Evanescence // Within Temptation // Veridia // The Worlds Collide Tour // Live Review // The First Direct Arena // Leeds
3 years later and after 2 postponements, The World’s Collide Tour is finally going ahead. We’ve been waiting a long time to see Evanescence and Within Temptationbrings their co-headline tour to the UK and after seeing glimpses of the first few shows, we can barely contain our excitement for tonight!!
Up first is Veridia who is another strong female-led band. Prior to this tour, I have to admit that they had not hit my radar but after a quick preview on Spotify, it’s clear why these guys are opening the tour. Starting with “Blood Diamond” there is a strong middle Eastern influence to their sound which is exemplified when Deena Jakoub drops her mic and picks up some LED fans to dance with. She is a powerhouse of a frontwoman and vocalist as she gets the crowd warmed up between songs and showcases her vocal range during them. There is no doubt that these guys have a strong metal sound but the backing tracks and melodies in the vocals make this stand out as something special. Amy Lee certainly thinks so having invited the band on the tour and also joining them on stage to play the piano for “I’ll Never Be Ready” which Jakoubs explains is a song close to her heart as it’s about the loss of her dad and something she bonded with Lee over after she also lost her brother. After a heartwarming moment like that Jacobs knows that they need to pump the energy back up and with the crowd clapping along gives us “At the End of the World” and “I Won’t Stay Down” to close the set.
As it’s a co-headlining tour, the last slot changes each night and tonight it’s Evanescence’s turn to hit the stage first. Having only seen these guys perform with a full orchestra, I’m excited to see a full-stage show. As the lights go down and the intro track plays, a light show before the screen gives a brief countdown for the band to take to the stage. Amy Lee appears at the back of the stage as they kick things off with “Broken Pieces Shine”. From the moment she hits the stage to the moment she leaves, Lee has an incredible stage presence that you can’t take your eyes away from. Her voice is phenomenal as she moves from soft melodies to heavier metal sounds. The setlist is very heavy as it takes it all the way back to “Going Under” while also including many of the more recent songs such as “Made of Stone”. That’s not to say that there’s no time for Amy to get behind the piano for “Far From Heaven” and “Your Star” and provide some of those haunting vocals that she’s so well known for. The rest of the band is on fire tonight too as they stand tall as the backbone of the performance. All of this is accompanied by one of the best light shows I have to say I’ve ever seen. From the lit-up risers to the LED backlights to the patterned lights above the piano, every single one works in perfect harmony with the music bringing a whole extra level of drama to the performance. As we head into the last half hour of the set, the band take it back to a very heavy version of “Call Me When You’re Sober” and “Imaginary” which the crowd love. There’s time for 2 more of the newer hits with the inspirational “Use Your Voice” and “Blind Belief” before a huge ending. With such a long-awaited tour, it’s only fitting to end with two of the band’s biggest hits. Starting with “My Immortal” the crowd are quick to sing along before taking it all the way to “Bring Me to Life”. It’s been an incredible show and well worth the wait to see Evanescence hit the stage again!
After a huge changeover on the stage, it’s time for Within Temptation to take over. Just looking at the stage, it’s clear we’re in for a very different performance from these guys. As the smoke fills the stage and video visuals begin, Within Temptation has a very different way of bringing the drama to the stage. As the main circular lighting rig lifts, Sharon Den Adel is ready to go behind it as they start the show with “See Who I Am”. These guys have a
different energy to them as the band runs around the stage making the most of the set. This continues through “Faster” and “Paradise(What About Us?)” as the lighting rivals that of Evanescence. Throughout this, the lighting rig which had hidden Sharon at the start is now raised above the stage and playing the original song videos. As the set continues into “Angels”, Sharon is raised above the huge head that stands at the back of the stage as the floor is filled with smoke. The show keeps on giving though as the pyro kicks in for “Stand My Ground” and flames shoot from the stage. At this point Sharon takes a moment and asks the crowd if they would fight for their country as she dedicates “Raise your Banner” to Ukraine and brings a Ukrainian Flag out to wave as she performs to a backdrop of more flames. At the end of the song she comes forward to speak to a fan on the front row who is from the Ukraine and becomes speechless before saying how glad she is that they are here safe. As the show continues, there’s more spectacular pyro with which the crowd are encouraged to raise their hands in time. The band’s performance throughout tonight is outstanding as they perform hit after hit with incredible precision and energy. While these guys have brought a full stage show, it doesn’t distract from how talented this band are. Sharon’s voice is incredible live too as she moves from the heavy melodies to operatic tones. Even suspended high above the stage she hits every note as though her feet are on solid ground and this is even more impressive when she admits that she doesn’t like flying! As we head towards the end of the night, there’s time for another big sing along with “What Have You Done” before closing with “Ice Queen” and “Mother Earth”. It’s safe to say it’s been one hell of a show.
The World’s Collide tour showcases some of the leading female fronted bands in the rock and metal genre. Both Evanescence and Within Temptation have their own unique styles and have put on two very different shows under one roof in one night. What these bands have in common though is that they are forces to be reckoned with and put on some of the most incredible stage shows. Here’s to hoping it’s not another 2 and a half years before they play again!