Apocalyptica Celebrates 20 Years Of ‘Plays Metallica By Four Cellos’

September 28, 2017
The Mayan – Los Angeles, CA

       Apocalyptica is a cello metal band from Finland. Unlike traditional metal bands, Apocalyptica plays all their songs by using only cellos with the exception of a drummer during the metal section of their performance. On this tour, Apocalyptica was celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. The album contains only covers of thrash metal legends’ Metallica all done with cellos. For the occasion, Apocalyptica played the album in its entirety as well as other Metallica covers. This was something that fans of Metallica could enjoy if they’re open to classical music and instruments. Even way before doors opened, a big line had formed outside the venue. Clearly fans were excited to see this band. There were no opening bands for this show which let Apocalyptica play two sets of one hour of each segment of the show. Just before Apocalyptica went on stage, the venue had been packed to almost full capacity.

The lights went out and fans cheered as the quartet came out and sat down on stools as they started the show with their Metallica cover of Enter Sandman. Hearing this popular Metallica hit being played by cellos is different compared to the regular metal version sure was different and unique. All four members played the song precisely to the original song and of course fans couldn’t help themselves as they sang along to the song and chorus so Apocalyptica let the audience be their vocalists for the show. The second song was Master of Puppets and was a very energetic song played live as fans sang out loud, “Master! Master!” during the chorus. Their stage setup was very basic with a backdrop for each member and the members stayed stationary for the most part. This first half of the show would be the acoustic part of the show just to get the audience warmed up. Apocalyptica played other Metallica classics which included The Unforgiven, Creeping Death, Sad But True, and Harvester of Sorrow. Apocalyptica founding member Eicca Toppinen (third from right) thanked the audience for coming out and supporting them and that they would play this next song then take a small break and come back out for part two of the show. Apocalyptica played Welcome Home (Sanitarium) then left the stage as fans cheered for them. After a fifteen minute break, the lights went out Apocalyptica-16once again and the stage was revealed to now have a band backdrop with a drum kit added to the stage.

The quartet once again came on stage and this time would be standing instead of sitting as they played Fade to Black. When the song hit the heavy segment, the band’s drummer Mikko Sirén came out and started drumming along to signal the start of the metal segment of the show and gave the band an even better stage presence. Now that the band was complete, they added an impressive setup of lights that was different for each song. Band member Perttu Kivilaakso (second from right) took the chance to introduce the band members on stage while displaying a comedic personality and cracking jokes. Apocalyptica continued the classical metal by playing For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fight Fire With Fire, Orion, and Battery. Apocalyptica finished the show with the Metallica classic Seek and Destroy, then left the stage. The stage remained dark and the fans kept shouting, “One more song! One more song!”. After a few minutes, the band members came out and lit up the stage to reveal a big disco ball above the stage as they played one of Metallica‘s most famous songs, Nothing Else Matters. Fans loved singing along to the song. Now at the end of the show, Toppinen thanked the audience once again for coming out and to love each other as well as themselves. Apocalyptica finished the show with One which was easily one of the best songs of the night. The band finished the song, bowed to the fans, and left the stage for the final time. Whether you’re a fan of classical music or not, but you enjoy Metallica, Apocalyptica is a band you will surely enjoy live.

Review by: Misael Ruiz