Apocalyptica - LIVE: Barts Pathology Museum, London 2015

Album Launch Promo Show
March 31 (19:15 - 19:35)
Capacity 100

Staged primarily as an album listening session for fans, Finland's Apocalyptica came to London to promote their new release Shadowmaker, due out in April. A very small number of fans were able to win tickets to the event, which included a four-song acoustic set by the band prior to the album playback.

The venue, the pathology museum of St. Bartholomew's Hospital at the Queen Mary University, has to go down as one of the more bizarre locations for a gig of any kind. A small hall with a high ceiling and walls lined with shallow shelves split over three levels (the upper two having narrow balconies around the entire perimeter) holding preserved human remains of all descriptions including bones, brains, and hearts, it is normally closed off to the public and only open for medical students at the university, or specially staged events.

Around 50 fans won tickets to attend alongside invited media, and the most eager wasted no time sitting on the floor immediately in front of the area which had been set up for the band to play, while others browsed the exhibits on the walls. The event was also the first time any fans in Europe would be able to see the band with new permanent singer Franky Perez, formerly of Scars On Broadway, but that didn't quite go to plan.

With Perez suffering badly from flu the planned setlist needed a last-minute adjustment, adding two classic instrumental covers instead of other new songs. Perez gave his level best as the band started with the new album's first two singles Cold Blood and title track Shadowmaker, absolutely nailing the former - on which he probably could have foregone the opening and closing screams, especially on an acoustic version - and only showing slight signs of strain on the latter.

The fans responded well to these versions, having already been able to hear both online, and Perez proved beyond doubt that he will be an excellent fit for Apocalyptica. If this is what he's capable of in an acoustic set while ill, what he can do at a full show in full health can only be great.

The rest of the band then closed out the performance part of the evening with a beautiful verison of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters and a frantic Hall of The Mountain King where Perttu Kivilaakso in particular played at super-human speed.

Perez left for the band hotel almost immediately afterwards to recuperate, and quite rightly so. The rest of the band mixed with the fans while the new album shook the jars on the shelves and record label Eleven Seven Music provided everyone with free drinks. It was the kind of evening most fans never get to experience, and the band seemed to enjoy giving it to these lucky few.

“ fans responded well to these versions ”

Setlist: Cold Heart / Shadowmaker / Nothing Else Matters / Hall of The Mountain King

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2015, Promo Sets,

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