–By Sean Derrick
A great concert experience can be defined by many things, depending on your preferences. The idea behind a co-headlining tour with alt-rock band Evanescence and violinist Lindsey Stirling could be seen as two contrasting genres. For this tour, however Evanescence is touring with a full orchestra, making the pairing more logical. On Saturday they made the second stop of the North American Leg portion of summer-long tour at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights.
This was Evanescence’s second stop in Saint Louis in the past 7 months, as they played a remarkable, nearly identical set at the sold out Peabody Opera House in December. The bigger venue this time provided for a bigger performance (hence the addition of Lindsey Stirling).
The duo Cellogram opened with an up-tempo selection of songs, including an awesome cover of AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, with a celoist and percussionist.
Lindsey Stirling followed with an energetic stage presence dominating her 75 minute set. Her versatility combining choreographed dance routines with stellar violin playing to catchy rock pieces over storylines and costume changes stood out better than most acts on tour right now. This is not your grandmother’s violin style.
Note to future show stops: Stirling began her set 15 minutes early. So, if you really want to see her (believe me, you do), do not be late!
An accomplished dancer (she was a runner up on dancing with the stars ) her ability to perform high energy dance routines while not missing a note speaks volumes. (Hell, I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.) Her act is as fresh as one can get in today’s musical climate.
She collaborated on a song with Evanescene called “Hi-Lo” for their most recent LP Synthesis, and joined Evanescence onstage as they performed the track during their set.
Her stage show was almost a dream land of wistful fairytale stories, including one where she was fighting off skeletons with her violin, before she changed costume and joined them as one. The costume changes were plentiful and rapid, owing a remarkable resemblance to Broadway stage show stylings.
Her performance is a treat to witness, no matter what genre of music you gravitate towards. She makes it hard not to tap along with your foot, at the very least. Her styling is infectious and her performance mesmerizing with a roar of approval from the audience.
In evanescence there was more of a dreamy sequence of haunting vocals and surreal melodies, a sharp contrast to Stirling’s high flying set, not that it was a bad thing, by any means.
The band’s Nu Symphonic set was witnessed by several times more that what watched the December performance. And just like the December performance Evanescence gave a performance that was breathtaking.
One of the changes in the set was a dreamier version of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe”. (can it get any more in a dream state feeling than it already was? The answer, it appears, is yes.)
In keeping with the theme of redefining who the band is, vocalist Amy Lee delivered once again. Her hauntingly sharp vocals make an endearing stamp on whatever song she seems to touch.
The band with the orchestra behind them were in mid tour form, a good sign considering they just started this leg.
The ending was a bit awkward, though, as after “Imperfection” Amy Lee thanked the fans and said “give it up for the orchestra and my band”. A polite response was given, but nothing like the loud reception that was given at Peabody in December where fans knew that it was the end of the set.
She walked off stage and returned after a few minutes with Lindsey Stirling to perform Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears” with the chorus for Sia’s “Alive” tacked to the end. It was a unique sound and I even noticed a few fans trying to headband along with it. It seemed to end rather quickly (after only about 4 or 5 minutes) and they left the stage. Fans around me wondered aloud if that was the end.
Sadly, it was.
Check out a full gallery of photos after the setlists.
Lindsey Stirling Setlist:
Shatter Me (With Amy Lee)
Hold my Heart
Don’t Let This Feeling Fade
Beyond the Veil
Phantom of the Opera Medley
Never Go Back
End of the Dream
My Heart is Broken
Bring Me To Life
Across the Universe (The Beatles cover)
Hi-Lo (with Lindsey Stirling)
No More Tears (Ozzy Osbourne cover, with Lindsey Stirling)
Alive (Sia cover, with Lindsey Stirling)