Heavy music requires one to have a pair of solid balls. Maybe that’s why women performing in this genre are so rare, and this makes them more valuable. It has always surprised me to hear girls say, “I don’t like female vocals.” A woman fronting a metal band deserves all the respect there is simply for being out there, if nothing else. Cristina Scabbia from Italian band LACUNA COIL is one of the best examples that we girls can kick it just as hard as the guys. I had to go and express my admiration to this gorgeous woman and great singer at the band’s concert in Nosturi, Helsinki on February 15th, 2010.
The show gathered the band’s most devoted fans, many of whom have already seen LACUNA COIL before. It was probably thanks to this that there was an atmosphere of unity prevailing throughout the show. Due to some incident, the band didn’t have their bass player with them and male vocalist Andrea Ferro had an arm injury (amusingly slung up in a LACUNA COIL brand scarf). However, this train of misfortunes didn’t stop the guys from having an absolute blast.
As to keep up the mood of not letting misfortunes get you down, LACUNA COIL started the gig with the first song from their latest album, “Shallow Life” (2009), – “Survive.” The song’s explosive beat at once set the mood for the rest of the show – jump ’til you drop! Most of the set consisted of songs from “Shallow Life” and its predecessor, “Karmacode,” with a few exceptions. One of them was “Senzafine” (“Unleashed Memories,” 2001) – it was great to hear the band sing in their native language, which adds a more sensitive flavor to the song. Prior to the encore, LACUNA COIL answered to my personal hopes and sang “Enjoy the Silence,” which is in my opinion the best cover version of this DEPECHE MODE song ever made. This was done as a traditional tour “crowd karaoke” track, and the crowd in the club definitely shared my enthusiasm, singing at top of their voices.
Cristina Scabbia is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in metal and that’s a well-deserved title. According to my memory, she changed the outfits at least three times and each of them was gorgeous beyond words, including a lovely dress for the lovely ballad, “Wide Awake.” I’m quite sure that part of the audience had enjoyed this eye–candy, although for me it just made the whole show more perfect from the aesthetics point of view.
Even though Cristina is an indisputable center of the whole performance, Andrea Ferro also should be given credit as an important part of the show and the band’s sound. Having his arm hanging in the scarf, this guy still gave his 100% and more. His coarse voice adds a feeling of male grittiness in spite of not being the best male vocalist out there, thus harmoniously contrasting with the female vocals. If the performance suffered at all, it was from the lack of a live bass player – having a backing track for the bass limited them on stage a fair bit, as there was no room for improvisation or goofing around.
Fifteen songs into the show, the band left the stage only to come back to sing three more: “Not Enough,” “Spellbound,” and “Our Truth.” The crowd, unfortunately, could do nothing to summon them back for a second encore, but they promised to be back as soon as possible.
These guys are definitely one of the better dual-vocal bands, and in spite of mixed reviews of “Shallow Life,” the performance suffered from nothing more than a backing track that can’t be tinkered with. If it’s true what they said, we’ll definitely be back to see them next time they’re in town!
4. I’m Not Afraid
5. Fragments of Faith
6. Tight Rope
8. I Won’t Tell You
9. Heaven’s a Lie
11. Wide Awake
12. To the Edge
13. The Maze
15. Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode cover)
16. Not Enough (encore)
17. Spellbound (encore)
18. Our Truth (encore)
Text by Tanja Caciur & Bear W.
Photos by Henri Lassander
Interview Phantom Elite – “It’s always good to share that feeling that none of us is alone in hard times”