Hammersmith Apollo 13th June 2017
This is an event that has been on the calendar for every Evanescence fan in the UK for a very, very long time. The last time they graced our little rock off of Europe was in 2012, when they played a four-date arena tour. So absolutely no one was surprised that the London show sold out so quickly that they put a second night on, which also, sold out. I was lucky enough to attend that second night [which was the night before the original show], so let’s delve into what happened for those of you who were unfortunate enough to miss out.
Straight onto stage with ‘Everybody’s Fool’ instantly whips up the crowd into an excited frenzy. Amy Lee can really sing, she has a simply phenomenal voice live as one would expect. Rolling straight into the second song ‘What You Want’ with a heavily backlit stage oozing deep purples and blues. A near total lack of front of house lighting provided an atmosphere that you could imagine Evanescence would want; dark, sultry, gothic. With no waiting around, we head into ‘Going Under’, which the fans scream and cheer for as the bass and kick drums ripple throughout the auditorium.
There isn’t a huge amount of conversation with the crowd from Amy. They were late to stage, so perhaps there was a squeeze on timings, or possibly they just wanted to play their hearts out but at times it felt a little rushed or perhaps a little shyness of interacting with a crowd whilst there’s no music being played? The crowd are enthralled after each song, totally in love with the performance. ‘Haunted’ has the best reaction so far; everything is very punchy and sounds almost exactly the same as the records.
Now, both guitarists and the bassist leave the stage to change gear and in this short interlude, Amy declares this next song has not been played live before. That song was ‘Say You Will’ which is well received by the audience. The stage is once again cleared by all but Ms. Lee. Amy plays "My Immortal" by herself on the revered full-sized, black, grand piano on center stage. This song is just between her and the crowd. Huge cheers between the gaps in the lyrics. The band re-joins half way through to make this magical moment into a powerhouse of sound. Easily the most loved song of the set thus far.
This show has a very energetic lighting array, adding a fantastic feature to the show. The drummer is the most constantly energetic member of the band, performing many tricks and really seems to be enjoying himself immensely. Amy, of course, moves a lot with many hand gestures, head banging over hey keyboard on occasion but the guitarists don't seem to add much motion to the performance.
‘Bring Me To Life’ became the penultimate song and it made me chuckle a little. I know that when the song was originally created, the label made the band take on this annoying rapper which no one wanted, so I was looking forward to seeing how this was dealt with live. As it turns out, the crowd took over all of his lyrics instinctively, including 'save me' and 'I'm dead inside' which really worked well. Half way through Amy gets everyone's hands in the air and subtly holds her notes over what would have been that guest vocalist's parts! A very creative way around a problem
they never wanted to have in the first place. The song comes to a close with a guitar and drums power-off, not quite solos but just giving it everything that they had left. Returning to the encore with Amy thanking everyone for making it possible, playing the rather ironically titled song ‘Disappear’ to finally bring the hour and a half show to an end. I’ve not heard a crowd cheer that loudly at a venue performance for a very, very long time. You could tell they had been missed.
Overall a highly memorable performance, a fantastic show in every regard. Having said that, Evanescence, please don’t make us wait this long again. Sincerely yours, the United Kingdom.
Review and photos by Rich Broome