By Johnny Suck - Turn Down the Suck - 09/16/2005

On my way to the show on Friday, I was wondering to myself, ‘Why is it at the Spectrum? Does anybody actually listen to Apocalyptica?’ While I’m familiar with some of the stuff they’ve done, I’m not a fan and I’ve never gotten the impression that many people are. I received quite a surprise when I got to the show. The Spectrum was as packed as I’ve ever seen it and once Apocalyptica hit the stage, the crowd was as loud and as enthusiastic as I ever seen it. At first I thought ‘Wow, they really do have fans’, but over the course of the show, I became unsure. Yes, the crowd was cheering loudly for Apocalyptica during their songs, but they popped even louder for the Metallica covers (there were four or five in all). I began to wonder, ‘Are these Apocalyptica fans or Metallica fans?’, which led to, ‘Are they a legitimate band or just a glorified cover band?

I had mixed feelings overall. While their original material was pretty good, it was the Metallica stuff that really stood out. It seemed odd how they are kind of on the fence about it. They have their own songs, which are good enough, so why not ditch the covers altogether or maybe play only one? On the other hand, why not just stick to covers and forget about their own songs? Both ways have their merits and a middle ground should be the best of both worlds, but for whatever reasons, it just didn’t quite work.

That issue aside, their performance was very energetic and pretty entertaining -– especially considering that cellos aren’t the most wieldy of instruments -– but sometimes it seemed a little ‘put on’. As if they were rocking out for show, instead of rocking out because they really, fully felt it. I’m not sure how much you can fault them for that though; it is a reality of live music. Otherwise, it was a nice solid show. Hour-an-a-half set, good sound, low on effects, decent stage banter, etc… Nothing spectacular, but alright all around.

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