Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sixx A.M. / Apocalyptica @The Fillmore, Silver Spring 4/29/2015

I went to see Sixx A.M. and Apocalyptica at the Fillmore ($28). I was wondering how this would be as this would be my first time seeing both bands. Not to mention that this was Sixx A.M.'s first headline tour. Also interesting to note is that this was the last day of that first headline tour. I saw Ariel and Ilem there, but I know Kris, Jen (thank you!), and a couple others were there (in the sea of people)

Sixx AM was popular

I was expecting a  decent turnout, but it was pretty close to full. Way more crowded than yesterday's Testament/Exodus show! They had the top level fully opened, and fully filled, including the VIP areas. Probably close to the capacity of 2000.

More crowded than Testament
I mean I know Motley Crue is popular, but I guess these guys have sold well or really connected with people. Note the girl in the bottom left- one of the Japanese friends.

This Merch Pricing is Gonna Hurt

Merchandise was expensive (shirts $35 at least!), but there were a number of designs. Sixx A.M. had a CD for $15, and a signed one for $40 I think. There was also a hoodie. I was not impressed, but I def saw tons of people with Sixx A.M. Merch. I think this is also a vastly different crowd than the more underground/heavier Testament fans.

Crowd went ape over Apocalyptica

A side note: Japanese band Vamps opened for them- if I had done my homework I probably would have tried to see them. Hell, a number of Japanese people (maybe 20 I saw on the right side of the floor?) were there, presumably to support them (and Sixx A.M.). Oh well. I looked up their setlist and they apparently did a Motley Crue cover. I don't know why Sixx AM didn't do one, that would have gotten the crowd even more ape!

Finnish Apocalyptica strangely kept their shirts on

Cello Huddle

Apocalyptica had started by the time I got there, due to traffic. The crowd was screeching, reminiscent of the Romeo Santos show we went to. This meant I was hearing shrill voices instead of the cellos. It was a bit annoying to me, but I can't fault people for having a good time... until that good time interferes with my ears. Dealing with the the dueling sounds, I wasn't able to really get into and enjoy their set. They have a singer now (Franky Perez, un hermano!), who was OK on vocals. I am not sure what I was expecting, but the singer did make it a bit more energetic, but for me the songs chosen were a bit weak. The most enjoyable song was the Sepultura cover, but that was mainly drums (I can barely understand- appreciating the drums!).

Con cantador Franky
The crowd loved them, and their Metallica cover (fitting and predictable as that's when that they started out as- a Metallica cover band with cellos) as well. I guess I need to be in a certain mood for them, as I was massively underwhelmed by their performance. It seemed like the crowd had more energy and power than Apocalyptica themselves had. The surprisingly non-shirtless trio of cellists headbanged and posed, but the energy coming from them was but a fraction of what the crowd had. It may be a bit unfair to compare them to Exodus, but if you do you'd wonder when Apocalyptica would kick it up a notch. Maybe if they played louder I would have been more into it?  They ended with "Hall of the Mountain King" which was also very good (the parts I could hear).

DJ Ashba w/ strange one armed shirt

Sixx A.M. came out to the intro "X-Mas in Hell," over the PA to a huge ovation. They started out pretty strong, but something was lacking or just too...light... for me. They played most of their new album Modern Vintage (7 of 11 tracks), which I thought was not as strong as their first 2. They played 4 from their excellent first album- The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack , and 6 from their second, This is Gonna Hurt. I would have preferred to hear more from their debut, but I suppose you could have worse albums than their most recent.

The one pic of the drummer
Nikki w/ sweet Fedora

The touring Sixx A.M. consisted of- Nikki Sixx was jumping around on stage, James Michael (no relation to George) on vocals and piano, DJ Ashba (still not sure if that's a DJ for a music DJ or if it is initials Darren Jay) on  rather solid guitars, and some guy named Dustin Steinke on drums. They also had a couple backup singers (1 girl was also doing keys, and the other had some percussion instruments (read: tambourine)). James Michael actually did some work on a couple Hammerfall albums too... wow.

Happy Sixxth brithday

During "Accidents Can Happen," a little girl allegedly on her 6th birthday was brought up on stage (she looked so tiny) to sing a little bit with the band. I am not sure if she was the kid of someone from the band or a friend of the band, but the crowd was all "awwww." She sang better than Vince Neil, but was a bit shy. That being said, I really came to see James Michael sing, not some little kid.

Up in the Balcony

During one song, DJ Ashba took to the backstage and reappeared at the top balcony in the middle and played a song on the balcony. He started in the top middle, then migrated to the left side, stopping to play at a couple spots, much to the delight of the balcony fans. Other bands I've seen that have done something similar - Rob Zombie, Killswitch Engage.

Most of Sixx AM
Perhaps a better view

The background singers in similar flesh/black lace dresses and tall black leather boots were not really audible on many songs, until no one else was singing or playing. They seemed like a odd addition to the (somewhat) hard rock band, but they worked with the songs that Sixx A.M. played. They were, however, just pretty faces for most songs due to the sound, which was otherwise the standard great Fillmore clear!

Also there was a bunch of star confetti on one of the last songs. It was Pretty wild and all over the place

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the performances of both bands- Apocalyptica's set and performance, and Sixx A.M.'s set. I did enjoy seeing them both live (as I had not seen them before), but I am not sure I'd go out of my way to see them again.

Bonus Nikki
Next Show: 2 days of M3! (wish I was able to make Kamelot...)

Apocalyptica (~9- 9:36)

  • I-III-V Seed of Chaos 
  • Cold Blood 
  • Grace 
  • Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura cover)
  • Nothing Else Matters (Metallica cover)
  • Shadowmaker 
  • I Don't Care 
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)

Sixx A.M. (10- 11:36)

  • X-Mas in Hell  (intro)
  • Let’s Go 
  • Give Me a Love 
  • Relief 
  • This Is Gonna Hurt 
  • Pray for Me 
  • Dead Man's Ballet 
  • Accidents Can Happen 
  • Miracle 
  • Live Forever 
  • Gotta Get It Right 
  • Drive (The Cars cover)
  • Help Is on the Way 
  • Goodbye My Friends 
  • Lies of the Beautiful People 
  • Stars 

  • Skin 
  • Life Is Beautiful 

updated w/ times