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Lacuna Coil Holds Crowd Spellbound in Sparks

Italy's Lacuna Coil may have one of mainstream media's so-called "hottest chicks in metal" in singer Cristina Scabbia, but as she and the band proved in Sparks, Nev., on July 25, they are anything but gimmicky.

Performing at The New Oasis, the five-piece group hit the stage on a scorching night in the high desert, delivering an energetic 75-minute headline set. Led by Scabbia and co-lead vocalist Andrea Ferro, the band pounced all over the stage, making sure to interact with the crowd throughout the evening. Not to be outdone, Guitarists Cristiano "Pizza" Migliore and Marco "Maus" Biazzi, along with bassist Marco Coti Zelati and drummer Cristiano "Criz" Mozzati were in top form, clearly dialed-in to the songs after two weeks on the road.

It was the striking Scabbia, however, that stole the show. The lithe singer's ability to work and capture the crowd, combined with her powerful vocal range, had the audience mesmerized from the moment she strolled on stage. From her soaring high notes to her more melodic harmonizing with Ferro, it was clear that Scabbia is not only the face of Lacuna Coil, but its driving emotional force as well.

Not surprisingly, Lacuna Coil's set list heavily favored tracks from the band's last three albums Shallow Life, Karmacode and Comalies. Launched to stardom with the release of the latter in 2002, the band represented Comalies well, playing "Daylight Dancer," "Entwined" and the album's two hit singles, "Swamped" and "Heaven's a Lie." New songs from 2009's Shallow Life were also well received, including the opener, "I'll Survive" and the lead single, "Spellbound." The band's popular cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" closed out the main set.

A total of 14 songs were played, including a three-song encore of "Not Enough," the aforementioned "Spellbound" and the final song, "Our Truth," the lead single from 2004's Karmacode.

On the downside, while the performance was dynamic, this stop on the band's third headlining trek across the United States was simply too short. With a catalog of eight studio releases spanning more than a decade of working together, the band had plenty of material to extend the set to a more palatable 90 minutes.

That said, most of the audience (spanning roughly age 10 through age 50) seemed to find good value in the four-band package. All three opening acts, which consisted of the Los Angeles, Calif.-based Dommin, Seventh Void (led by Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey), and the emo-inspired Kill Hannah, out of Chicago, Ill., were thoroughly applauded and performed admirably.

Lacuna Coil (w/Kill Hannah, Seventh Void, Dommin)
July 25, 2009
The New Oasis
Sparks, Nev.

- Brian Heaton

Lacuna Coil performs live at The New Oasis, in Sparks, Nev. (July 25, 2009)
Cristina Scabbia (right) and members of Lacuna Coil perform at
The New Oasis in Sparks, Nev. (Brian Heaton / July 25, 2009)

Copyright 2009, Brian Heaton. All Rights Reserved.