Live: Apocalyptica at Culture Room, March 3

With Kinlin 
Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale 
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Than: Not seeing a shirtless rock cellist

The Review:  If metal could take animal form, it would have devoured every inch of the Culture Room Thursday with loud, pulsing intimidation during the performance by Metallica cover act via cellos, Apocalyptica. The crowd loved it and thrived on the energy of the vibrating floor.  

Local band, Kinlin, opened the show. Shredding their instruments, sweat dripped down as flailing arms reached for lead singer, Dewayne Hart. As the volume increased, so did the craziness. Tom Lynch, guitarist, hovered above the slew of people jumping up and down on the ground floor. Sticking out his tongue, this would become a favorite pose of the night. 

When Apocalyptica came out from the shadows amidst smoke and flashing lights, they got to work right away plucking and prodding their electric cellos. Sitting on stools, the guys' music spoke for itself. Eicca Toppinen and Perttu Kivilaakso let their long strands of hair fall in front of their faces whilst playing, "I Don't Care." The difference between the Metallica sound and the Apocalyptica sound is not the tone or the quality -- both of which are rich and powerful -- it's the interpretation. Apocalyptica's version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters," is like being weightless in a dream. There is just something about these cellos that isolates your mind in silence. The concert took an accelerated pace with "End of Me" and "Not Strong Enough." Everyone knew the words and was encouraged to sing along.    

Things intensified when Eicca Toppinen effortlessly extracted beauty from his cello with the approval of roaring fans. "Are you ready for metal?" he asked. His Finnish accent made it

difficult to understand, but not many words were needed to appreciate

the music known as cello rock. Everyone screamed in unison when he asked

if they were having a good time, and the love was felt

 All of the cellists, though thin in frame, could raise the heavy instrument above their heads. It was when Eicca pounded the cymbals and then threw a drumstick at lightning speed into the crowd that people got even more metal-happy. Drummer and cellist, Mikko Siren, alternated between instruments. For the songs that did not have lyrics, the room was quiet in reverence. To be able to play the cello with such versatility and freedom really echoes back to these musicians' extensive classical training.

Just when Apocalyptica left the stage, everyone began chanting, "One more song!" They granted that wish, and Mikko sent two more drumsticks skyrocketing into the grasp of two lucky people.  
Critic's Notebook 

The Crowd: Teenagers, a few kids, 20-somethings and older adult men and women dressed mostly in jeans and black T-shirts.

Random Detail: Perttu Kivilaakso's shirt came off due to excessive sweat.

Overheard: "Hey, you're sexy!" (In reference to Apocalyptica)

Personal Bias: The first flying drumstick flew right by my head before landing in the hands of a guy standing nearby.

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Jaclyn Rosansky
Contact: Jaclyn Rosansky