Written and photographed by: Rob Botten
20 Years of PLAYS METALLICA BY FOUR CELLOS Tour
@ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Toronto, ON Canada
September 14, 2017
Presented by: Inertia Entertainment
Back in the early 90’s a group of four cellists came together to cover a number of Metallica songs while studying at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. Soon after, they recorded a cover album called “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.” Over two decades later Apocalyptica are on a 20th anniversary tour; “20 Years of Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.” Consisting of 39 show across North and South America. The talented group came to Toronto on September 14th, 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a near sold out show. To say the show was incredible would be a major understatement.
Just as the show was about to begin, the atmosphere inside the venue was full of excitement. The crowd was incredibly diverse with people of different ages and from all different walks of life. Right as the lights went dark and Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Perttu Kivilaakso, along with founding member Antero Manninen took to the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers and were greeted to the beginning of an epic night with “Enter Sandman.” As the night progressed through Apocalyptica’s album, the crowd continuously got louder with
It has always amazed me over the years of listening to Apocalyptica, that these musicians are able to make cellos sound so much like guitars. After years of being a fan, I was lucky enough to see them for the first time live at this show. The sound quality at the venue was absolutely amazing. This group doesn’t need a fancy light show or stage props to make their show memorable; their musical performance alone does more than enough. During the second set, Eicca Toppinen told the crowd how back in the early 1990’s, the founding members came together and recorded “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.” He said “If we sold 1000 copies and played a few shows, we would be happy.” Here they are two decades later, and still as strong as ever.
When the group announced it was time for the last song, the crowd was definitely disappointed the night ended so quickly, although time did fly by because of the amazing performance. “Seek and Destroy,” had the crowd on their feet and shouting the lyrics while on stage the lights flashed and Eicca and Perttu Kivilaakso’s hair flung around in epic synchronized head-banging. Before the night came to a close, the crowd cheered for an encore and were rewarded with two epic and beautiful songs. “Nothing Else Matters” had the crowd singing throughout the whole song, with lighters held up as the song came to a beautiful close. “One” would be Apocalyptica’s last song for Toronto until they return. As the song finished the whole crowd was on their feet, all with the horns raised cheering louder than ever.
It was an absolutely incredible night, fans young to old were all able to share an amazing experience gifted by five talented people. I was even lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to go backstage and meet Eicca, Mikko, and Paavo. I was given a beer when I got to the back of the stage, and although we only exchanged a brief conversation it was enough to leave me with a surreal feeling. They were incredibly happy to have played for us, telling the crowd how Canada is an amazing country.