Review by Kate Snape with Photography by Jason Broadhurst

Six years after their last UK tour, Evanescence have returned with their newly released album Synthesis which features a combination of brand new material and some of their older classics (with a twist). Tonight the Manchester Apollo is buzzing with an unexpected and different vibe to your average ‘rock’ concert. The audience has matured somewhat, gone are the days of baggy jeans and chains, thrashing about a sweaty mosh pit, as tonight, people have traded that in for formal attire, ready for this seated only show.

Evanescence

There is no opening support act as such but thirty minutes of well renown classical songs performed by the orchestra who are to accompany Evanescence later on.

Evanescence

Evanescence

After a 30 minute interval, the orchestra return to the stage and take their seats. Evanescence are warmly welcomed by a loud cheer and applause, they too take their seats along the centre rear of the stage and a single white spotlight focuses over the grand piano, patiently waiting. Front lady, Amy Lee enters the stage to a wave of screams, cheers and applause, wearing an all black Victorian-esque ball gown, black lace up boots and her signature long black hair, flowing freely. She takes to the piano and begins with the dramatic instrumental intro ‘Overture’ taken from their new album, and then flowing straight into ‘Never Go Back’ which she sings whilst playing her instrument. Amy welcomes Manchester to their show before quickly delving into ‘Lacrymosa’ taken from their second studio album. Next up is the vocally stunning ‘End of the Dream’ and ‘My Heart is Broken’.

Evanescence

Evanescence

Amy takes a moment to introduce the orchestra to the audience. It’s refreshing to see that girl power is in full force tonight with newest addition of the band, female guitarist and backing singer Jen Majura, a female composer leading the night and a number of female musicians mixed amongst the 28 piece orchestra. Next up is a fan favourite ‘Lithium’ which again is performed from behind the piano.

Amy then takes centre stage, the orchestra begins, and as she breathes the first note, the crowd realise its the song they all been
waiting for, the lead single from their first album, of course it’s, ‘Bring Me To Life’. A roar across the theatre erupts with excitement and Amy glints a small smile of delight through her ferocious vocals. As she hits the finale note of the track, the orchestra fade into the interlude ‘Unravelling’ before the backdrop of the stage glows purple for another Evanescence favourite ‘Imaginary’, followed by ‘Secret Door’.

Evanescence

Evanescence

Amy then introduces one of their two new tracks, ‘Hi Lo’ which she says she’s very proud of, the lighting effects throughout this song are visually stunning, it’s a typically Evanescence song with some modern techno vibes thrown in there. She takes to the piano and performs the last quarter of the song from behind there. ‘Lost in Paradise’ and the pitch perfect ‘Your Star’ are up next.

Amy dedicates the next song to the audience, describing it as one of their oldest songs, and goes onto say “I like it now, it’s about our story” suggesting that at one point she wasn’t a fan of it, or performing was perhaps too painful for her? She gives an emotional and heartfelt performance of ‘My Immortal’ from centre stage. The audience move closer to the edge of their seats and hold their breath in anticipation for the biggest note in the song, of course Amy nails it which is met by a huge reaction from everyone.

Evanescence

Evanescence

Another strategically placed instrumental named ‘The In-Between’ features next, obviously these are put in place to add to the theatrics of the show but probably, more likely, to give Amy’s voice a break!

The main act is ended with the bands other new single, the edgy techno rock ‘Imperfection’. As the song finishes, Amy Lee shouts “Give it up for your orchestra” whilst the rest of her group leave the stage. Amy and the orchestra go on to play ‘Speak To Me’ and ‘Good Enough’ which are not featured on Synthesis, before her band return for the final song of the night, the gentle and soft, ‘Swimming Home’. Evanescence then in their entirety line up with each other across the front of the stage, to receive a standing ovation from their adoring fans.

EvanescenceEvanescence

Tonight was clear evidence of a vision dreamed up by Amy Lee to perform her music to her fans, alongside a live orchestra. It was unexpected, theatrical and vocally stunning, a little unusual to the average gig goer, but nice to add a touch of class to the rock world for once. A tour that certainly wont be forgotten in a long while.

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