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Lacuna Coil: O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London

liz medhurst
Words: Liz Medhurst Photos: Pictures: Robert Sutton
26th January 2018

lacuna coil

Italian Symphonic Metallers Lacuna Coil have been with us for twenty years now, and the Forum was the venue for their special one-off celebration party, The 119 Show.

It was a good choice of venue due to the connection the band have with the city and the logistical convenience for the geographical spread of fans, to maximise the chances of having a booming party.

And what a spectacle it was, as the zombie circus rolled into town, adding an extra dimension to the band's always noteworthy performances. The sold out crowd were well up for this, and going by the amount of flags waving it was a global event.

v The stage was resplendent in the image of a red striped tent leaving a large open space, and it soon became apparent why. The band were augmented tonight by a special troupe of dancers and aerialists and it was a visual spectacular.

The drama was present right from the start with an extended intro before 'A Current Obsession', as vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro vied for attention with a pale satyr on stilts who stalked the stage area behind them.

lacuna coil

Drummer Ryan Blake Folden, guitarist Diego Cavallotti and bass player Marco Coti Zelati were resplendent in the distinctive make up/masks they have been sporting recently, the visual effect really coming into its own here with all the added elements.

Talking of elements, fire was an added component to 'Blood Tears and Dust' provided by acrobatic dancing pairs who passed the flames Cristina's palms. By this point in the show we were starting to get an idea of what was going to make this show different.

lacuna coil

There wasn't full on production for every number, many songs were played as straight band numbers without augmentation, but versions of 'The Army Inside' and 'Veins Of Glass' were so strong that it didn't feel like anything was missing.

There was plenty of variety, with 'One Cold Day', dedicated to former band member Claude Leo who dies five years ago beautifully done, emotional without the schmaltz, followed by 'The House Of Shame' complete with arialists and other shenanigans.

lacuna coil

Lacuna Coil promised us never before heard songs and we got 'Soul Into Hades' from the very first EP. It's remarkable that the sound of what we now consider classic Symphonic Metal was evident right from the start, and how it is a timeless genre now sounding fresh still.

By the time we got to 'Heaven Is A Lie', Cristina had changed into sexy ringmaster gear, and the arialists were beack, playing the part of angel and devil. This would have been an amazing finale, but one of the biggest surprises was that Lacuna Coil were nowhere near done, and kept ramping up the surprises until the very end.

lacuna coil

'Our Truth', the final song of the main set, with confetti and plenty of jumping around, would have left people feeling satisfied, but the first encore was a piano set which was breathtaking.

The band have been on stage for over two hours now and showing no signs of flagging. The vocal control needed for 'Falling', another from the debut EP, is one thing, but combine this with Cristina being raised to the ceiling of the venue in a billowing gown and that is an everlasting gig memory right there.

lacuna coil

Following 'Wide Awake', Cristina was gently lowered and the final encore was a triple whammy of delights including a mass sing along to 'Enjoy The Silence' and a defiant and triumphant 'Nothing Stands In Our Way'.

As a full production number it may have been hit and miss in the pacing at times, but as a party and a celebration of twenty years it was entirely appropriate and a resounding success. Here's to the next twenty.

lacuna coil

A Current Obsession
My Wings
End of Time
Blood, Tears, Dust
The Army Inside
Veins of Glass
One Cold Day
The House of Shame
When a Dead Man Walks
Tight Rope
Soul Into Hades
I Like It
Heaven's a Lie
Our Truth

Piano set
Wide Awake

I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)
Enjoy the Silence
Nothing Stands in Our Way
lacuna coil

lacuna coil


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