8.24.18 Dallas, TX
Photo credit goes to Ryan Turner of Greenville, Texas. He had better seats lol
Evanescence? Yeah, I’d heard of them. Fifteen years ago, I was going through a horrible separation and my soon to be ex wife insisted on playing one of their songs day and night in order to torture me into leaving my bed/home on the couch. It worked. Does anyone truly miss the ‘Hot Topic’ years? Still, Amy Lee sings like an angel.
Lindsey Stirling? Never heard of her. I knew nothing of ‘America’s Got Talent’ or ‘Dancing With The Stars’ other than what people post on social media platforms. I turned off my cable years ago so I wouldn’t be bombarded with politics. A friend turned me onto her YouTube channel six months ago and I’ve been in love since. She’s like a violin playing, ballet dancing fairy princess. Her talent is mesmerizing. I purchased tickets to see her the second they went on sale. Guess who she was opening for? Evanescence.
It was a typical Texas, summer, 100+ degree, outdoor show. People were falling out all over the place. I was almost one of them. At 44, I don’t think I could do an all day festival like in my younger days. I’ve already woken up in an ambulance once this year. Not looking for a repeat. Live Nation was quick to jump on all these problems and I thank them for that.
Lindsey Stirling’s live show IS everything you’d expect from watching her career bloom on YouTube over the last decade. She was backed by a full orchestra, ballet dancers, and a couple of members from Evanescence, including Amy Lee for the track Shatter Me (originally sung by Lzzy Hale) Some have called her the most talented violinist in the world and I can’t disagree. I don’t recall a single moment in the show where she was still. Constantly moving, constantly dancing, she captivated the entire audience with an almost magical presence. Everything was flawlessly choreographed. It was an epic spectacle. On two occasions, she paused the show to thank all in attendance for supporting her efforts to continue living her dream. (She was playing with her personal idol Amy Lee and even showed a YouTube video from fifteen years ago where she and her friends mimicked the Bring Me To Life music video). Her style is unique, her speeches were sincere, and she was having the time of her life on stage. At one point, she said something which resonated with me personally and I hope to never forget it. “You can’t take darkness out of a dark room. It’s scientifically impossible. You can, however, bring light into that dark room.”
Then came Evanescence. First of all, Amy Lee may very well be the greatest singer on the face of the planet. Her range is amazing and gives me chills whenever I hear it. Hearing it live? No comparison. Unfortunately, their catalog of music (slowed down accompanied by a full orchestra) brought Lindsey Stirling’s high powered finale down to an almost lullaby level of comfort. As I said before, this would’ve brought tears to my eyes fifteen years ago, but I’ve since grown beyond the dark, depressed, break up days of my younger self. There were moments in which I wanted to walk to the stage, climb into her lap, put my thumb into my mouth, and go to sleep beneath her comforting voice. Everyone else who’d followed her career since the beginning were in tears and experiencing chills. One teenage girl sitting next to me worshiped her by singing along to it all. The look on her face as she feasted on the essence of Amy’s voice was priceless. This was HER audience and they appeared as though they were touching Heaven’s gate.
I blame production for the high/low power of this show, not the talent. Both Lindsey Stirling and Amy Lee are at the top of their game in their respective arts. For a quick minute, Lindsey returned to the stage to perform a violin solo for Amy and the crowd went insane! Why not mix the talents of these two goddesses for an entire show to feed off each other, creating balance? THAT would be a Vegas show to repeat for decades. Perhaps we will get that in the future. Until then, stay for the Stirling, leave for the Lee.
C. Derick Miller