The first time I heard a metal band perform with a symphonic orchestra was back in 1999 when Metallica did it with the San Francisco Symphony. It was fresh and innovative back then, but tonight when Evanescence did something similar at the Masonic in San Francisco it was simply divine.
Singer Amy Lee began the performance with “Never Go Back” sitting behind a grand piano and singing acapella with the gorgeous soprano voice that she is known for. Then followed the drums, the strings, and it crescendoed with a full orchestra backing her up, including a beautiful harp that radiated from the side of the stage. Apparently, Amy told the audience, the band performs with a different group of local musicians every night of the tour and last night’s team was nothing short of spectacular.
Amy followed things up with some crowd favorites like “Lacrymosa,” “End of Dreams,” and “Lithium.” But it wasn’t until Evanescence reached their biggest hit to date “Bring Me to Life,” that the crowd’s enthusiasm reached euphoria. I could even spot a few fans in the sitting-room-only crowd that couldn’t help but get to their feet to bop and weave only to every rhythmic variation.
Amy was celebrating a birthday just a few days earlier, so peppered between sets were fans screaming “Happy Birthday Amy!” And all throughout the performance, you could feel the love from the crowd for this band that they’d been following around for decades.
And the love was reciprocated. At one point Amy confessed that often during shows she gets to the halfway mark and thinks it to be just okay, but not this evening. “This is a great show,” she said. “And I’m having way too much fun with you guys.”
The stunning backdrop and elaborate stage set only added to this magical evening, which showed how well the very different hard rock and classical genres can blend together given the right circumstances. Last night at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco, the conditions were just right, and both genres danced beautifully together all throughout the night.
Photos by Louis Raphael (All Rights Reserved – Do not reproduce or alter in any way without written consent)