Review & photos by Andrew Bansal
April 1st 2014, The Roxy, West Hollywood CA: Italian gothic metal band Lacuna Coil have released their seventh studio album ‘Broken Crown Halo’ via Century Media Records, and following a month-long support run with Sick Puppies in February and March, they set out on a headline run of their own to coincide with the release of this new album, with support acts Kyng, Eve To Adam and Nothing More. The Los Angeles show of this tour took place at the Roxy last night on the North American street date of the album. The band left no stone unturned in making this show a full-on celebration of their newest offering, and it turned out to be a special occasion for all fans in attendance.
The Second Spin store in Sherman Oaks CA had the album on sale yesterday, and whoever purchased a copy not only got to meet the band there but also received a wristband that would grant them entry into this Roxy show. People who showed up directly at the Roxy were also awarded free admission to the show upon purchase of the album at the box office. This was a smart business decision by the band and their management, ensuring that the album got a huge initial push instead of charging money for the show and then expecting people to also buy the album in addition. Attendees were asked to pick up the album at the merch booth, where many were tempted to buy shirts and other merch items as well, another clever move by the Lacuna Coil think-tank. After the pickup, everyone headed inside to the main concert hall and waited patiently for the show to begin.
I had to miss the first two bands due to other commitments in the early evening, but made it to the venue just before Kyng took the stage. The Los Angeles-based stoner/sludge outfit got to play a hefty 45-minute set. Even though the band has been a support act for several bigger names in the recent past, I ended up missing them each time and this was actually my first time seeing them. They created a fantastic first impression, and their music came across as something that would be very easily accessible to any and every fan of heavy stoner/sludge a la Down, The Sword and bands of that nature. Their sophomore album ‘Burn The Serum’ drops on April 15th via Razor & Tie, and they played five songs off of it along with four from the debut album ‘Trampled Sun’. The trinity of Eddie Veliz on guitar/vocals, Tony Castaneda on bass and Pepe Clarke on drums proved themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Besides their material, they also had a surprise treat for the audience, when they brought out Rex Brown to jam with them on a cover of Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’. All eyes were obviously on Rex Brown and he laid down the low-end with his signature style, but Eddie Veliz absolutely nailed the EVH guitar tone and did the song complete justice, with Tony Castaneda doing lead vocals on it. With Kyng’s music being vastly different from Lacuna Coil’s, the true impact of this set was, in all honesty, lost on this audience which stood motionless with deadpan expressions on their faces, aside from the Van Halen cover during which a mosh pit broke out. But that doesn’t take away from Kyng’s performance and their tunes found great appreciation amongst the handful of riff worshippers in this crowd. On another night in a different setting, their live show might well have been accompanied by marijuana clouds, flying PBR cans and copious head banging, and other than the aforementioned Down and The Sword, Kyng would form a perfect ally with bands such as Saint Vitus, Crowbar, Red Fang, and of course, Black Sabbath. This level of performance would certainly get them to touring with those bands sooner than later.
01. Burn The Serum
02. Pushing & Pulling
03. Electric Halo
04. Trails In Veins
05. I Don’t Believe
06. Hot For Teacher (Van Halen cover w/ Rex Brown)
07. In The Land Of Pigs
08. Big Ugly Me
09. Sunday Smile
10. Falling Down
At 10:30, the members of Lacuna Coil walked onto the Roxy stage one by one as the intro played on the PA. They focussed a great deal on the previous album ‘Dark Adrenaline’, playing as many as seven songs off of it, including the song ‘My Spirit’, their heartfelt tribute to Peter Steele. But as expected, a good chunk of their older albums like ‘Comalies’, ‘Karmacode’ and ‘Shallow Life’ were well-represented in this set which moved along with a good sense of flow and seemed to satisfy most if not all fans in attendance here. Unlike a lot of bands that don’t think twice before bombarding their audience with a huge number of brand new tunes they’d hardly ever heard previously, Lacuna Coil kept the ‘Broken Crown Halo’ material limited to four songs, out of which ‘Zombie’ stood out as the most impressive and dynamic, boasting of a great balance between the melodic and heavy elements of Lacuna Coil’s musicianship.
Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro’s dual vocal layer is perhaps the most distinctive feature of Lacuna Coil’s music, and it was exhibited to the fullest here as both were at peak of their powers. Scabbia portrayed her voice and appearance in a very aesthetic manner, proving herself as a true performer, while the wild-eyed Andrea Ferro complemented her well and interacted excellently with the crowd. Aside from the vocal team, the three instrumentalists in the band filled their role aptly as well, and the band’s downsizing from their usual six-piece lineup to the current five-member incarnation (as a result of Cris ‘Pizza’ Migliore and Cristiano ‘CriZ’ Mozzati’s retirement) didn’t seem to hinder the impact of the music.
There is no denying that Lacuna Coil’s musical style is easy on the ears and probably isn’t the average elitist’s cup of tea, but even as someone who usually listens to music that’s heavier and ‘dirtier’ than Lacuna Coil’s, I feel this band conveys their musical message artistically with the gothic element well-presented through the lyrical themes, and this is all the more apparent in the live setting where the added effect of the lighting patterns and the visual expression also comes into play. They’re often roped in with generic female-centric bands but they’ve kept their musical integrity all these years, the latest example being ‘Broken Crown Halo’. They aren’t one to take cheap shortcuts even though they easily could have, and they deserve to be commended for that.
Check out more photos of Kyng & Lacuna Coil below (view them here if you’re on a non-Flash device):
01. Trip The Darkness
02. Kill The Light
04. Fragments Of Faith
05. Die & Rise
08. I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow
10. Heaven’s A Lie
12. My Spirit
14. Nothing Stands In Our Way
15. Our Truth
Remaining Tour Dates:
4/02/14 @ Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ *
4/04/14 @ The Lucky Mule – Abilene, TX *
4/05/14 @ Malls Of America – San Antonio, TX *
4/06/14 @ Brewster Street Ice House – Corpus Christi, TX *
4/08/14 @ Juanitas Cantina Ballroom – Little Rock, AR *
4/09/14 @ Strange Brew – Shreveport, LA *
4/11/14 @ Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL *
4/12/14 @ Central Florida Fairgrounds – Orlando,FL (Earthday Birthday)
4/14/14 @ Exit/In – Nashville, TN *
4/16/14 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI *
4/17/14 @ Austin’s – Libertyville, IL *
4/18/14 @ POV’s – Spring Lake Park, MN *
4/25/14 @ Tampa Bay Times Forum – Tampa, FL (98 Rock Fest 2014)
4/26/14 @ Jet Blue Park – Ft.Meyers,FL (Fort Rock)
4/27/14 @ Metropolitan – Jacksonville, FL (Welcome To Rockville)
* = w/ Kyng, Eve To Adam & Nothing More