Evanescence Synthesis Tour, Hippodrome Theater, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, November 8, 2017
Evanescence’s Synthesis album, just released in November, is a unique orchestral reimagining of several classic songs from the bands history. While Amy Lee’s unique voice is still the core of the band’s sound on this album, the orchestra adds an even richer dimension to the songs. Synthesis is the band’s first studio album since their self-titled release in 2011 and also includes two new tracts: “Imperfection and “Hi-Lo”. Along with the release of the album, the band also embarked on an ambitious undertaking… A world tour of the new album including a live orchestra.
The first part of the world tour was in North America with 29 dates that ran from mid October until late December. I was fortunate enough to catch the show at the legendary Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center in Baltimore Maryland. This beautiful theater first opened in 1914 and was recently renovated in 2004. It is acoustically well designed and is a phenomenal venue for a show of this caliber.
The show began with approximately 25-30 minutes of the orchestra playing without Evanescence, which I thought was a nice way to set the overall tone for the evening. It left no doubt that we were in for an evening with the intensity focused on the music itself rather than the high energy of movement that is expected at a more traditional rock concert. The orchestra was arranged with strings, percussion, and piano on the left, with the conductor, wind instruments, and the harp on the right.
Orchestra Set List:
Moonlight Sonata (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Pavane (Gabriel Fauré)
Adagio Cantabile (Ludwig van Beethoven)
La strada (Nino Rota)
Lacrimosa (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Sally’s Song (Danny Elfman)
There was a brief intermission following the opening orchestral arrangements, and then Evanescence finally took the stage. The show began with Amy Lee seated at the piano, after which she moved to a standing microphone at the center of the stage. Jen Majura, Troy McLawhorn, and Tim McCord (guitars) were seated behind Amy, while drummer Will Hunt was on an elevated platform at the rear of the stage. Throughout the performance, only Amy, Will, and the orchestra were well lit by the stage lights. The remainder of the band was almost constantly in shadow.
All sixteen songs from the Synthesis album were played during the main set, with three additional songs in the encore. Amy remained relatively stationary behind her mic stand except for occasional trips back to play the piano. The remainder of the band remained seated for the entire performance. Although I missed the high energy of a typical Evanescence “rock” concert, the addition of the orchestra provided a very powerful and moving performance. Unlike a lot of concerts where rock bands play with orchestras, the songs were not the traditional Evanescence songs with orchestral backing. The songs for Synthesis were completely reimagined to transform them into unique orchestral compositions. It was a very unique, moving, and powerful performance.
Evanescence Set List:
Never Go Back
End of the Dream
My Heart Is Broken
Bring Me to Life
Lost in Paradise
Speak to Me
For those of you in North American, if you didn’t catch this phenomenal show, you miss your chance. But for our readers in Australia and Europe… your chance is coming so don’t miss out! Synthesis will be coming to Australia for four shows in February of 2018, and an extensive European tour is schedule for March and April. Don’t miss it!