Lacuna Coil bring the heat in Pittsburgh

It is all but impossible to think of female fronted metal bands and not have Italian melodic rockers Lacuna Coil immediately spring to mind. In the past decade it has been them and bands like Evanescence, Halestorm and Within Temptation that have brought women in heavy metal to the forefront of the genre, catapulting them from being the exception, to being the new norm and with good reason. They are currently out on the road in support of their newest album, Broken Crown Halo with up and coming bands Kyng, Eve To Adam and Cilver serving as opening acts along the way. The tour will be making its way across the globe over the next several months and if it makes a stop in your town, it is highly recommended that you attend like the hordes of dedicated Lacuna Coil fans in Pittsburgh did on April 21st, when the juggernauts came to The Rex Theater. Relatively unknown newcomers Cilver had to face the daunting task of kicking things off. The band quietly and unassumingly took the stage and proceeded to pound out a powerhouse five song set of killer melodic hard rock. Although they didn’t have much room, they made the absolute best of it and as their set progressed you could feel the momentum shifting in their favor. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2014/Lacuna Coil Broken Crown Halo Tour /Cilver/\”] Frontwoman Uliana Preotu is as charming as they come and her performance and vocal style will no doubt draw comparisons to Anneke Van Giersbergen, Lacey Sturm and even Lzzy Hale. She owned the crowd, who did exactly as she instructed. She commanded the crowd put their hands together for Lacuna Coil before closer and title track from their new album In My Head. At its conclusion, Preotu gave a little speech, inviting the fans to have a drink and hang out with them at their merch booth before jumping into the crowd to do a little crowd surfing of her own. Based on the strength of their songs, solid performance and traffic at their merch booth, this is clearly a band to keep an eye on and they have a bright future ahead of them. Up next was NYC’s Eve To Adam who are promoting their ninth studio album Locked & Loaded. The first thing lead singer Taki Sassaris did when he hit the stage was to grab the mic and shout “Pittsburgh let me fucking hear you,” which kicked things off on a proper note and the fans responded in kind. Sassaris was a raw bundle of high energy who often sang so hard that people were expecting him to bust a vein, while the rest of the band thrashed about the stage like a group of escaped lunatics. Sassaris took a brief moment before title track “Locked And Loaded” to comment on being in Steelers country and to say what a pleasure it was to be on the tour. He went on to thank everyone for coming out early to see the other bands before a show stopping rendition of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” that was leaps and bounds above the original. It saw fists thrust high into the air, a massive crowd sing along and contained a guitar solo that would make Steve Stevens proud. Closer “Straight Jacket Super Model” was prefaced by Sassaris At the end of their blistering seven song set you were left wondering how a band this good with songs this strong isn’t a household name, a travesty that, judging by the crowds response, would soon be remedied. Kyng were next and for being just a trio, they made a metric shit-ton of noise. The band hammered out an eight song set of amazing old school 70’s groove rock, delivered with more raw energy than the sun. Although they had missed their heyday by about 30 years, that didn’t stop the fans from hanging on every glorious note. “Electric Halo”  was peppered with spicy grooves by the truckload that drove the fans nuts. Veliz kept things going by jokingly asking “Is it still fucking Monday?” before comically adding “The bras and panties are coming off for this one,” which signaled the beginning of their out of this world cover of Van Halen’s infamous “Hot For Teacher,” that was infinitely heavier than the stunning original. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2014/Lacuna Coil Broken Crown Halo Tour /Kyng/\”] At its conclusion he asked “Hey, what the hell happened to the bras?” He then started a chant of Bras, Bras, Bras and added “Someone better take off a fucking bra.” A few songs later, right before closer, “Falling Down,” he got his wish when a woman in the front row offered her bra to be a good sport, which he then proudly displayed on his mic stand. At last, the lights dimmed and the intro music began to play as headliners Lacuna Coil proudly and defiantly took the stage by storm to the deafening roar of the near capacity crowd. The band was in impeccable form, but it was impossible to take your eyes off of charismatic vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Their undeniable stage presence was off the charts and the lush tapestries created by their stunning vocal harmonies was immeasurable. Each and every pummeling drum beat causing an involuntary bouncing of the heads of all in attendance. They momentarily stopped for Scabbia to ask “How’s it going out there?” She added, “This next one is for all of us walking in the dark together. It’s called “Zombies.” Another fan favorite, “Heaven’s A Lie” was next. Everyone, including the little girl with the stuffed animal belted it out so loudly that it actually overshadowed the band. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2014/Lacuna Coil Broken Crown Halo Tour /Lacuna Coil/\”] The entire floor was jumping for “Upside Down” and “My Spirit” was dedicated to Peter Steele and those we have lost while the breakneck pace of “Spellbound” served as a much needed shot of adrenaline to re-energized the crowd, after the slow brooding Type O Negative vibe of “My Spirit.” Scabbia went on to dedicate “Nothing Stands In Our Way” to those who fear nothing and closer “Our Truth” found the entire audience jumping up and down and singing along at the top of their lungs once again. As usual, Lacuna Coil crushed it and even as the lights came up and the house music began to play, the diehard fans of Pittsburgh refused to leave, chanting for one more song over the house music, but to no avail. There would be no encore that night and there was really no need for one as everything had already been said and done with another stellar performance from Italy’s best and biggest import. -Eric Hunker