Pairing a band with a symphony orchestra is something that doesn’t fit the norm, these days. But Evanescence is a band that is perfectly complimented by a full string section. Working classical influences into their outstanding sound has made them somewhat of a unique band. Frontwoman Amy Lee has a voice that sends shivers down your spine even when listening to them on a studio recording, so to hear her accompanied by a full band and orchestra is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After the doors open, we are treated to a full overture by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From Beethoven, to a Bach and AC/DC mashup (‘Bach In Black’), their set list encompasses not only the origins of classical but also the modern. To drown in the majesty of a full orchestra has been a dream of mine and tonight that dream comes true. The audience sits in quiet contemplation while the QSO delivers classical brilliance and laps up every bit of it with roars of applause and cheering as they close out their piece.
As each member of the band takes the stage, the crowd cheers louder and louder. When Amy Lee walks on stage it’s hard to even hear yourself think. The congregation is a mixture of young and old, goth and hipster, and they show Evanescence that they are truly loved by their Australian fan base. Cries of ‘We love you Amy!!’ and ear piercing screams are a constant throughout the performance. When Amy talks to the crowd, she has a way of making you feel like you’re the only one in the room, bringing a sense of intimacy to the show. Speaking of their beginnings and being thrust into the spotlight some 20 odd years ago, Lee thanks us all for taking the journey with them and supporting them throughout their illustrious career.
As they begin ‘Bring Me To Life’ the crowd erupts, and without the male vocals in this song, you can see what Amy wanted it to be all those years ago. The strings and her powerful voice are beautifully complementary, a pairing that is again perfectly displayed during ‘Lithium’. The stage presence that Amy has is unfathomable; she sings flawlessly while playing intricate compositions on the piano, and while the orchestra has a conductor, it would be easy enough to take direction from her movements while she graces the solitary microphone at the front of the stage.
Giving a little backstory into crowd favourite ‘My Immortal’, expressing that she never actually liked the song, Lee thanks us for helping her to love the song over time and that explained she could not leave it off their latest album. As they play through the tracks of ‘Synthesis’, you allow yourself to be completely consumed by the full orchestra and find yourself swaying in sync with Amy’s movements. It’s not only a conductor on stage for the band, but also a puppeteer to manipulate the movements of the crowd. This is truly an awe-inspiring performance that is not only beautiful, but also genre-breaking. You cannot classify this band into any particular genre, they are entirely unto their own.
The group brings their set to a close with new song ‘Imperfection’ which is the perfect blend of piano, electronic percussion and string arrangement. The lyrics and the way they are delivered are otherworldly. Amy has definitely put a lot of herself into this song as she does with every lyric she pens and sings with every piece of her soul. The band departs the stage and promptly returns to deliver a stellar three song encore of ‘Speak To Me’, ‘Good Enough’ and ‘Swimming Home’, a more than perfect way to close out this amazing night of audible brilliance. Hoping to see them return in the near future, we all depart the BCEC snapping up what merchandise we can, as the show we just witnessed needs some sort of material souvenir to remember it by. Thank you Evanescence, you truly delivered a performance of a lifetime.
Photos by JD Punisher Photography