Since the release of Evanescence‘s latest album Synthesis, fans have been waiting to see this new style performed live. Tonight in Manchester it was that time. The band took the decision to re-record some of their most loved songs with an orchestra and synthesizers and this blend was the perfect fit for their gothic style of music. Now they have taken this on the road and created what can only be described as an intimate evening with the band.
With no support acts joining the band on this tour that left space for an introduction to the orchestra to begin the night. As the musicians sat in their places on the stage, the conductor took her place as she entered to the sound of applause from the crowd. During this half-hour set, the orchestra played a mixture of classical Mozart and Beethoven as well as playing some more contemporary music with “Sally’s Song” from the film Nightmare Before Christmas and “Zelda’s Lullaby” from the game. Having this set allowed to set the tone for the rest of the night and it was sure to be something that these fans had not witnessed before.
As the orchestra had taken their seats once more after the break, it was time for the band to take the stage. It was certainly a sight to see as the band sat centred amongst the orchestra, with the drummer raised high above alongside the keyboards. Applause rang through the venue as the band came on and exploded when singer Amy Lee entered. Sitting behind the large piano, she began to play the opening to “Overture” and that was the moment that you knew that this was something special. But it was the moment Lee began to sing the song that it gave you goosebumps. Lee has always had an exceptional voice that has allowed the band to stand out from the crowd but hearing this performed live is something else. There is a haunting quality that when heard in a quiet venue against the sound of strings and a piano is just eerily beautiful.
Throughout the set, all the musicians on the stage played through these latest re-writings that were composed for the album. With tracks such as “Lacrymosa” and “Open Door,” these are songs that the fans have loved over the years. However, the biggest cheers for the night came from “Lithium” and the band’s first hit “Bring Me To Life” which although has a very different feel is instantly recognisable. The other big song from the night was “My Immortal” which Lee dedicated to the fans and called the song of their journey with the band. The band and orchestra also performed the two new tracks “Hi-Lo” and “Imperfection” which were written for Synthesis and they completed this outstanding set.
As the band left the stage, Lee returned sitting behind the piano for the encore where she played “Speak To Me” and closed the night on “Swimming Home”.
It was always going to be something special to see Evanescence perform live but seeing them backed by the orchestra which is different each night is something else. If only one thing could be said about the night is that the band almost disappeared into the stage and were almost unseen. However, the talent that was on the stage tonight was impeccable and the fans lucky enough to witness this will remember this night as one of the greatest performances ever put on by Evanescence.