Evanescence have been a staple of the industry for quite some time now. Not only for being the epithet of early 2000’s emo culture, but also for many women and femme vocalists wanting to enter the heavy scene. The band, and Amy Lee herself, have left such a heavy mark on culture since ‘Fallen’ first blew up in 2003. And not without adversity. In recent years, the story of the male vocalist in Bring Me To Life has been brought to light, with Lee sharing that Christian rock act Paul McCoy’s part was added to compromise with the record label who didn’t believe the world was quite ready for a femme-fronted heavy band. Lee was able to stand her ground for the most part, only added the male voice for one track which ultimately helped launch them onto radio, paving the way for my kickass femme vocalists such as Paramore’s Hayley Williams, The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen or Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale to continue to show the world just how powerful women’s voices are.
Funnily enough, it was exactly this male vocal that seeped Evanescence’s music directly into meme culture, resurfacing their music another decade after the ‘Fallen’ album first dropped. And let’s not forget the chokehold the My Immortal fanfiction had on internet culture. Despite this, it never detracted from the influence of the band, just an unconventional pathway for newer generations to hear their music. Music which just keeps getting better with recent album ‘The Bitter Truth’ holding some of their best tracks, on par with their biggest hits. So, when I heard the band were coming back, I couldn’t stand the thought of not being there!
Traffic was heavy leading up to the gates at Riverstage as I sat nervously in my Uber. A sea of black and some of the bulkiest Doc Martens and Demonia shoes clopped their way through the Botanic Gardens, excitedly making their way to the venue. It was refreshing to see a full venue for opening act The Beautiful Monument, who enraptured the audience from the very moment they stepped on stage. A predominately femme band, the group were high-energy as 10,000 eyes stared at them, discovering their new favourite act. They were fantastic with crowd involvement, getting the whole venue to clap along with them as they sang new single Misery. Vocalist Lizi Blanco was a powerhouse, rivalling Lee with her strong voice and energetic presence. “This song is dedicated to all the queens in the audience!” she announced before closing with final track Hellbound.
You could feel the excitement in the air as we waited for Evanescence to come on stage. Quickly the lights went dark as the crowd abruptly got to their feet. Artifact/The Turn opened the set before leading into Broken Pieces Shine. They filtered back through their catalogue, singing What You Want from their self-titled 2011 album before playing the track I was most excited for, Going Under. “This song’s about cutting toxic people out of your life” introduced lee before belting out the first few notes of Take Cover. Lee’s vocals were on full display, leaving the whole crowd in awe as she held one of the most impressive notes of the night. They played crowd favourite Call Me When Your Sober next, met with some impressive lighting! “This is what happens when we don’t come back for ten years. I promise we won’t do that again!” joked Lee. She sat at a black grand piano as she played classic track Lithium. She stayed sat at the piano as she played new unreleased track Far From Heaven, mesmerising the crowd from the very first note. “We’ve written a lot since we’ve seen you”.
Recognisable toy piano sounds played at the beginning of Better Without You played over the speakers as the piano was pulled off stage and the group geared up for another heavy track. “Let’s go back in time” introduced Lee before going back to ‘Fallen’ with Imaginary. “I always felt there was something missing. We didn’t have an Aussie in the band!” said Lee before introducing new bassist Emma Anzai. Wasted On You and The End Of The Dream played next followed by staple ‘Fallen’ tracks Haunted and Everybody’s Fool. “Don’t let anybody speak for you. We’re up against a lot right now… don’t let anyone make you think your voice doesn’t count!” introduced Lee before playing personal favourite Use My Voice. The crowd interaction was fantastic on this song as the audience was invited to sing the backing vocals and clap along with the track. This was followed by Blind Belief.
“It’s been 20 years since ‘Fallen’, that’s pretty amazing! I never would have imagined that 20 years later I’d be here with you having fun. Thank you for sharing your stories and your love and your pain with us.”
Introduced Lee, sat back at her matte black grand piano as she started playing the instantly recognisable first few piano notes of My Immortal. There were many teary eyes in the room as Lee encouraged the crowd to get their phone lights out, lighting up the space entirely. Soon after, the first few notes of Bring Me To Life played over the speakers, met with mass fan excitement. The infamous male vocal was missing from this track, as Lee played the song how it was originally meant to be heard. The band slowly made their way off stage, throwing drum skins, drumsticks and guitar picks into the crowd to whichever lucky crowd goers were able to catch them. Quickly, all 10,000 crowd goers filtered out of the venue, still buzzing from the incredible show we’d just been fortunate enough to see. The sea of black elder emos filtered throughout the city, still inspired by Lee and her band just as much as we were the first time we played them in 2003.
Thanks to Dallas Does PR