DVD REVIEW: LACUNA COIL – “The 119 Show : Live In London DVD”
To have been present at the Lacuna Coil 119 Show in London‘s o2 Forum, Kentishtown, was to have been part of something spectacular and momentous. Celebrating twenty years of music on a stage remoulded into a tainted circus tent, the Italian rockers brought forth a near thirty song set list, spanning the bands career to date, amidst a backdrop of wonderful freaks and carny folk brought lovingly to life by the Incandescence circus performers. An unforgettable occasion that overflowed with a sense of occasion, Lacuna Coil gave salute to their enduring alliance to one another, to their much loved fans, and honoured their history in spellbinding fashion. If you didn’t get to be there, and even if you did, well you’re in luck for Christmas has arrived early. For Lacuna Coil memorialised the remarkable evening in a breathtaking CD/DVD by the same 119 moniker.
In The 119 Show – Live In London DVD something wicked this way comes as the band move through a specially crafted, wide-ranging set. As the show progresses, visually stunning and impressive performances escalate from more familiar, beloved routines into something else entirely. Throughout, co-vocalist Cristina Scabbia, surrounded and influenced by members of the Incandescence circus, is teased and beckoned until she succumbs to their characters. Like a deranged Alice diving down the rabbit hole, Scabbia brilliantly weaves between worlds, switching from her natural self to her Doppleganger persona in the circus world, wielding microphones one moment before cradling fire in her hands during songs such as “Blood, Tears, Dust.”
Known for marrying captivating stage images to the theme of their music at any given time, for the 119 show Lacuna Coil have kept the tradition alive, but often with a twist. Where Scabbia traditionally prowls the stage, it is often vocal counterpoint Andrea Ferro who appears much more physically loose throughout the DVD. Like the circus ringleader commanding the stage and audience as one. Both are strong performers on any given night, and even with the restraints of her new uniform Scabbia still trades in her usual jaunty demeanour. But in places she lets it go for something more subtle, and deeper, even if her piercing eyes and theatrical movements still retain her renowned ability to bowl you over.
From more contemporary numbers including “I Like It,” the performance reimagined into something closer to a Rob Zombie directed episode of American Horror Story, to early classics such as “ My Wings,” band and fans alike beam from all camera angles. The crowd, the stage, the rafters to the back of the illustrious venue, and even some rarely seen side stage shots, show joyous moments being shared and enjoyed by all. Never more so than in a solo performance of “Falling from Scabbia that propelled the evening from a night to remember to one that is simply unforgettable. With what could easily be mistaken for The Mad Hatter on a grand piano, accompanied by an ensemble of prison inmate ghosts crawling the floor of the stage, Scabbia is slowly raised by a harness toward the rafters. If this proves visually breathtaking, the shows director also succeeds in capturing a heartbreakingly stunning performance of “Wide Awake” as Scabbia’s dress spreads and stretches into an almost angelic silhouette while a devilish character aerial dances alongside her.
When her band of brothers, bassist, Marco Coti Zelati, drummer Ryan Folden, guitarist Diego Cavallotti and vocalist Andrea Ferro return, the band launch into an epic encore comprised of the brilliant “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name),” their esteemed cover of “Enjoy The Silence,” and the grand finale in “Nothing Stands In Our Way,” which is depicted as it should be, in full theatrical flourish. With the stage littered with its cast of dark circus characters igniting a wealth of pyro in unison, a special night was brought to an end in a very special way. Which The 119 Show – Live In London DVD triumphs in both capturing and commemorating.
With so much going on in the moment on the night, getting to witness, or to relive the experience, with no details spared is a genuine treat. For The 119 Show – Live In London DVD goes beyond simply hitting record on an average live show. It captures all the soul swelling, dark angel spectacle of near operatic proportions, as well as filling the role of a documentary videographer capturing those great behind the scene moments of love and laughter when no one is looking. And in the case of Lacuna Coil, there is unquestionably a lot of love between them and their fans. Twenty years worth in fact. And still going strong.