In the past few years, Apocalyptica have done a couple of gigs in Europe. Never had I been able to see them - the previous time they played in Holland I was, would you believe it, a mere 20 clicks down the road at my father-in-law's birthday party, not having a ball of a time.

Be that as it may, November saw the four cello players doing two gigs, one in Luxemburg and one in Amsterdam. And this time yours truly had no social obligations...

A thoroughly mixed crowd had gathered to see Apocalyptica play; skaters, rockers, altos, old people, young people. It reflected the broad appeal these young Fins seem to have.

And in front of this packed crowd, on a simple stage basically occupied only be four chairs and four cellos, they played a variety of tracks off their two albums. There were Metallica songs ("For Whom the Bell Tolls", "One", "Nothing Else Matters", "The Unforgiven"), a Faith no More track ("Out of Nowhere"), a Pantera track ("Domination") and Sepultura cuts ("Refuse Resist", "Inquisition Symphony") as well as several of their own tracks ("Toreador", "Metal Boogie" and "Harmageddon"). A small surprise was their playing Slayer's "South of Heaven", a song recorded for their latest album (with "Mandatory Suicide") but eventually left off.

They played with zeal and enthusiasm, garnering a similar crowd response. After the encore (the 'Finnish folk song' "Enter Sandman" and "Creeping Death") they called it a day after just a little more than an hour. I don't think anyone had been bored a minute. As a matter of fact, Apocalyptica live is much more entertaining than the albums, which always tend to get a bit same-ish at a whole listen. All in all it had been thoroughly enjoyable.



Written November 1998


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