Reviewed by Nicky Illing and Judy Lovegrove
The time is 4:15pm and we find ourselves outside the Sports Palace wondering if we're in the right place for a Meet & Greet with Apocalyptica. We spot a group of people milling around a poster and ask, hopefully, if anyone speaks English.
Apparently, they do because they reassure us that we are, indeed, in the right place and ask if we would like to wait with them. We agree happily.
While waiting to meet the band we chat, take photos and are asked if we'd like to sign a DVD that has been made. We sign four copies, our English names looking very strange amongst the other signatures. We'd never met any of these fans before and they made every effort to make us feel part of their group, we felt honoured to be included in such a personal gift.
Eventually we were collected and taken to meet the band. We were so excited that we had to revert to the breathing mantra that we used in Finland - in, out, repeat! Even though it had only been 18 days since we had last seen them it felt like an eternity and we couldn't wait to meet them again. We were taken to what can only be described as a wide landing at the top of a flight of stairs and asked to wait.
A few minutes later the guys to appeared and each one was surrounded by eager fans. We stayed towards the back of the group, waiting, watching and listening to the assortment of conversations that had sprung up. Mikko was chatting about his interest in cookery, Eicca was discussing "7th Symphony" in quite some depth, Paavo was surrounded in the far corner by group of girls and Perttu was thanking fans for the gift he had just been given. Still we watched and waited, waiting for an opportunity to join.
Then... we were spotted by Mikko and given the, by now, familiar greeting of "You're here! You're fxxxing insane" We were then hugged and welcomed into the group. There then followed a personal conversation with each of the guys about the time we'd spent with them at the after-show parties in Finland. It was fantastic to see how much effort they put into greeting their fans who had travelled to Kiev for their first meet and greet in the Ukraine.
At approximately 9pm Apocalyptica took to the stage opening with the familiar notes of "On the Rooftop with Quasimodo". This was followed by "2010" and "Grace" which always get the audience in a frenzy and participating in the show. The show moved forward to the stripped down, acoustic section where we were treated to Perttu's solo followed by "Sacra" and "Nothing Else Matters", provoking a wave of emotion from the crowd.
The amazing talent that Apocalyptica displayed during this show was second to none and justified completely why we had travelled all the way from the UK, yet again, to see the show!!!! The gig moved on and we were treated to everything you would expect from an Apo show whilst treating us to the best vocal performance from Tipe Johnson that we have ever seen.
The show reached its climax with Hall of the Mountain King which never disappoints a true Apo fan with Paavo being his usual flirty self and playing to the audience.
The show ended with the heartrending, emotional tornado that is "Farewell" showcasing not only the talent of Perttu but also emphasizing that Eicca is the true riff master and Apocalyptica never fail to deliver. Eicca, Perttu, Paavo and Mikko give you an experience that no other band can which is reflected in the amazing loyalty and devotion of their fans displayed in the Ukraine.
Photos by Elena Jurievna