I like Lacuna Coil (that's no secret), so when the chance came up to see them in my home town I purchased my tickets as soon as I could when they were on pre-sale. (Dragging your friends along is fun.) That was all back in October last year and finally yesterday was the day. Upon first buying the tickets I was throwing around the idea of going down really early (doors were at 7pm), for lunch, so we could camp outside and hopefully meet everyone.
Come the day however that didn't actually happen; I was all ready to go out by half 3, but I said I'd meet my mate at 5 and get the bus down with him; he lives 3 miles away from me.
When my mum came home from work she did the usual 'eat something before you go out routine', generally not a problem however I was so excited by now I'd completely lost my appetite so I spent precious time I could of used for walking slowly trying to ingest an egg sandwich.
So I was now late, much later than I'd originally wanted to be too; thankfully it wasn't raining and I made it to my mates house only 20 minutes late and we got on a bus not long after.
Finally we got into town and it was a short walk to the venue; I was quite relieved to find out the queue was still short and we began our hour long wait until doors.
During this time we were photographed holding flyers for Dommin, who personally I don't like, and I had a chat with my cousin who dresses up like a gothic pirate.
Oh I forgot to mention that we had to wait for my friends work colleague to come too, since I had her ticket as well. And talk about cutting it close within a minute of her turning up the doors opened.
I thought they'd search me consider the budges in my pockets from everything I was lugging around however they like to pick on people with bags, which of course as women my friends colleague had one and was stopped. My mate waited with her, however my mind was set on one thing - getting to the front! I had to run past some girls who were also heading for the barrier, but I did it, I got a decent place at the front. (Oh and my friends reappeared and stood behind/next to me so it worked out quite well.)
Dommin: Last.fm tells me that Dommin are Alt Gothic Rock, and their image tells me they like Morrissey and the 80s. I don't like Morrissey or the 80s and they sound like H.I.M. fans would lap them up. Okay, I just have preconceptions. For an opening act they were actually very good, normally you expect the opener to be passable at best. They pulled off a strong performance and the crowd got into them. One of their last songs was a cover of Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died In Your Arms, that was nice and enjoyable and the crowed joined in too.
Dirty Little Rabbits: This lot are a side project from Shawn of Slipknot fame. Quite an energetic one at that. Like all bands I go and see I do give them all a courtesy listen, if I haven't heard them before, I listened to Hello which does give quite a good overview of their style. Each band member has their own thing going on. Shawn is the drummer - playing the drums means no 'thing', he is busy playing drums. (He was pretty much in front of me, well the guitarist was mostly too.)
The guitarist was quite bendy and weird in the sort of way you'd do when taking the mick out of something, but ramped up I guess. The bassist was in a suit with a top hat. The keyboard player (Who needed 3 keyboards?!) was bald and topless, when they opened he jumped ridiculously high. And the lead singer was just flowing around the stage wearing not much. (Which is nice.) You've never seen an act like this before, I can assure you. I'm not really sure where to place them even, but they were defiantly fun and entertaining to watch. (And that is of course a really good thing.)
The crowd were defiantly into them and a lot of other people must of done some pre-gig listening too since there were some people singing along, which the band clearly were impressed by. I wouldn't necessarily watch them as a headline act, but if they played as support again I wouldn't complain.
Lacuna Coil: A band that hopefully needs no introduction.
Whilst they have changed there style over the past two albums their sound remains constant.
I'd love to complain about the amount of Shallow Life songs played, however this was the Shallow Life tour so I'd be an idiot to do so.
So out they finally came, the crowd erupting in anticipation and excitement. A long intro to survive is played as intro music. (I preferred their previous intro music to be honest.)
As ever Criz comes out first, followed shortly after by Maus and Cristiano then Andrea and Cristina. They've all got new outfits for this tour and a new drum kit, since I saw them at Download in 2009.
So starting off with Shallow Life songs is a good idea, they are much better crowd songs and they have increased vocal parts for Andrea.
Criz is the middle of the stage on a platform, Maus over right in front of me, Cristiano is over the far side mirroring his position and Cristina and Andrea are between either side of middle. (They all do like moving around - swapping places, well not Criz he'd probably be a bit upset, if you started to push him around while he was playing.)
You could tell already that they were on top form and despite the small size of the venue (comparatively - it's basically the best we have.) everyone was really into it and LC knew it.
As I like to sing along, if I know the words, I was in my element, which only got better when singing back to Cristina on several occasions through out the show. (You can't beat that!)
Each song has a different video projected on the screen at the back. Are stage drapes not cool any more? I know they're less distracting.
By the time they were playing Tightrope I didn't think it could get any better and the energy in the room was electric. (They have such a rich back catalogue it's a shame most of it won't get played live again.) Then they followed it up with 1.19(!) and not long after Heavens A Lie, which the crowd really loved and was a massive sing-along.
There was a break after Fragile, which I was though was a bit early for end of set/encore bit, however not long after Cristina came back out with her hair tied back and a dress on; she sung Wide Awake.
Just like on Shallow Life once again Wide Awake disrupted the flow for me. A short pause after and Andrea started to bring us back to full steam with To The Edge.
The Maze was quickly followed with one of my personal favorite songs: Swamped. I was so happy they played it and it was perfect too. (They didn't play it at Download choosing Heavens A Lie instead, that annoyed me.)
Enjoy The Silence was conducted as a sing along, seeing which area in front the stage was the loudest and to see if we were louder than the other crowds they have played to on this tour. (My throat says yes, but the venue size says no.)
Okay so now we had the encore break. Apparently we don't have anyone in Bristol that can both shout loud enough to start a chant and also come up with a decent one; "We Want More"... Rude and it also has the same amount of syllables as Lacuna Coil, shout that instead you idiots.
Anyway they came back out and played Not Enough followed by Spellbound which the crowd also liked. And like it's a tradition, they ended with Our Truth.
I'm Not Afraid
Fragments Of Faith
I Won't Tell You
Heavens A Lie
To The Edge
Enjoy The Silence
All in all it was a very strong set that engaged the audience with a strong blend of new songs topped off with a good helping of classics.
Okay, so we asked the nice people in the photo/security gap to pass us up the plectrums that Maus had thrown at us and my friends bag. (Opted not to grab the towel that Shawn threw at us.)
Now it was operation met the band. (I'd brought with me, along with a camera that had a battery which needed charging, a Sharpie and my copy of Comalies.)
Checked around by the merch stand hoping to see Dirty Little Rabbits, but only Dommin were around so we went outside to look for Lacuna Coil instead.
I later found out that the lead singer of Dirty Little Rabbits had cut her thumb quite badly and so they'd left. Anyway, we headed round to the side entrance where everyone else was gathering; I say everyone else, I mean like 20 people. It had started to rain by now, and to my displeasure I soon found out that sharpies barely work in rain.
Almost like the order they come on stage, they came out in. Oh, I didn't mention that Marco isn't on the tour, because he is at home recovering from a shoulder injury.
Anyway, we all swarmed around Criz and Maus, who just like everyone else, are great people that will spend the time to meet fans and talk to them. Quite a wait later Cristina came out followed by Cristiano. Of course everyone went for Cristina, I didn't since Cristiano had no queue and was right next to me. Cristiano had issues signing both my ticket and Comalies due to rain which sucked, when I managed to meet Cristina it was working well enough again though. (Cristina is so short! No wonder she wears heals all the time.)
And then we waited for Andrea, and then we waited and waited. We had no idea where he'd gone, but it was past midnight so I conceded and we left to get food and go home.
Looking back on my photos now I can safely say for my first time using that camera I took a lot of very blurred pictures, oh well at least I have a great memory to keep with me.