I was starting to get worried that the European Sanatorium Tour from Lacuna Coil, following the release of Delirium over a year ago, might skip Finland altogether. After all, they missed us when they did Sweden and Norway, and usually these three Nordics go hand-in-hand gig-wise. Luckily, they passed by Tampere’s YO-talo on May 24th, 2017, so we made sure to be there for the show!
Or listen to the set on Spotify:
I’ve lived in Tampere in the past, but oddly enough, I’ve never had occasion to go to YO-talo before, so this was an oppotunity to see what I know to be a great live band while simultaneously checking out a new venue. The venue itself is small, possibly even smaller than Klubi, and I was shocked to see that I couldn’t find a merch booth anywhere, and it wasn’t for a lack of space. I wondered what the reason for the lack of merch might have been, but couldn’t come up with anything.
A dark, ambient intro introduced the band, and they roared on stage with “Ultima Ratio” – a strong starter, though I think “The House of Sleep” may have been more effective; I understand the urge to not use the album opener as the gig opener though. The sound was a bit muddled, unfortunately, with the vocals being a bit hard to make out as both Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro sounded like they were under water. I could still tell though, that Scabbia’s wails were perfect and so reminiscent of the old days, in the best possible way.
Their stage outfits are really great, and definitely help to add another layer to the performance. The two vocalists remain fantastic performers and work so well trading lines on stage and the band as a whole interact very nicely. There was no break before they went into “Spellbound” – what felt like a heavier, less poppy “Spellbound”, if I do say so. Again, you can really tell how much Scabbia and Ferro feel what they’re singing – they’re so animated all the time. A great example of fantastic performers, if I may say.
Scabbia greeted the crowd, asking how everyone was doing thanking them for being part of the night – “We’ll all go home cured. Are you guys ready to have a good time with us? Once you hit the bottom the only way to go is up.” “Die & Rise” naturally followed.
A gloriously familiar piano intro started afterwards, which only meant it was time for “Heaven’s a Lie”; I was really heartbroken about the sound quality at this point, because I could tell through the murk that both vocalists were bringing their A-games and the band, new and old, were simply tearing it up. That song is still as good as it was over 10 years ago.
“Blood, Tears, Dust” is the most recent music video, and they played it, sounding heavy as hell. “Ghost in the Mist” can’t really be considered a slow song, but it was still a welcome respite at this point in the set. “I don’t know much about your inner demons, but I can tell you a lot about mine,” Scabbia said, and they continued with another new song, the following album track, “My Demons.” The sound quality had improved, but not by too much. That didn’t stop the song from being cool though – the band can play, regardless of the equipment. Also, bonus points to the solo in this one.
A low ominous note then meant that it was time for “Downfall”, bringing us back to Delirium. Scabbia then checked how everyone was doing, and then suggested the energy level was a bit mediocre and that the crowd could stop being shy – they don’t bite. The perfect song to follow that statement came in “Our Truth”! The crowd certainly perked up, as it’s a great song and common fan favorite.
“Nothing makes us happier than hearing you sing along with us,” Scabbia said, before asking the crowd to sing along to their cover of “Enjoy the Silence”, originally by Depeche Mode. I’m glad they’re still playing it, but likewise glad that they didn’t reuse the ‘crowd karaoke’ bit they did back in 2012 or 2010. Scabbia then spoke of the first release from Broken Crown Halo, which had a line that meant a great deal to them all: we fear nothing. “We all know that life sucks,” she went on, encouraging the crowd that, “the trip isn’t over until you get to the end. Would you like to say it with us?” The crowd screamed “We fear nothing!” at her command, as they played “Nothing Stands in Our Way.”
The band then vacated the stage and the crowd stomped and cheered to urge them to return. They waited a good long while before more deep, dark music brought them back. “Delirium” was an obvious choice to kick off the encore, seeing as how it inspired the entire album’s concept, and with lots of stage fog and general disturbing ambience, it was great, even if it’s a bit slower of a song than I like my encores. I’ve always loved Scabbia’s voice, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the magnitude of how cool and unique it is before this moment.
“Zombies” wouldn’t have been my pick for the second encore song – I’d have gone with “Swamped”, or even better, “Senzafine”, but both have sadly been missing from this tour. The encore is the place for old fan favorites though, and “Zombies” is merely one album old now, and not a song I know, let alone get hyped for. They ended with “The House of Shame”, though, and I’m glad they did – I’d have hated not to hear it. “You will always be welcome in our house of shame,” Scabbia said.
If you’re looking for the definition of a cool live band who know their music and know how to put on a good show, go no farther than Lacuna Coil. Even the material from their albums that I haven’t liked as much sounded great and the mediocre quality of the overall sound didn’t hold them back from doing a great job. I might have liked a few more songs from Comalies, Karmacode, or even Shallow Life, but the new material came out very well live and and I can’t say I had much of anything to complain about (other than the sound). It was definitely worth the trip to Tampere and I hope that it’s not another 5-year wait for their next show here.
1. Ultima Ratio
3. Die and Rise
4. Heaven’s a Lie
5. Blood, Tears, Dust
6. Ghost in the Mist
7. My Demons
8. Trip the Darkness
10. Our Truth
11. Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode cover)
12. Nothing Stands in Our Way
15. The House of Shame
Photos by Lene L.