Live Review: Evanescence Live in Brisbane, 2018

Evanescence Synthesis
Saturday 10th of February, 2018
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, two-time Grammy Award-winners Evanescence are in town tonight to showcase their fourth studio album, Synthesis. As the lights dim, we are treated to a sublime Qld Symphony Orchestra experience led by Baltimore native, Susie Seiter, a prolific and highly accomplished conductor and orchestrator. The sparkling set features an eclectic mix of pieces, including Sally’s Song from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Famed cellist (and founding member of the FLUX string quartet), Dave Eggar cuts a mysterious figure onstage before launching into spirited performances of, among other things, ACDC’s Back in Black and the theme from Jaws. Originally slated for the BEC, this unique performance, with all its poise and polish, is infinitely better suited to this more intimate setting at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

After a short break, it’s time for the main event. Lee is a gothic goddess, diaphanously draped and filled with urgent emotion. Flitting between her position behind the grand piano and the mic at centre stage where she unleashes That Voice, she is all fervour and fire. Cries of ‘I LOVE YOOOOOUU, AMYYYYY!’ erupt regularly during the course of the night, from every corner of the venue.

As Lee reminds us, Australia holds a healthy fan base for Evanescence. In fact, they’ve notched up more than 700,000 ARIA-accredited album sales over their career to date. A gracious and humble performer, She thanks her fans repeatedly for being a part of the band’s story and breathing new life into their hits with their boundless enthusiasm. Lee’s glorious mezzo-soprano is, of course, the centrepiece of the show. And it is nothing short of spectacular live: soaring, dynamic, pitch-perfect.

Working their way through songs from the new album, the band is one tight outfit to behold. Overture and Never Go Back are performed with energetic precision. A reimagined Bring Me to Life is as fresh as the day it first put the band firmly on the musical map. My Immortal, which Lee confesses was never a favourite tune, is lapped up by her sea of devotees who demonstrate their appreciation with rapturous applause. One of the night’s highlights, Lacrymosa begins with Lee’s sweet, plaintive vocals and swells to an electro-orchestral climax that is classic Evanescence, infused with Mozart’s Requiem. To hear it in this concert hall and with orchestral backing is an aural delight. Fans are also treated to Hi-Lo, Fallen, and The Open Door, all of which are delivered with great finesse and gusto. Later, Lee performs her solo torch song, Speak to Me, before being rejoined by the band for Good Enough. They close the set with a moving, ethereal rendition of Swimming Home, which brings the delighted crowd to its feet. Superb.