First of all, I'm going to start by saying that although Club Rockit is
a cool venue, very intimate, and perfect for Lacuna Coil's brand of post-goth
metal, it's a travesty that a band like Lacuna Coil are forced to play in
a place this small in front of so few people. If a band like Evanescence
can hit it big, then certainly the more talented Lacuna Coil should at
least be playing in front of 800 - 1000 people, rather than a paltry 200
or so. Inexcusable and I'm ashamed that Toronto metalheads didn't come out
and create the demand for this band's first ever Toronto appearance. End
So anyway, this is Lacuna Coil's first ever North American tour, in
support of their latest album, COMALIES. As it turns out, the band was
supposed to have already played in Canada in support of Opeth but couldn't
get into the country because of the oh-so-common visa issues that bands
seem to have with Canada. As it turns out, I'm glad that they didn't get
here earlier because this time they came as headliners and we were treated
to a full set from them, rather than a mere 40 minute opening set.
Speaking of opening sets, Daylight Dies turned out to be the only
opener of the night, despite Canadian metal merchants Into Eternity being
scheduled. Apparently the band was forced to cancel at the last minute and
couldn't make the trip. Very disappointing. As it was Daylight Dies were a
decent choice to open the show, though far from great. I reviewed their
debut E.P. a while back and even then I wasn't too impressed with the
band's weepy, mid-years Katatonia/Sentenced caterwaul. Live, it was even
more dull. Playing a selection of songs culled from their Relapse debut,
NO REPLY, the band came off as somewhat uninspired and tame. To me, all of
their songs sound the same: pound along at a mid-pace, growl a lot, have
melodic guitar soloing over top of the rhythms, repeat. The band certainly
has the chops and was technically proficient so they do have that going
for them. I don't know, maybe it was because they had just got back to
North America after touring Europe with, ironically, Katatonia, but I
didn't get a sense of fire or inspiration from their show and from what I
saw, neither did most of the crowd who were appreciative but subdued.
Finally it was time for Lacuna Coil. The band took to the stage through
the crowd (as did Daylight Dies) and were greeted like conquering heroes.
They wasted no time in launching into their set, simultaneously crushing
and soothing the crowd with their whisper-to-roar metal. Of course, the
focal point of the band is singer Christina Scabbia and she is even more
impressive live than she is on disc. She may look small and delicate in
person, but she can belt it out with the best of them and had the crowd in
the palm of her hand from minute one. Indeed one of the show's highlights
was her solo song "Falling" from their first album. Simply put,
she is even more enchanting live than in person.
Male vocalist Andrea Ferro is no slouch either, as his more growly
voice held its own and he was the major catalyst for the crowd, inciting
them to clap, sing along etc. Some high points of the show were his duets
with Christina, including the extremely impressive "Heaven's a
Lie" where it seemed like the entire crowd was singing along with the
chorus. Very cool and very moving.
The band played a selection of songs covering their entire career,
making sure to mix up the music so that they didn't play all of their
depressing stuff but also mix in some more aggressive tracks like
"When a Dead Man Walks" and "My Wings", giving the
crowd the chance to get out their moshing jones'.
Overall it was a very impressive show, despite the absence of Into
Eternity. Hopefully this will not be the only appearance that Lacuna Coil
makes on these shores. Give them a bigger venue next time!!!