Show review and photography by Rei Haycraft.
For fans who have waited patiently for Evanescence’s return for over four years, it was not surprising that the alternative rock giants’ only North Carolina tour stop would sell out weeks before the show date. The night of the show fans lined up hours before doors opened—stretching far past the venue and around the block—to ensure a spot close to the stage that would hold their heroes. The fans’ energy was contagious as the venue opened, the crowd buzzing with excitement and predictions for the night.
The show’s only opening act was VERIDIA, an alternative rock band from Nashville, TN whose polished stage presence, synchronized light show, and emphatic, energetic performance mesmerized the audience. The music, which leaned more electronic pop than alt-rock, was uplifting, energizing, and enchanting. “This song is about overcoming fear and anxiety,” VERIDIA’s frontwoman Deena Jakoub said of their newest single, “Still Breathing,” though the same sentiment could have been said of the band’s entire set. VERIDIA’s mission, the band says, is to show an expression of truth and to strive for raw honesty in every aspect of daily life.
The sold-out venue was thick with anticipation in the minutes that proceeded the main act’s entrance, exploding with applause as each member entered. Evanescence came out swinging with hard-hitting fan favorites “Everybody’s Fool,” “What You Want,” and “Going Under.” It quickly became apparent that Evanescence had spent their “time off” working tirelessly on their craft; all of the beloved songs translated brilliantly live and showcased the band’s musicianship, performance, and chemistry— which had not faded over the years, but burned ever brighter.
Much to the audience’s excitement, the band’s live show returned to their hard rock roots, utilizing less electronic production and backing tracks and a sharper focus on a tight, charismatic stage performance and flawless vocal execution. Amy’s haunting voice soared over the beloved tracks effortlessly, more powerful and emotive than ever.
After finishing “The Other Side,” the band exited the stage and stage crew quickly moved Amy’s signature grand piano to the center stage. Heart-wrenching piano-laden performances of the well-known “Lithium” and the haunting, somber “Even In Death” which originally appeared on the band’s first album, Origin. Amy’s voice hadn’t lost any of its soul-piercing, ethereal quality and her skill is still unmatched; by the end of the third piano track, “My Heart is Broken,” the rest of the band had returned to the stage as much of the audience found it difficult to hold back the emotions that the performance brought forth.
After a set of three upbeat, yet heavy songs, Amy introduced a moment that fans had long awaited: the performance of a brand-new Evanescence track, “Take Cover.” Amy laughed good-naturedly as she announced that though she couldn’t say exactly, the song was dedicated to “some assholes.” After the fresh track ended to thunderous applause, the band once again exited the stage and the grand piano returned for another set of piano-fueled songs, “Breathe No More,” “Your Star,” and the much anticipated, “My Immortal.”
Throughout the show, Evanescence showed an unbelievable amount of energy and passion for the songs that have been so beloved by fans, despite some having performed them for over a decade. They saved the most well-known songs for last, ending on a trifecta of “Call Me When You’re Sober,” “Imaginary,” and the quintessential Evanescence tune, “Bring Me To Life.” The band exited for a short breather and then returned for a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana,” the final piece of their perfect reunion with the road, the stage, and the fans whose hearts had so long dreamed of that moment.
For more information about Evanescence and to stay apprised of their future tours, releases, and plans, visit their website at www.evanescence.com.
Evanescence Setlist: 11/5/16 at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC
What You Want
The Other Side
Even In Death (Acoustic)
My Heart Is Broken
Made of Stone
Weight of the World
Breathe No More
Call Me When You’re Sober
Bring Me To Life
Dirty Diana (Michael Jackson cover)
As a special treat, Evanescence streamed their last show of their 2016 tour live from The paramount in Huntington, NY. You can watch the full show here:
Full concert gallery below: