GIG REVIEW: Lacuna Coil, Orpheus Omega & Flynn Effect Live at Max Watts, Brisbane
So after 22 years it finally happened. Lacuna Coil not only finally managed to come to Australia to front their own headline tour of the country, but also brought a seven year drought that the band had with performing here, and boy did the crowd in Brisbane make that absence known to the band by having around 100 fans queuing up outside the venue before the doors had even opened. Joined by some local supports
Beginning the night were Brisbane’s very own Flynn Effect, a band which I had seen before some years ago but seemed to have a hard time recollecting, but I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. The female fronted outfit played a pretty catchy style and well thought out set that certainly caught the attention of most of the members of the crowd that had ventured out early. Probably my only gripe with their performance was the lack of lighting on stage – which I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but it seemed most lights were focused on the singer only, with the guitarist and drummer quite often playing in some pretty dark period (which made the guitarist have to look closely at his 8 string guitar a few times). Apart from that it was a pretty good show from a band I am hopeful I will get to watch again soon.
Now, I don’t go throwing this out there lightly, but if there was a ceiling that Australian bands had to break through before touring internationally then Melbourne’s Orpheus Omega would surely be at that point. Having supported Trivium earlier this year, the Brisbane crowd was more than well acquainted with the band, and it certainly showed with the response that they gave. Even with their bassist who apparently had been told not to perform as he had come out with a bout of food poisoning the morning earlier, the Melbourne quintet still managed to not only put on a good performance, but also get the crowd moving – something which had been missing from their predecessors. While musically very sound it was their stage presence and showmanship which seemed to help move the crowd (even with their bassist sitting in a corner on a chair). Orpheus Omega are always a pleasure to watch, and always a surefire bet to get a crowd pumping for a headliner, and on this occasion they didn’t disappoint on either front.
With such amazing supports, all Lacuna Coil would have needed to do would be to walk out on stage to have made the night a big success. Luckily for the brimming crowd that had gathered, the band tried to make amends for their seven year absence by putting on possibly the best live show of the year. Straight from the onset the band made it known that they were there to put on a good time. The visual presence of Lacuna Coil was quite confronting, but it helped to serve its purpose. Appearing in straight jackets (Fun Fact: for those that paid close attention and could read the numbers on the straight jackets they were all personalised) that suited the imagery of the band’s latest album ‘Delirium’, the band looked quite formidable. With a stage show that was completely stripped back of any frills, it really was just the band up on stage with laying everything out for the fans.
Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro were simply incredible as a pairing and are possibly one of the greatest dual vocal combinations across most genres today. The interplay between the two is absolutely phenomenal, and whether orchestrated or not, both singers were consistently changing sides on stage and interacting directly with the crowd that was gathered in the front rows. Vocally both singers were on fire, with Scabbia’s soothing alto range being the calming to Ferro’s tremendous harsh vocals. While there was no denying that a majority of the crowd attention was solely focussed on Scabbia (and rightly so because some of the notes she was able to hit on tracks like “Our Truth” and “Spellbound” were simply phenomenal), it was Ferro that really stole the show for me, and I don’t think I have heard someone hit the harsh vocals as immaculately as he did at the show for a long time now. His performance is definitely something that will stick with me.
But it didn’t stop at those two being the focal points on stage, with bassist Marco Zelati looked menacing on bass guitar with his face paint resembling the appearance of a clown and Diego Cavallotti on guitar putting in a good performance. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all came from Ryan Folden on the drums who, at numerous points of the show managed to not only climb the drum kit to incite the crowd, but also give one of the more memorable drum performances in recent memory. His continual motions to the crowd and the all around intuitiveness of his moves on the kit really added another element to the show which was great to see.
There was very little you could flaw with Lacuna Coil’s setlist. A perfect mix of softer tracks and heavier ones, ranging across most of the albums of the band’s career that captivated the crowd from the moment that the band stepped out on stage. Complete with classics such as “Nothing Stands in Our Way”, “Heaven’s a Lie” and “Enjoy the Silence”, it didn’t take much for the crowd to sing along.
Lacuna Coil spent seven years before finally making a triumphant return to Australia. In that time there has been some pretty drastic lineup changes and a few new albums, but did it phase the the fans? Not in the slightest, and judging by the reception from the fans in Brisbane, and the positive reviews coming from Sydney and Melbourne, I somehow think we might be waiting less than seven years for the band’s next appearance.