After Years Of Waiting, Sixx A.M. Embark On Their First Ever Headline Tour

Sixx A.M. & Apocalyptica April 11, 2015 Club Nokia- Los Angeles, CA

       Following the release of their third studio album, Modern Vintage, Sixx A.M. have finally answered all the cries of their fans and embarked on their first headline tour. On the third night of their 16 date tour, Sixx A.M were in their hometown of Los Angeles with guest openers, Apocalyptica and VAMPS to give the thousands in attendance a night to remember. Japanese Hard/Alternative Rockers VAMPS, kicked off the night at 9pm to a packed Club Nokia. There were several fans in the front row who flew all the way from Japan to see the show, and were rocking out and sining along with lead singer, Hyde throughout the band’s 30 minute set. While their live show was energetic and fun to watch, the crowd seemed bored and not interested in the music. VAMPS tried to liven things up with their rendition Live Wire by Motley Crue which was received an underwhelming amount of people singing along. Up next were the Finnish cellists known as Apocalyptica who perform a style of music that is known as “Cello Metal”. With a genre like that, who wouldn’t be curious? The band is made up of three cellists, one drummer and their current touring singer, Franky Perez who is known for his guitar playing in the rock band Scars on Broadway. As the lights dimmed, the crowd became anxious and shouted at the top of their lungs. As the intro music faded away the band went into Sixx AM_-18Cold Blood, a new song which will be on their 8th studio album, Shadowmaker which is set to be released later this month. A majority of the band’s set was performed with just instrumentals, just a couple of songs having Perez on stage belting it out. When he was on stage however, he sang flawlessly as if he has been with the band for years. Eicca Matti Toppinen was constantly thanking the crowd and encouraging their cheers. He asked if they wanted to hear some metal and with the crowd cheering at the top of their lungs, they went into Inquisition Symphony by Sepultura. The band slowed things down and the trio of cellists sat down to perform their cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters which the crowd filling in for Perez on vocals. As their set was nearing an end, they performed what could be called their most well known song, I Don’t Care, Perez coming back on stage to sing. As the song ended and the cheering faded away, Toppinen spoke to the crowd again, stating his shock of how they knew so many of their songs. They asked if they could perform one more song and after an overwhelming response, Toppinen said, “Good, because we really wanted to play one more song for you all!” They went into Hall of the Mountain King from their 2000 album, Cult where one by one each cellist had their chance in the middle of the stage, performing their solos to an excited crowd. It is no wonder why so many people in attendance were there for Apocalyptica. They performed a unique and entertaining set and Franky Perez added another element to the performance, bringing it up one more level. I need to mention their drummer, Mikko Sirén who did a fantastic job throughout the set, probably performing some of the most complex drumming of the night. As the clock struck 11:00pm, the lights dimmed once more for the headliners of the night, Sixx A.M. The stage background was covered with a drape looking material and triangle shaped lights on both sides of the stage. Their intro, X-Mas In Hell, from first album, The Heroin Diaries kicked off the show and upped the anticipation with the eerie sound of the song. With cellphones in the air, the trio, James Michael on vocals, Nikki Sixx on bass and DJ Ashba on guitar made their way on stage with two backup singers and their touring drummer, Dustin Steinke and went into Let’s Go, from their latest release, Modern Vintage. One by one the band went through hits from their three albums that have never been performed live until this tour. Following Accidents Can Happen, James Michael spoke to the crowd, mentioning how he sees many DJ Ashba t-shirts out there. The crowd cheered in agreement, while Michael handed the mic over to Ashba. Ashba took the microphone and told the crowd a story of an incident from earlier that day when a man came up to him and asked if he was excited for the show tonight. When Ashba said he was excited the man told him that he hates performing in LA because “the crowd are jaded and assholes.” Ashba continued saying “After seeing how you guys have been so far...I’m starting to think maybe that guy’s band just sucked!” The crowd laughed as Ashba introduced Mirale another from the new album. As the set continued, Ashba on guitar and Nikki Sixx on bass were constantly performing shoulder to shoulder, laughing and smiling at each other. Sixx AM_-30 As the night continued, Michael took a moment to talk to the crowd and wish one of their backup singers, Amber Vanbuskirk a very happy 21st birthday. He told the crowd to Youtube this so she could remember this night forever. The crowd began to sing happy birthday but were cut off when the intro the the next song began. Things were slowed down as a piano was rolled to the middle of the stage for Drive by The Cars. Following the cover, Michael said “I think there is one more man you want to hear something from tonight.” And with the crowd cheering back, he handed the microphone to Nikki Sixx. Sixx kneeled down and began talking to the crowd about how they never wanted to be an actual band and that they wrote The Heroin Diaries soundtrack solely for his book. But with all the fans asking for them to tour he said “You wanted us to be a band and now you have to live with us! Because after this, next year we are releasing our fourth album and touring the world!” He continued mentioning how he felt that people could relate to the music because it was showing struggles and addictions and recovering and he said that “…Help will always be there, and will always come. Help is on the way.”  With that the band went into Help in on the Way.     Sixx A.M. ended their set with Stars in which hundreds of confetti stars shot out of cannons located on both sides of the stages. They left the stage and were given a standing ovation by all those sitting on the balcony. Several moments later the band came back on stage for two encore, Skin and of course their first ever single, Life is Beautiful. Sixx A.M have released three studio albums and have occasionally played several songs at festivals here and there but this was the first time that they have ever performed a headlining set. The bar was raised high for the band to reach being that one member is in Guns N Roses and the other in Motley Crue but the band delivered on all aspects. Sixx A.M. had great production for their stage show, two amazing background singers who really added to the songs, and a trio of amazing musicians all clearly enjoying what they were doing, constantly smiling on stage into the crowd and at each other. Review by: Nicole Lemberg  Sixx A.M. Apocalyptica VAMPS