Evanescence + The Pretty Reckless @ Birmingham Academy, 13th November 2011

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Another day, another gig, tonight it’s to rock gothic melodrama and a packed O2 Academy. Out promoting their new self-titled album, on their final date of their UK tour, Amy Lee and her support crew are here to bring Birmingham to life – it’s time for Evanescence.

We arrive tonight in time to catch the last half of support act The Pretty Reckless. Fronted by actress (Gossip Girl)/ model/ singer Taylor Momsen, she has vocals crossed between Juliette Lewis, Courtney Love and Joan Jett. ‘My Medicine’ is followed by their heavy, heavy version of The White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’. Then to a huge clap and cheer, their first song ever released on download, ‘Make Me Wanna Die’ to which we all sing along. This band was created around Momsen only last year, and various people at tonight’s gig tweeted there were paparazzi hanging around to grab a sneaky photo. Best support I’ve seen in a while, look out for The Pretty Reckless, methinks they will be The Pretty Next Big Thing in rock n’ roll.

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Formed just six years ago by Amy Lee and Ben Moody, Evanescence’s first album ‘Fallen’ had stratospheric sales: over 17m albums worldwide (winning a vast series of awards including two Grammys) driven by huge hit ‘Bring Me To Life’ (with vocal support from Paul McCoy of 12 Stones). Their follow up album, ‘The Open Door’ continued that success with sales over 6 million.

The band line up has changed entirely since they started out – Evanescence these days is Amy Lee supported by Tony Balsamo (guitar), Tim McCord (bass), Troy McLawhon (rhythm guitar) and Will Hunt (drums).

So just after 9pm, to dry ice and a huge amount of screams, on come Evanescence, opening up with the first single from the new album ‘What You Want’ with a loud bass riff; the crowd bounce bounce bouncing along.

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Tonight’s audience is young – predominantly mid teens to early twenties and, unusually for a rock gig, a very female audience. Enthusiastic, they are keen to sing along at any given opportunity. Next track in, Evanescence hit ‘Going Under’ which goes down even better with the crowd. Lee: “Thank you! Having a great time tonight….. Thank you for getting our new album to number 1 in the UK…!”

Tonight’s set swings between Lee walking round stage punching her arm in the air, or sitting at a piano at the front of the stage, the later unusual to see in a rock band. The set rolls on, great response from the adoring crowd; Lee comments how pleased she is by the crowd’s response to the new stuff. “Thank you very much – it makes my heart feel very warm to hear you singing along to a new song! Here’s another one….”

The set finishes on that massive single ‘Bring Me To Life’ (without male accompaniment – the crowd fill in the missing bits). The crowd is ecstatic and during the break eagerly responds with a chant of “we want more, we want more….”

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Back on stage, Lee: “This is our last night of our tour in the UK, tomorrow night it’s Paris…” and an acknowledgement to touring fans that have followed her round the UK. And then into the three track encore – ‘Never Go Back’, ‘Your Star’ and another hit and very probably the standout track of the night ‘My Immortal.’ Here, as during parts of tonight’s gig, lighters are replaced by mobile phones, as swathes of the crowd attempt to film the song. Huge cheer and clapping as the set is completed – after just 1 hour and 10 minutes – “See ya next year!” promises Lee.

Evanescence had massive success on their first album. 17 million + sales worldwide and 43 weeks in the Billboard Top 10 is pretty incredible. They have brought gothic rock to the masses and brought in a young, female crowd, who will hopefully seek to experience more that rock and metal has to offer. If you like Evanescence they give you exactly what you would expect, they have followed ‘Bring Me To Life’ template to the letter – there is no deviation from their gothic metal, ethereal sound, they are louder and harder rock than on record. It’s clearly a formula that works for Lee and her gang. Tonight I thought they were good, not great, and that the ticket price of £28.50 a pop for me was a tad steep. However, for those who adore Evanescence, and you clearly do, you clearly had a blast.

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Setlist:

1. What You Want
2. Going Under
3. The Other Side
4. Weight of the World
5. The Change
6. Made of Stone
7. Lost in Paradise
8. My Heart is Broken
9. Lithium
10. Sick
11. Ocean
12. Call Me When You’re Sober
13. Imaginary
14. Bring Me To Life

Encore:
15. Never Go Back
16. Your Star
17. My Immortal

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Listening:
The Fallen (2003)
The Open Door (2006)
Evanescence (2011)

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Review : Zyllah Moranne-Brown
Photos: Ian Dunn

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3 Responses to “Evanescence + The Pretty Reckless @ Birmingham Academy, 13th November 2011” Subscribe

  1. True Yesfan November 18, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    A well written review except for “…sitting at a piano at the front of the stage, the later unusual to see in a rock band…”

    nothing unusual about this at all…
    Queen
    Bad Company
    Counting Crows
    Marillion
    Radiohead
    etc

  2. Amzy March 22, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    THE best night of my life ;D

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