On April 17, 2015, a major show was about to take place at recently re-opened The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX. This would be my second time attending the venue in only one week and the place is more than big enough to hold solid national tour packages rolling through the Deep Ellum area. SIXX A.M. was holding their first ever headlining tour in 2015 with support acts APOCALYPTICA and VAMPS. My decision to go was purely driven by the chance to see APOCALYPTICA play for the first time, and after a few days of hesitation and some clicks, I finally had my ticket in hand to enjoy this show. The day finally arrived and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see that the line to get into the venue was literally going around the corner. The reason for this was because I didn’t expect SIXX A.M. to be this popular or influential, and it was the first time I saw that LONG of a line in my almost three years of hitting different gigs and venues in this Texan city.
It was 8:00 p.m. and the show was just starting with Japan’s VAMPS hitting the stage. I had minimal knowledge of this band and I kept my expectations open. The crowd reaction was, to my point of view, very weak compared to the energy that VAMPS brought to the stage. Despite this, they were able to play a solid set to those in attendance, they were able to bring a sense of enjoyment, and they also played some familiar notes that turned out to be a cover of MÖTLEY CRÜE’S “Live Wire”. That was very nice to hear knowing that founding member/bassist Nikki Sixx’s main band is coming to an end later this year.
When APOCALYPTICA was about to take the stage, I noticed that the crowd had a very unusual combination of rockers and metal heads with different musical tastes.
There was also a wide variation of ages, clothes (more specifically in the shirts they were wearing). This mix of people was crucial to the show because APOCALYPTICA has been evolving in their songwriting process, making it more suitable and flexible for different people other than metal maniacs. As soon as the band started their set, they were very well-received by the crowd. Their opening song was one off of their new album Shadowmaker (out now, Better Noise/ESMG) and I immediately felt a different vibe that I’m not used to hearing. Truly, the sound of three cellos is a unique experience, especially when that sound that comes out of them is metal-oriented.
“Grace” was their following song, and it made me visualize a very bizarre horror movie when someone is being chased to a dead end, which was awesome. After a couple of songs, APOCALYPTICA asked where the metal fans were, and immediately started playing SEPULTURA’S “Inquisition Symphony”.
To calm things down, METALLICA’S “Nothing Else Matters” just kept the majority of the audience singing, and it was a standout moment because this comes from a band that had only guest vocalists in their early years. Going through, another song off the new disc took place along with “I Don’t Care”, which was originally recorded with THREE DAYS GRACE’S Adam Gontier and is one of my personal favorite APOCALYPTICA tunes. To end their set, the cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso, along with their drummer Mikko Sirén created madness with “Hail to the Mountain King”. Overall, APOCALYPTICA’s set was great, they played a wide variety of songs; particularly some of the ones that I wanted to hear most.
Even though I would’ve loved to see this band in a more metal-related show, I was very happy to finally hear another example of music interpreted by exceptional Finnish artists, and mostly because I had been waiting to see APOCALYPTICA live for a very long time and this was finally my chance.
As far as the headlining act SIXX A.M. goes, my comment for the band in general is that I was still very surprised at the influence that their songs and lyrics had on the people that were around me on that night. I don’t consider myself a fan of the band, but I was impressed with the passion the closer people around me had during the entire set. I give Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba, and James Michael props for the hard work, and mostly for creating the connection that we as fans search for and find through music, even if this isn’t exactly my cup of tea.
LIVE REVIEW: THE ALCALDE
LIVE PHOTOS: GUZPIX