I know three things about the bands playing tonight going into this show:
1. Lacuna Coil are from Italy
2. They are fronted by an attractive female
3. All That Remains has a female bassist
Since I write Hard Rock Chick and like Italy, it seemed appropriate enough.
I only caught the very tail end of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. I wish I had caught it all…I’ve heard good things, and their metal with a Southern twang may have been more my thing than the other two bands. ZZ Top must be one of their influences.
While I was waiting to photograph Lacuna Coil, I surveyed the crowd. There was a mix of young girls and slightly older guys. I wouldn’t say this was a ‘Hot Topic’ crowd….more like ‘Spencer’s Gifts’. In fact, I see a guy wearing an Iron Man mask……it’s getting close to Halloween I guess. They all started screaming the second they caught sight of the first member to walk out onstage.
Like Maylene and ATR, there are a lot of members in Lacuna Coil. But it seems that the only member that matters is Cristina Scabbia. The girls wanna be her, the boys wanna be with her. And she knows it, as she maneuvers the stage stepping forward towards each part of the rail for mere moments for a fleeting closer glance.
It’s pretty metal…..melodic with a hard edge. They connect with the crowd and toss a steady stream of guitar picks out. I’m off to the side by now and I’m tripping out on the crowd…the fanboys front and center reaching their arms toward Cristina, the screaming highschool girls dancing and jumping around. Multiple guys walk in front of me with their cameras, zoomed in on Cristina taking picture after picture, hoping for the perfect shot.
As they close their set, they mention that they’ll be out by merch after and to come say hi. I’m not sure they expected such a mass exodus for this- the room severely emptied and I saw them walk out from backstage, and they returned 15 minutes or so later….probably so that people would go back to watch All That Remains.
I notice platforms being set up along the front, and ramps along the back…..kind of a lot for a Regency Ballroom show. Before ATR hits the stage, a man walks out to introduce them, which seemed odd. Turns out the tour is put together by Hard Drive, a radio show which claims to be the first to play bands like these, Slipknot, Mastodon, and Disturbed.
Cue Poison’s ‘Nothing But a Good Time’. Not just a clip- the entire song plays before they hit the stage. And then the guitarist and bassist come out, poised at the top of the ramps, and walk down in unison. I was worried this was going to be some choreographed affair, but it mellowed out after that. I guess since there are so many members, they like to have a lot of options of place to go run around.
Vocalist Phil Labonte furiously headbangs with his baseball cap on…..I have no idea how he keeps it on. I look at him, and then the crowd, and realize that ATR isn’t quite ‘jock metal’ like I originally thought, more like the cool jocks that hung out with the stoner crowd occasionally. It was particularly nice to see that the female bassist really held her own up there- she wasn’t made up as the token eye candy chick; she was just like one of the guys.
There is a call for a circle pit…….oh how I hate those. There was one lone crowd surfer. Labonte took time to give extensive thanks for spending money for the ticket + gas + parking + merch, saying he knows someone who lost their job and that these are hard times. Multiple people in the crowd point at themselves. Downer.
Sometimes it’s really good for me to go to shows where I’m far removed from the music, just to stand back and look at the crowd and give myself a little perspective. It makes me appreciate everything more.
Though I did leave a tad early….