When Evanescence tours, they usually only pick one guest to open up for them on every show. This time around they chose Veridia, a four-piece female fronted act to share the road in North America. Originating in 2013, Veridia, (a combination of latin words “veritas” and “veridical” meaning “truth”), formed after vocalist Deena Jakoub and guitarist Brandon Brown moved forward from Don’t Wake Aislin in late 2012. Featured on numerous TV shows and large music festivals, they put on a show like they’ve been around for 10+ years; impressive to say the least. The stage was decked out with triangular guitar cabinets and LED strobes, a wild display to emphasize their live set and pair with their jams.
Veridia’s vocalist, Deena Jakoub, came packing beastly vocal chords. They had one of the best opening band reactions I’ve seen in quite a while, an awesome feat while opening for the well established Evanescence. The entire band was dressed up for the show and it couldn’t have fit any better. Veridia closed their set with their newest song that they just released a music video for, a more pop influenced track you can check here. Overall, if you haven’t heard of these guys, check them out!
After Veridia’s set, it was about a good 15 minute wait for Evanescence to enter the stage. Fans were a few beers in (at the least) and roaming about to the different bars of the venue to stock up before the main performance began. Not many fans gave up their front row seats, but more than I could count (still) succumbed to the desire of alcohol. It was just a few days before All Hallow’s Eve and the Giraffes of the world showed up in costume early. A large, stuffed giraffe head was towering over the crowd just feet from where I was standing most of the show.
Tonight would mark the fourth time I’ve seen Evanescence live since 2005, when they were touring to promote their first full length self titled CD after they broke the radio with Bring Me To Life and Immortal. The lights dimmed as the members ran out to their positions. Amy Lee ran onto the stage decked out in a white and black skirted outfit with her classic black boots that rose just under her knees. Her wrists were adorned with black and white wrist bands; a classic piece of the outfit for Amy. Their stage set consisted of a huge black backdrop with a simple “e” logo. The logo would change colors throughout every song as it was decked with color-changing LEDs in the back of the stage shining through the fabric.
They began the set with Everybody’s Fool and I couldn’t help but picture the music video for the song in my head. “What You Want” and “Going Under” followed, and the crowd was already completed satisfied with the song choices of the evening. I was so lost in the moment during Going Under (long time fan here) and before I knew it, the song ended. As a photographer of the night, this was the end of the third song and this marked the being “kicked out” of the photo pit. Evanescence didn’t waste any time and dove right into “The Other Side”, even before the roars of voices subsided.
The moment the stage hands rolled out the grand piano, everyone was on their toes. Amy took her seat front and center and began singing “Lithium”. You were bound to miss the first line of the song because, the lyrics were again being masked by the crowds screams. As the song progressed I watched the drummer, Will Hunt, single handedly own most of the stage, as he continued to do throughout the night. One hell of a stage act. If he could, I bet he would have stood up the entire set head banging, whipping his hair, and throwing around his drum sticks above his head. The voices of the crowd were so loud during the quieter parts of the song, that it was very difficult to hear Amy clearly. She continued on with a grin the size of Texas as it’s a huge compliment for strangers to know your every lyric. As it’s said time and time again by all types of singer/song writers. It’s also worth mentioning that every member of the band acts like they’re performing in the limelight, which it such an important thing to do in a band. Might I remind everyone, that it is still Evanescence, not just Amy Lee. Though she is the heart of the band, and always will be.
The stage went black as the song concluded its chords and roars of cheering was all you could see, taste, and hear. As the lights ascended once again, Amy took her place at the electric keyboard on stage right near Troy, lead guitarist. If you were at the right angle, as Amy started playing the intro to the next song, you can see her middle finger aim towards Troy while both of them laughed. It immediately reminded me of the documentary I watched years ago about the band and remembering Amy clearly mooning the documentary cameras at one point throughout the filming.
There was a guitar switch on stage and this is when you know the album is likely to change. Amy graciously said her thanks to the crowd before beginning “Take Cover”, a brand new song. Here’s a YouTube video from one of the thousands of cell phones in the air that night.
Amy sat down at the piano again and mentioned that she had a handful of family in the crowd and many were from right here in Texas. She’s originally from Arkansas so it’s quite a short drive. “We wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you, and I’m eternally grateful for that.” The next song would send me into emotional shock. I knew every lyric and learned it all when I was just a preteen. “All the little pieces falling, shatter. Lie to me, convince me that I’ve been safe forever. Too small to matter, but big enough to cut me into so many little pieces.” I was surprised how many fans here didn’t pay attention or know this song. As it was from Evanescence’s very first EP prior to their self titled was released. Not only that, but was a live track that was released on Anywhere But Home CD/DVD. It’s such an emotional song and I was sad to hear talking and conversations over her beautiful voice, granted everyone up in the front rows had their sing along versus the back of the crowd.
After the softest song of the night, “My Immortal” came on and the noise from the crowd was deafening. Still one of their most famous songs and people still can’t get enough of it. After My Immortal, Amy jumped up from her seat to run to start another song, but laughed at herself and said “We have’t changed the set list in a long time” as she took her seat back at the grand piano. She began “Your Star” and everyone went crazy again… a recurring theme of the night as I had noticed. The lights in the venue replicated the starry night sky and animated the entire ceiling, floor, and stage. At the near end of the song there was a guitar on guitar moment where Jen and Troy leaned into each other on and played off of each other’s emotions. They changed up the ending to the song ever so slightly with some faster double bass rhythms from Will.
“Whisper” cracked the silence that lies between songs as Amy started to stomp around the stage. Amy head bangs to all of the grooves of Evanescence, showing how into it she remains with all of the songs. She also has more hair than the entire band combined, which I suppose has always been a fact through the changing members of the band over the years. Her skirt follows her every move around the stage like a shadow. The stage burst into fire as the stage lights turned to fiery colors of orange and red. The spotlight jumped to Troy on stage right as he bent into the solo. It may have been my ears, but I believe he may have even added his own touches to the classic solo of Whisper. The stage went dark and the spotlights were on the crowd as Amy held out the microphone to catch everyone’s voices screaming “Don’t turn away!”
An older song, “Disappear”, followed. They played the hit songs, “Sober” and “Bring Me To Life”, and they closed their set with an epic cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”. Check out another live video here and don’t forget about the classic.