soundcheck, Lacuna Coil came on with the air and grace of the big band they have become after, some 20 years of touring. With the lion’s share of songs drawn from their most recent “Delirium” album and a stage set and costumes to mirror the insane asylum/monsters aesthetic… while always trying to incorporate “a couple of songs” from the rest of the albums while also promoting the pretty tacky, “Naughty Christmas” single – complete with inflatable tree snowman and foam cannons… towards the end the Italians were the definition of a textbook professional band.
 
Sharp, almost too perfect, to the point, where long standing bassist Marco Zelati (actually the only other original member than Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia) took the microphone and asked her to do an acapella line just to prove the vocals were live when a questionable “point” came up, during “Enjoy the Silence” the Depeche Mode cover the band likes to indulge it. I have to give it to them that they almost never stopped banging and jumping around for the duration of the show, in a well-choreographed and performed show that didn’t lack highlight.
 
The crowd was quite into it, but at best it was ~ 500 or so people, a far cry from the last time I’d seen the band, when they performed with Elysion supporting them in Gagarin, which must have been more like 700-800, so it was bit sad to see that even some of the bigger names, fail to draw crowds like they used to in Greece.
 
Fair show and I did feel thankful that I did “dislodge myself” from bed to go see it, but I feel that the cold beers and weather might have gotten the best of me… and (sneezes)… I also got a cold along with some fond memories. What the heck – it’s that time of the year!
 
Setlist:
“Ultima Ratio”
“Spellbound”
“Die & Rise”
“Kill the Light”
“Blood, Tears, Dust”
“Ghost in the Mist”
“My Demons”
“Trip the Darkness”
“Downfall”
“Swamped”
“Enjoy the Silence” (Depeche Mode cover)
“Our Truth”
“Delirium”
“Nothing Stands in Our Way”
 
Encore:
“Naughty Christmas”
“Heaven’s a Lie”
“The House of Shame”
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