The Verse’s Csenge Krokovay reviews Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, at Brighton Dome on Tuesday 27th February.
On Tuesday 27th February the ‘Beast from the East’ has arrived to South-East England and covered the streets of Brighton all the way with snow, inciting fury and bad traffic. By fortune, the Finnish metal-cello band Apocalyptica has safely arrived the same day to play Metallica by Four Cellos as part of the #apmb4c tour at Brighton Dome.
Apocalyptica played its first ever gig in Brighton; the guys had so much fun that they swore to come back!
Apocalyptica, who created a whole new genre by mixing classical music and metal, swiftly filled up the Dome’s auditorium with the promising celebration of the 22 year-old legendary debut album, released in 1996: Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.
‘’When I heard Apocalyptica was coming, I said: Take my money, I don’t care, just take it and give me a ticket!’’ said an enthusiastic fan in the Dome’s lobby.
The show was held at the Dome’s cosy theatre room, which at first surprised me. The band have a history of playing on main stages at Metal Festivals such as Wacken Festival in Germany, Sziget Festival in Hungary, Tuska Finnish Heavy Metal Festival, Heavy Montreal in Canada, and they also toured around Australia and the United States. The Brighton Dome’s modest amphitheatre seemed like an interesting choice which I could not wait to see.
The drums were played by Mikko Sirén, who first appeared in the second half of the show. Behind the cellos stood the three classical members, founder Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso. A dash of nostalgia was in the air as the fourth cello was played by the returning Antero Manninen, aka Mr. Cool, who was an original member of the band until 1999.
The first half
In the crowd you could spot long-time fans, wearing the band’s T-shirts – several Metallica t-shirts were also parading around the lobby. After the first call everyone made their way to their seats. It was an all-seated event which was bizarre to hear at first, considering we are talking about a metal band.
The first half of the concert was modest and nostalgic. The band members hardly moved from their positions and, at times, Paavo Lötjönen tried to set the audience afire, encouraging them to sing and clap. This half of the show was certainly more emotional and slow; knowing Apocalyptica we could sense that the best was yet to come. Eicca Toppinen grabbed the microphone to introduce the band and shared some history with us about how Apocalyptica was made back in 1993.
One thing I love about Apocalyptica is that they still introduce themselves with modesty, like a newly-formed band who have never played on main-stage before.
The second half
The audience welcomed drummer Mikko Sirén on stage with great applause. With the supporting drum in the background, the band sounded wilder than ever. Eicca and Perttu started to fill up the stage and played hard-core cello solos for the audience (sometimes lifting the instruments above their heads). It was undoubtedly time for Apocalyptica to hit the strings a little bit harder. The microphone was passed to Perttu:
‘We are not going to behave anymore and we are giving you the chance to misbehave too! If you wish you can stand up and come closer, sing dance, head bang, whatever you want… But at first, I really need to hear you all, so…ARE YOU READY BRIGHTON?’
After shouting a gigantic ‘YES!’, the audience was ready to leave their seats and join the front-line. Others stood up and were head-banging in the rows. The venue’s atmosphere was suddenly transformed when Eicca and Perttu started their famous simultaneous head spinning whilst they played the cellos; Antero received a cello set on fire to play on. From the flames we could see the burning skull, the brand mark of Apocalyptica. It was magnificent.
Unfortunately time flies so fast when you are having fun… the concert came to its end, but an encore was still waiting: Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters.
The Siberian weather moved to the West of England, and so did Apocalyptica, who following played in Bristol’s Colston Hall on 28th February. It seems like the Finnish rockers are followed by the cold, or the other way around. There are more concerts to attend in 2018 – take a look here.