Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Live: Lacuna Coil + Straight Line Stitch – Academy 2, Manchester – 12/11/2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 18:11
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An hour after the doors had opened, American metalcore outfit STRAIGHT LINE STITCH hit the stage to perform their 30 minute slot. The sound wasn’t great throughout their set, with the vocals being the most obvious downfall. Too low in the mix, you could hardly hear vocalist Alexis Brown most of the time with her growls, and even the segments that were clean vocals were inaudible at times.

Having said that, I did take notice of a few numbers which stood out musically, with the catchy style of ‘What You Do To Me’ and the ferocious ‘Conversion’ impressing in particular, whilst Brown‘s break neck speed headbanging during the latter could have smashed a brick wall if needed.

Having toured the UK a number of times over each of the past few years, the fans came out in force yet again for one of the best professional and live bands around in the metal scene. And it’s no wonder really. LACUNA COIL, now on their Darkness Rising tour, for me have always been one of those bands that are better to see live than on record. Don’t get me wrong, I can listen to them on record easily, but when you see them live, they are a different beast altogether.

The darker and more gothic elements and riffs become a lot more prominent, and create a really sublime atmosphere, with opening numbers ‘Our Truth’ and ‘To The Edge’ being prime examples of how this transforms from record to live. The vocal problems that plagued STRAIGHT LINE STITCH‘s performance didn’t transfer to the headliners and the dual vocals of Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro sounded excellent, with the only minor gripe with the sound being that the bass was a bit too high and overpowered the guitars at times throughout the first half of the set.

The majority of the set was made up from their last two efforts, ‘Shallow Life’ and ‘Karmacode’, with the likes of ‘Fragile’, ‘Fragments of Faith’, ‘I Won’t Tell You’ and a great rendition of the melancholic ‘Wide Awake’, while it was great to hear classics in the form of ‘Heaven’s A Lie’, ‘Daylight Dancer’ and ‘Swamped’. With a new album out early next year, entitled ‘Dark Adrenaline’, it was nice to hear a taste of what is to come from it. ‘Kill The Light’ and ‘Trip The Darkness’ were on offer tonight and sounded extremely good. They had those familiar LACUNA COIL traits stamped all over them and if the rest of the album is in a similar vein, it will be one to look forward to.

Their cover of DEPECHE MODE‘s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ closed the main set, which was the cue for some audience participation on the chorus, and to say they were loud is probably an understatement. LACUNA COIL came back on as the intro to ‘Survive’ played and delivered a killer version of it, whilst the rest of the encore was made up of the aforementioned ‘Trip The Darkness’ before the superb ‘Spellbound’ closed proceedings for the evening. LACUNA COIL could have easily delivered an extra 15 minutes on top of the 75 we got tonight. They certainly have the material to warrant it, but I don’t think that was on anyone’s mind as they headed for the exit. LACUNA COIL are always going to be one of my favourite live bands, and I bet we won’t have to wait too long for another chance to see them in the new year, especially with a new album just around the corner too.

Ratings:

LACUNA COIL: 4.1/5.0

STRAIGHT LINE STITCH: 3.5/5.0

Review By Adam Fredericks

Photography By Alex Shaw (click here for Lacuna Coil gallery)

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