Dallas’ Southside Ballroom was the host of the debut show for Evanescence, 2016. The tour comes just before the Christmas release of a complete vinyl box set for the band, featuring music written before the band’s rise to fame. Going in, I expected to love the show. When I choose an artist to love, I give my all- and I have a strong love relationship with Amy Lee’s work. From the hard hitting metal to the heart wrenching ballads and everything in between, Evanescence created a genre in classic goth metal that I didn’t know could exist. I was hooked.
Over the years Amy and I have had some journeys together. Of course, never knowing her personally but relating to every lyric, and making my own assessments of relation to Amy’s work. There is power in her music I can’t put into words or make any kind of sense of in explanation. It’s just emotion. And I can relate to every word. Pain, grief, love, agony, loss, relief, joy and power live beneath the lyrics and melodies of each and every song. So of course I was going to love the show.
As an artist there is maybe no one I have ever wanted to photograph more. Her sense of style and physical appearance is just as fascinating as her music. She inspires me so much, that roughly a year ago my team and I put together an entire Amy-themed photoshoot with a now dear friend who looks more than a little significantly like her. Like any good fan would, I’ve done my research to know a bit about Amy’s past and feel a sense of connection in her work.
The moment I heard of the tour announcement, my email flew out to my editor to request this show. Here tonight I found myself not only as a fan, but a photographer and critic at perhaps one of the biggest moments of my life. Yes, that’s the level of respect we are talking here. I’d seen Evanescence live before and knew of Amy’s incredible vocal and theatrical skills. I was sincerely looking forward to watching and hearing the new band members. When the lights dimmed for the show to begin, my heart may have actually leapt out of my chest. The band ran onto the stage ready to go and looking incredible. The hard and powerful chords began for “Everybody’s Fool” and Amy ran onto the stage. She hadn’t aged a day. Since I’d last seen her perform we had all watched as she got married, began a family and of course, heaven forbid- chopped all her hair off (adorably, I might add). The woman performing on stage in front of me looked EXACTLY as she had in 2007.
Shifting into “What You Want”, the band and Amy kept in perfect sync and style. It’s obvious Amy loves performing and is happy to be back on tour. She beamed. Literally. Her classic style knee length white and black dress, head banging hair and goth boots are quite possibly the most perfect combination with her attitude I can think of. Quickly “Going Under” begins and I see Amy transform into the character within. Her performance isn’t just singing- she is feeling every word.
For 20 songs, a beautiful scene of select performances from the complete catalog disect themselves on stage. The entire score is complete perfection in every tone, note and siren song from Amy’s voice. Fan favorites such as “Lithium”, “My Immortal”, “Call Me When Your Sober” and “Bring Me to Life” have made the cut, as well as a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”. What may be more obscure cuts such as “Even in Death”, “My Heart is Broken”, “The Change”, “Take Cover” and “Disappear” also take the stage. “Imaginary”, “Breathe No More”, “Weight of the World”, “Your Star” and “Whisper” also make the grade. The show is empowering and completely wonderful. Fans will delight and not leave with disappointment.
I have to admit, I would have loved to have heard more known songs such as “Snow White Queen” or “Missing” in lieu of some of the earlier material. Dallas was not disappointed. Evanescence, thank you for the work. I can’t wait to see you again soon.
BONUS: Check out our interview with Amy Lee from earlier this month here.
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Evanescence is amazing.
Spot on Amanda. Great review! This was my first Evanescence show. I’ve seen the World Stage concert on Palladium channel and have it DVR’d to watch whenever. I was so blown away by how powerful her vocals are live. So much emotion is put into every song and you almost feel bad that your enjoying some really painful and dark songs so much. My Heart Is Broken was so awesome I almost concert cried. 🙂 That will not be my last Evanescence show. Thanks for the review and letting me relive the show again. m/