Lacuna Coil Haunt Gramercy Theatre, NYC 6-9-16 w/ Stitched Up Heart, 9Electric & Painted Wives

Keeping themselves busy, Italian Metal titans Lacuna Coil have returned to North America once again. This time around supporting their eighth studio album, Delirium, released on May 27th via Century Media Records, many fans are dubbing the offering one of the band’s best in years. Announced back in April as two different runs, first included Los Angeles Metal act Butcher Babies for direct support, and the second part included Hard Rockers Stitched Up Heart, both legs included 9Electric and Painted Wives as opening support. An exciting lineup for fans, the finale stretch of the Delirium Tour began on May 31st in Chicago, Illinois and concluded on June 12th at the Masquerade Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, but not before landing in New York City on Thursday, June 9th. Returning to a city that adores them, they would host the evening at the Gramercy Theatre, a venue familiar to themselves and fans who were ready to make some new memories together.

The show kicked off with relatively new Californian act known as Painted Wives. Consisting of Justin Suitor (vocals/guitar), Jeff Lyman (guitar/vocals), and Derek Eglit (drums), their sound has been compared with acts such as High on Fire. However, generating an innovative style of their own that incorporates different influences in Rock and Metal, ala Alice in Chains and Gojira, Painted Wives are a unique band. Winning the Best Live Band at the 2012 Orange County Music Awards, a few years later, Painted Wives find themselves signed on with Century Media Records, which allotted them to remix and remaster their 2014 debut, Obsessed With The End, for re-released on April 29th.

Despite looking comfortable on the stage, Lyman admitted to the crowd that this was their first time performing in New York City as they began their set. Fueling the start of the night with a Doom Metal feel, the band had many hooked from the get-go as they performed such songs as “Congratulations,” “Stay With Me,” and “Dig.” Departing the stage after a tight performance, they thanked the crowd and welcomed everyone down to meet them at their merchandise table. Showing the chops of an elder band with years of experience, it was easy to see why Painted Wives are praised for their live performances.

The show then took a shift in styles with Hollywood, California Electronic Hard Rock act 9Electric. Made up of Frontman Ron Underwood “Thunderwood,” Mikey Lopez (guitar), Casey DC (bass), and Micah Electric (drums), their presence alone blended two distinct styles. One, showcasing the Glam Metal influence of Mötley Crüe, and two, combining it with the Industrial Metal sound of acts similar to Rob Zombie. First performing live in 2011, their goal was to create a new influence in the modern day Metal scene, and their working class attitude led them to sign a record deal with Another Century Records.

Adding to the entertainment value, a few dancers joined the band on stage as as they opened up with “New God” followed by their older tune “Time Bomb.” As the dancers departed, the band continued to rock as they moved into “The Damaged Ones” as the set continued on with the newer material such as “Beautiful” and “Lies.” Closing their set out, everyone lit up as 9Electric offered AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap).” Taking the room by surprise, everyone sang and dance along until the final note. Their debut album, The Damaged Ones, is set to release on July 15th, and it said to be about the human condition and how, one way or another, everyone is damaged. With this new album, 9Electric are ready to dominate the Hard Rock scene.

As direct support, Los Angeles, California Stitched Up Heart was ready to keep the adrenaline flowing. Formed in 2010 by Lead Vocalist Alecia “Mixi” Demner as a creative outlet to release personal depression and heartache, the band has taken off since. Including Merrit Alfero (lead guitar), Randy Mathias (bass), and James Decker (drums), the first few years of Stitched Up Heart were spent shaping their sound over the course of a few EPs. Refining and perfecting their style, they are now signed with Another Century Records as they prepare to release their debut album, Never Alone, on June 17th. Very familiar with Gramercy Theatre, it was exactly one month earlier the band visited when they opened up for Sick Puppies, and now they were ready to capitalize on the familiarity New York has built with them.

With a dramatic introduction, before the lights even hit the stage, the band slowly moved onto the platform as Demner was the last to take her place. Ready to raise hell, they began with “Finally Free,” “Turn You On,” and “Never Alone” as the energy in the room spiraled along. Phasing her vocals in and out between clean singing to screaming, Demner demanded the audience to ignite a mosh pit during “Catch Me When I Fall.” Clearly enjoying their time on tour with Lacuna Coil, 9Electric, and Painted Wives, Demner praised them all before they concluded with new single “Monster.” Stitched Up Heart’s performance was a steady rise, filled with energetic riffs wrapped around thematic tunes. Stylistically, the band gravitates from Gothic Rock towards more of a Hard Rock-n-Roll sound, and for this reason, Never Alone will be one album to look out for.

After three supporting acts, the Coilers, also known as Lacuna Coil fans, eagerly awaited for Milan’s greatest import outside fashion to hit the stage. Begun over two decades ago, Lacuna Coil has built a legacy as one of Gothic Rock’s premiere acts. Considered a rebirth of sorts for the band with the release of Delirium, this refreshing album is matched with the new lineup consisting of long-time vocalists Cristina Scabbia, Andrea Ferro, as well as Bassist Marco Coti Zelati, along with newcomers, Drummer Ryan Blake Folden and Guitarist Diego Cavallotti. Embracing the change, Lacuna Coil show a magical blend of dream-like tunes further exploring their darker sounds. With that said, anticipation was peaking as the band arrived on stage to a sea of fans cheering. Dressed as though they escaped from an asylum, they opened the set with “Nothing Stands in Our Way” and “Die & Rise”  from 2013’s Broken Crown Halo. Sounding full of life and inspired to be back in New York, Lacuna Coil went on with “Kill the Light” and “Victims.”

Still yet to perform a track off Delirium, early attention was to back catalogue material as Scabbia flourished with her haunting vocals as Ferro’s darker tones continued during 2009’s “Spellbound.” Easing everyone in, Scabbia introduced the the new album with “The House of Shame.” A seemingly nightmarish track, the mix of angelic singing with earth-shattering growls was matched by drilling guitars that the crowd completely embraced. Only a prelude into Delirium, Scabbia surprised the room with an older favorite, going into 2002’s “Heaven’s a Lie,” a track which introduced many North Americans to Lacuna Coil in the first place. Moving forward, the audience was captivated by “Upsidedown” as the unity between Scabbia and Ferro mesmerized during “Swamped.” Mixing in rather nicely, “Ghost in the Mist” returned to Delirium as Scabbia made personal efforts to engage with fans as the set moved along with “Intoxicated,” “Cybersleep,” and the amazing single “Delirium.”

Appearing to be the conclusion of the performance, Scabbia took a moment to bring the mood down, thanking all of the bands and introducing the new member to the group. Conveying the message that Lacuna Coil is all about family, she walked towards Cavallotti as New York City welcomed him with cheers. Shortly after the introduction, Scabbia requested everyone to take a few steps back to sing loud and clear for their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Between Scabbia and Ferro, accompanied by the audience, everyone sang completely in unison for a beautiful closeout. After a brief moment of darkness, Lacuna Coil returned to the stage for an encore performance begun with “Trip the Darkness” and followed up with “Zombies.” Revving up the room, Scabbia asked if everyone wanted to hear more, to which more screams were heard, bringing a smile to the singers’ faces. Expressing how wonderful the night had been for her and the band personally, they concluded with one of their biggest hit singles, “Our Truth.”

With a new lineup, Lacuna Coil once again climbed on top to lead a powerful and compelling performance. With a distinctive sound unlike any other on the scene, above all, their emotional delivery in a live setting is what makes Lacuna Coil so vital. Delirium can be seen as a new beginning or a continuation of the cinematic story the band started all those years ago. Whatever one’s take, it is an album that must be heard.

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