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Venue: Royal Oak Music Theatre

City: Royal Oak, MI

Date: May 22, 2018

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (

It has been just over 20 years since the release of Apocalyptica’s killer disc Plays Metallica By Four Cellos.  In honor of the albums anniversary, the band is out on the road playing homage to the music that helped launch their careers with metal heads everywhere.  The recent dates brought the group through the Detroit area, where they landed at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.  Without any opening band or fanfare, the stage was set up fairly simple with four separate staging areas along the front, one for each of the cellists to take their spot for the show… at least the first act.  As soon as Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Perttu Kivilaakso, and Antero Manninen took their spots, they ripped immediately into “Enter Sandman” and the venue exploded immediately.  While there are no vocals from the stage, you could hear those around you singing along, as well as watching the musicians mouth the words.  Next up was the powerful “Master of Puppets” which saw the cellists become more animated and getting into the mood with each movement of their respective bows.  After this track, we were informed this was an anniversary show and that we were going to be treated to a live rendition of the album from front to back, which next led us into “Harvester of Sorrow” which saw the group settle in with a more serious demeanor while delivering the song note for note as we remember it.  “The Unforgiven” was a personal favorite when the disc came out, and hearing it live I am reminded why – there is a different level of depth to the track when played through cellos.  Each song they played took me back to the first time I heard the disc and was taken back by the power of the music.  Once we made it through that portion of the evening, we were treated to a short intermission with more Metallica to come.  Once the guys returned to the stage, they brought drummer Mikko Sirén for the remainder of the set, which kicked off with a phenomenal version of “Fade to Black” followed with “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and other Metallica tracks pulled from the catalog to create a crescendo through the final song of the set “Seek and Destroy”.  The group closed out the night and sent fans home after killer renditions of both “Nothing Else Matters” and “One” and demonstrated once and for all that good music is good music, regardless of the presentation and instruments on which it is played.  Be sure to grab a ticket if the remaining tour dates bring them anywhere near you.

Setlist: Enter Sandman – Master of Puppets – Harvester of Sorrow – The Unforgiven – Sad But True – Creeping Death – Wherever I May Roam – Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Fade to Black – For Whom the Bell Tolls – Fight Fire With Fire – Orion – Escape – Battery – Seek and Destroy – Nothing Else Matters – One

Complete set of APOCALYPTICA show photos HERE





Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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