It’s been more than six years since we’ve last heard from the gothic hard rock band, Evanescence, but they can’t be accused of not mixing things up as their fourth album, Synthesis, and their current tour features an entire symphony orchestra.
The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts was the rightful choice of venue for the Toronto stop on Dec. 8th and over the course of 90 minutes we’d be treated to a combination of sounds that were like a filet mignon for your ears. The vocal strength of singer, Amy Lee, has always been the band’s X factor. Lee has the capabilities comparable to the likes of a Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, which some critics have said are lost behind the heavy instruments of a rock band.
Those critics may be changing their tune now. Lee proved, even after giving birth to her first child and more than twenty years after Evanescence’s inception, that she still has the chops. In combination with the full sound of an orchestra and accentuated by the fantastic acoustics of a venue like the Sony Centre, the result was simply heavenly. Songs like “My Immortal,” left the hairs on the back of your neck standing and sending a shiver all the way down your spine.
The casual Evanescence listener seeing the band in concert for the first time may have been conflicted as many songs, including their mega hit “Bring Me to Life,” were re-arranged to best compliment the orchestra. Much of the actual band almost became an after thought. Lead, rhythm, and bass guitarists, Troy McLawhorn, Jen Majura, and Tim McCord were tucked away in the dark behind Lee and rarely spotlighted. In fact, the tour could have been advertised as Amy Lee featuring an orchestra as even the male vocal parts were removed from their songs. But maybe this also had to do with the band musicians being completely different from it’s original lineup.
Lifelong Evanescence fans were absolutely in their element. This was a rare treat and a unique way to experience this band. Many fans had a hard time restraining themselves from roaring with cheer at every possible moment. Evanescence wrapped up their encore with “Weight of the World” to a standing ovation.
Mixing hard rock with a symphony has been done before by the likes of Metallica and KISS with very cool and interesting results. But it very much felt like a rock band accentuated by the orchestra. With Evanescence, and Amy Lee in particular, it felt organic. Like it could have been the arrangement all along. It really was Evanescence re-born.
Check out our Evanescence photos here.