Arts Academic Theatre
MOSCOW, Russia

Phew, it sure has taken a while for me lazy arse to get down to composing this report, but a promise is a promise and better late than never, so here comes I mean the problem with reviewing Apocalyptica is that their concert was so much different from any other gig I've been to, that I really had to pull me brains together for making this. First, you seldom see a gig in a theatre, at least in Moscow that is, the usual place are concert halls, stadiums, or clubs, but not theatres. Second, it's even more seldom that you come to a gig with so few security guards around and no search at the entrance. Third, its kinda seldom that you see a gig with so much elderly people around, I mean I've seen 12-y.o. kids escorted by their grandmas. Fourth, its extremely seldom that you see a gig with no bouncing and jumping around, and furthermore a gig when most of the time everyone is sitting, without actually being bored. But, hell, let's put everything in proper order.

When me and me buddy arrived at the venue (if you can actually refer to a theatre as a venue) the place was already packed ad we had to line up at the entrance for some 20 minutes. Boy, do they like closing doors in Moscow! Shite, there's like 6 doors at the theatre entrance and they only open one! Anyways, after squeezing ourselves in we went over to check out for the beers and merchandising, and failing to find'em (although some people said it wuz there) we climbed up the stairs to get ourselves a seat. As usual the gig was a bit late but not major and soon the lights went out and the first chords of Metallica's "Fer Whom the Bell Tollz" broke out from the speakers. The crowd burst out in a wild roar and all of a sudden silenced itself down. Tension rang in the air. It seemed like everyone in the hall wanted to jump up and sing along, but did not dare to for fear of spoiling the music and the atmosphere. Meanwhile the band, without giving anyone a chance to take a breath and banging their heads violently against the instruments, proceeded in a string-tearing frenzy with Faith No More's "From Out of Nowhere." With that finished the musicians got their first wave of applause this evening. It was like all the energy that was pumped up and not released during the song was put into the clapping making it a literally roaring ovation. Most of the material presented for the show comprised the songs from the band's latest Inquisition Symphony albums plus a few more Metallica tracks, and the rare to be heard Slayer's "South of Heaven" (kind of a disappointment for me, I somehow expected more from the song). The band's lead player Eicca alias Eino Toppinen have caused a lot of bemusement by constantly trying to address the audience in Finnish and making frustrating comments about all of the songs. The top-phrase of the night was before starting to play "Enter Sandman," I am not sure about the exactness of the quote, but this is close enough: "This song is very special for us. It was composed by a well-known Finnish composer Martti Ahtisaari (ex-president of Finland! -- TTI) while fucking in sauna." It has also turned out that the self-authored "M.B." composition stands for Metal Boogie (I dunno, I've always had a different opinion on what boogie should sound like, but I can't really be as arrogant as to argue four people with higher musical education - so boogie it be) and that the Toreador was a saga of "a little bull-killer who got lost in Moscow."

All in all the show has been a killer, superb acoustics, great performance and a lot of vibe. Of course there were quite a few songs which I wished the band did, for instance I was really looking forward to hearing some Pantera, and maybe some other covers that were not on either of the releases, but well that's the situation with al of the gigs I guess. Nobody is usually quite content with the set list. After the concert we even managed to catch the guys on the exit to take some autographs. This was the first time in my life that I have actually regretted I had not paid enough attention to my Finnish studies in the University. The only thing I managed to mumble was what could be literally translated into English as "Thanks a bunch" and "That was fucking A." Nonetheless this was quite enough to cause a surprised stare from the musicians. Having signed the tickets and excusing themselves Apocalyptica climbed the bus and rushed to the train station while we hurried to splash our dry throats with some beer. Jeez, they should have had it at the gig.

Set list (running order approximate)
1. 4 Whom the Bell Tollz
2. From Out of Nowhere
3. (a new Apocalyptica song - title N.A.)
4. Harmageddon
5. Nothing Else Matters
6. M.B.
7. One
8. Toreador
9. Refuse/Resist
10. Unforgiven
11. South of Heaven
12. Inquisition Symphony
13. Master of Puppets
14. Enter Sandman
15. Creeping Death


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