I was visiting St. Petersburg, Russia on my way to Helsinki, Finland for Tuska 2008, and it was a great coincidence that Lacrimosa was playing live on the days I was there. So I could not let the opportunity of attending a show in Russia go away!!!
The tickets to the event were 1300 rubles which came out to be 52 dollars around that time. I thought it was expensive for only 1 band, but then again I was there and I might not get this opportunity again. Let me tell you I’ve seen shows of different bands in many different places in the world and this one was a unique experience.
Insurance part of the ticket (HEALTH insurance!!!, I've never seen this before, but it's more of a scam add 100 rubles to the cost of the ticket)
The tickets stated the show started at 8 pm. I thought it was kind of early but the Port club is very well located, very close to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, so after visiting the sights during the whole day (Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral, and the highly recommendable The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood), we made our way to the Port club, and as in every other country, in the area surrounding the club you could start seeing people dressed in black or in their traditional gothic costume as well as some Tilo Wolf look-alikes.
The club itself was what you could consider a typical metal/alternative culture club, and the procedure of entering the place and everything was done in a very organized fashion, following the line of people. After going up some stairs we arrived to the main bar area and behind the bar there was a ballroom-like room where the show was going to take place.
Let me tell you about this place. I usually don’t really care about the place an event happens unless it is relatively unsafe in my opinion and this place was one of the worst places I’ve seen in terms of security from fights and fire safety. In the whole place, I only saw 2 bouncer dudes that were guarding the ‘VIP’ area (I’ll tell you more about this later in the story), aside from that - nothing!! There were no fire exits on the sides of the stage or anything so if something happened you would either have to jump to the stage and flee with the band or stamp to the back side where everybody entered and the two flights of stairs to the outside!!! Imagine doing this while other 500-600 people try to do the same.
As always, while the instruments person from Lacrimosa was ironing out all the details before the band took the stage, people started cheering for Lacimosa in the most Russian way I’ve heard by shouting: Lacree-mo-sa or similar with a thick Russian accent that was funny for a while. I don’t mean to mock it or anything, I just thought it was funny as also when I’ve seen Lacrimosa in Mexico they have something similar when chanting their name out loud.
Well, anyways, now to what it actually matters, the band started playing around 9:15 pm, which was not bad at all, and the place was packed almost to the capacity (in the ballroom area), and if you needed a breather you could go back to the bar area. Before the band started playing we already saw one fight (yes, minutes before the band started playing!!) but it was rapidly self-contained. I calculate that there were around 500 people in at that time.
The band opened with a full swing having great choreographed light show during their theme. This made the crowd go crazy and mostly everybody started with their opening song Komet. After the initial impression, people were settling in and chanting to most songs. Lacrimosa’s performance was great since they always deliver quality performances and Tilo Wolf’s stage presence really engages and demands the attention of everybody present. One thing to note is that this place did not have very good acoustics and the sound was very saturated and distorted sometimes, but their sound engineer did the best he could to keep it under control and in overall, it was not as bad as in other places. Also Anne Nurmi’s keyboards were not heard in the first few songs until they were properly equalized with the rest of the instruments. I have to mention that the lighting was great and it really made the show better.
The show was quite long and after standing up and walking all day, I wanted to take a break so we had 2 options: either sit in the bar area and not watch the performance, or go to ‘VIP’ section that was guarded by bouncers, so I sent my girlfriend (because she speaks Russian) to ask how to go and sit there, and the bouncers said that it was a 2000 ruble ‘fee’ to go up and sit. I was not going to pay almost 100 dollars to sit for 1 hr, so we just made it through the rest of the show.
At some point of the show before Not Every Pain Hurts (my personal favorite), Tilo and Anne switched places and she was singing and he was playing the keys. This provided the show with a nice change and the crowd went wild when this happened.
After the first 13-14 songs the place was getting extremely hot. Since it did not had any ventilation in the ballroom, it was like a sauna, and you could feel this standing in the back, close to the bar area. I can only imagine how bad it was in the middle of the crowd or way up front. We saw a couple of people being carried out from passing out from what I could say was heatstroke or lack of oxygen. The hostilities between people receded once the band started playing and no more fighting incidents happened.
The whole show itself was very good since Lacrimosa always performs at their best, and besides the ‘interesting’ place the show happened, it was very good overall and I was satisfied of what I paid to see this show. I regret that I did not take pictures of this presentation since my camera at the time sucked at taking pictures in dark places.
Here is the set list and some YouTube videos of this presentation:
4.Alleine zu Zweit
5.Kelch der Liebe
8.Not Every Pain Hurts
11.Tranen Der Sehnsucht
15.Flamme im Wind
16.Am Ende Stehen Wir Zwei
19. Ich Verlasse Heut Dein Herz
20.Der Morgen Danach