From Bleeding Cool contributing writer Ale Bodden:
First, let’s have a moment of silence for my inner geek teen, for it was on Friday, November 10th, that she slipped into an excitement-induced coma after finally getting a chance to see her favorite band play live after so many years…
Okay. Back to business.
With one of the best birthday presents life (and Bleeding Cool) could’ve ever thrown my way, I had the opportunity to cover Evanescence‘s show at the King’s Theatre in Brooklyn. What made this experience extra special was that the band wasn’t alone: their U.S. and Canadian “Synthesis Live” tour also features a live, 28-piece orchestra and electronic programming to create a truly unique musical experience.
So life was pretty sweet at that point: I was getting to see my favorite band since 2003, but in a way that was different and made me feel as if I was discovering their music for the first time all over again. The staff at the show was amazing friendly and helpful: smiling and well informed is always a great combo.
I took it as a sign of destiny that my seat number was #111, since I was born on 11/11 at 1:11 (a little freaky in a good way); and then I realized that my seat put me in front of “The Queen” herself, Amy Lee. Keeping it 100? I’m pretty sure I had the biggest, cheesiest smile plastered across my face for the remainder of the night.
I was taken on a trip down memory lane and reminded why Evanescence is and will forever be one of my favorite bands. I couldn’t help but think back to the tough moments their music helped me overcome; and while I might deny it if you try to get me under oath, I’ll just say that there might have been a few tears.
The show kicked off with the orchestra performing a wonderful set, but it was their rendition of “Sally’s Song” from Tim Burton‘s The Nightmare Before Christmas that flipped my fangirl switch. Not only am I a huge fan of the film, but I’ve adored Lee’s reimagined version of the song for years.
After the orchestra finished its set, there was a 30-minute intermission before the band hit the stage. From the darkness, a spotlight shone bright over Lee as she began with the piano; and from that moment forward, the music had me floating. Take this for what it’s worth, but I swear Lee’s vocals could put angels to shame.
For the next 90 minutes, we were treated to a nonstop playlist of amazing music that I knew, yet was also experiencing for the first time because of the orchestral influence. I’m not saying that I was sporting a perpetual Joker’s smile the entire time, but I’m not saying I wasn’t, either.
The set was a perfectly balanced mix of songs from their previous three albums as well as from their new album, Synthesis. It was hard to keep from singing out loud to the ones I knew by heart. Their re-imagined version of “Bring Me To Life” and “Imaginary” really stood out for me, but it was Lee’s performance of “My Immortal” that truly brought me to tears. Words couldn’t do justice to the chills I felt from her amazing voice and intense accompanying music.
Between songs, I enjoyed listening to Lee talk about the meanings behind the music. With “My Immortal,” she opened up about how it used to be one of her least-favorite songs, but her views on it changed after seeing how much the song meant to so many of her fans. With “My Immortal” being one of my favorite all-time songs, I felt a little relieved to hear her say that.
It’s funny because at much as I was enjoying the experience, I also couldn’t help but be reminded of the DVD that came with their Anywhere But Home album. Watching it so many times as a teenager that I was certain I was going to burn a hole through the disc, I’d always hoped to see them live. And now, sitting in front of the band that helped me through some of the rougher moments of my life — the band that inspired me to be both a better artist and a better person — it felt like an important part of my life had come full-circle in a very beautiful way. As much as I’m no longer the person I once was and Evanescence isn’t the band it once was, time has made us both still pretty damn amazing.
In a nutshell, it was a great venue filled with some amazing music that was punctuated by Lee’s incredibly powerful vocals. As amazing as I’ve found Evanescence’s sound to be over the years, they’re an entirely different experience when you see them in concert. It’s rare to find a band that can win over new fans based solely on their live performances; and Evanescence continues to be one of those rare finds.
(Special thanks to Bleeding Cool’s Mary Anne Butler and Mitch Schneider Organization’s Libby Coffey.)
Having dropped November 10th, Evanescence’s fourth album Synthesis is a re-imagining of some of their best-loved songs combined with new ones, recorded with a full orchestra and electronics combined with the band and Amy Lee’s virtuoso piano and voice.
Here’s the video for the first single, “Imperfection:”