Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Lacuna Coil
June 11, 2004
Croatian Cultural Center / Vancouver, BC Canada

Review and pictures by Lord of the Wasteland

When I first read it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The ad read, “P.O.D. with special guests Blindside, Hazen Street and Lacuna Coil.” First of all, I thought who the hell are Blindside and Hazen Street? Then I wondered why Lacuna Coil was last on the bill. I soon found out that this was a tour of Christian bands and somehow Italian goth-metallers Lacuna Coil found their way on to it. Getting the opening slot on a four-band bill gets you thirty minutes (at best) and I wondered how a band with a song called “Heaven’s a Lie” would fare among the Christian audience. This was Lacuna Coil’s first visit to Vancouver and since I had asked vocalist Cristina Scabbia when I interviewed (http://www.metal-rules.com/interviews/LacunaCoil-Aug2003.htm) her last summer if the band would make it to these parts, she sounded like they would play for us no matter what. I’ll give her credit, she made true on her promise!


As soon as I arrived at the venue (which was changed last minute), I could tell this was a far cry from the usual metal shows I covered. I saw enough mallcore kids, parents with children as young as eight or nine, and straight-laced junior high girls to make me think I was at the local mall on a Saturday afternoon. There were no clouds of smoke (legal or illegal), no crushed plastic beer glasses littering the floor and certainly no provocatively-dressed young strumpets. I can’t stress enough how squeaky-clean this show was.

At precisely 8:00, the lights went down and out came Lacuna Coil. Cristina Scabbia was vamped up in a low-cut red and black outfit with knee-high boots and hair tousled just perfectly—she was every bit the vision she is on the CDs and in magazines. With six members in Lacuna Coil, they could barely move on a stage that was cluttered with the other bands’ equipment already partly setup. Besides Scabbia and vocal partner, Andrea Ferro, the rest of the band basically stood in one place the entire time. Leading off with their latest single from 2002’s COMALIES, “Swamped,” the band was quite captivating as Scabbia and Ferro traded off vocals that were as clean as the originals. Scabbia is the star of this band and she stood front and center the entire time, her magical voice sweeping over the auditorium. The only problem was the complete and utter lack of enthusiasm, participation or acknowledgment by the audience that there was even a band on stage. I was in the photographer’s pit watching the band’s long faces and it was disgraceful. Try as they might for even as much as a cheer, the band seemed totally dejected by the catatonic audience. Still, they soldiered on and played a strong set for their full half hour. Scabbia was headbanging away and did some great hair spins. Ferro tried to get the audience going and moved around in his “The Gothfather” t-shirt. The two of them can handle the stage separately, but they also work well together. Their duets are a beautiful synergy of talented voices. Cristiano Mozzati pounded away on the drums and mugged for a few camera shots. Guitarist Marco Biazzi and bassist Marco Coti Zelati seemed as catatonic as the audience, interrupting their poker-faced playing by doing that robotic bending at the hips that nu-metal guitarists do. Lead guitarist Cristiano Migliore threw out some great riffs and had some good energy on his side of the stage. As the band finished, Ferro said, “Thank you very fucking much Vancouver!!” and I could almost feel the hand of God as 300 pairs of eyes collectively smited him.

The push from Century Media to get COMALIES noticed has been strong and the band has been touring endlessly since its release. From Type O Negative and Anthrax to P.O.D. and the upcoming Ozzfest, Lacuna Coil has been everywhere and this exposure to vastly different audiences has certainly helped get buzz going. Interestingly, all eight songs that the band played were from COMALIES. Lacuna Coil has three full-length releases and two E.P.’s under their belts but the focus was strictly on their latest release. My only rationale for pairing them with a bunch of Christian bands is to get a different—VERY different—audience to buy their records. On paper, I suppose this is clever marketing, but if the rest of the crowds have been as cold to the band on this tour as they were in Vancouver, I can’t help but think Lacuna Coil is counting down the days until this nightmare is finally over. The combination of P.O.D. and Lacuna Coil goes together like oil and water and for a band as strong as they are, it is a terrible injustice for Lacuna Coil to be playing to an unappreciative and unaccepting audience. They should be playing with band’s that will help them sell records, not to stunned audiences of brainwashed 11-year olds.

Aeon (Intro)
Heaven’s a Lie
Daylight Dancer

hanks to George at Century Media for the ticket and photo pass.

Lacuna Coil — Official site www.lacunacoil.it