Evanescence With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 16/2/2018

As the trend of doing album anniversary tours dies down, the trend of rock bands performing with orchestras continues to rise. The latest act to take this route is American symphonic rock act Evanescence, and after witnessing the spectacle of their performance on Friday night, it is clear that few bands could pull of such a matching quite as well.

An overture performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra got things started, with some well-known classical numbers such as La Chasse in A Major (Mozart), and Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven), as well as a not so classical rendition of AC/DC’s Back In Black. It was a fitting introduction as classic orchestral met rock, a preview of what we were about to experience for the next hour and a half.

Evanescence’s fourth album, Synthesis, is a reworking of many of their old songs into a more symphonic and electronic form. The performance at Rod Laver Arena put this on show perfectly as the rock, electronic, and symphonic elements of the band’s music were all equally on display.

Frontwoman Amy Lee’s voice is phenomenal, and is all the more so on such a grand stage. The entire band have never sounded so powerful, as their already big sounds were accentuated by the string, brass, woodwind, and percussion behind them.

Opening with Never Go Back off of Evanescence’s third and self-titled album, the energy and strength radiating from the stage was electric. There are some bands who would not benefit from the backing of an orchestra in any way, but Evanescence is certainly not one of them.

The band’s most well-known hit, Bring Me To Life, started a mass sing-a-long, as did My Immortal, a song that Lee told us she didn’t used to care for until she started associating it with the band’s fans and their unwavering support throughout Evanescence’s career.

The stage and light show was modest, but that’s all it needed to be. It truly was a show where the music spoke for itself. Imperfection ended the main set, before the band returned to perform one of Lee’s solo act songs, Speak To Me, before concluding the evening on Swimming Home.

The orchestra performed superbly, as anybody who has seen them before will not be surprised by, and they were such a beautiful accompaniment to a band like Evanescence, who have so much depth to their music. The evening was a complete triumph of sound, with not a single moment to catch one’s breath.

Live review by Sofie Marsden

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