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Concert Reviews

Evanescence Celebrate 20 Years of ‘Fallen’ At Madison Square Garden

Goth rock titans Evanescence are currently on the road, sweeping through North America and serving as support for Muse on their Will Of The People Tour. The band stopped at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Friday, March 17th, for a sold-out night of hard rock nostalgia and top-notch vocal prowess, celebrating their 2021 album, The Bitter Truth but also the 20th anniversary of their iconic debut album, Fallen.

Evanescence at MSG, 3/17/23. Photo by Joseph Buscarello

Fans at MSG knew they were in for a treat. With Evanescence not touring all that frequently, the opportunity to see them in such an iconic arena drew a substantial amount of spectators in and of itself. As the house lights went off, “Artifact/The Turn”, the ghostly intro track from The Bitter Truth, began playing over the PA. Amy Lee’s distinctive voice suddenly started permeating out of the shadows before running out to center stage, and the rest of the band dropped into the heavy, tribal riff of “Broken Pieces Shine”. 

When Evanescence broke onto the scene in the early 00s, Amy Lee immediately became a vocal powerhouse vocalist in the world of rock and roll and beyond. Her dynamic range effortlessly gliding over the band’s heavy gothic sound became a benchmark for others that still exists to this day. And fast-forward to today, where such power was on clear display at The Garden. A room that can be somewhat notorious for drowning out bands who can’t properly fill the void, Lee & Co had no such issue. Every note was as crystal clear as the last, reaching all the way up to the upper bowl and all 20,000 strong providing a backing vocal for one of the greatest voices of a generation. 

Evanescence at MSG, 3/17/23. Photo by Joseph Buscarello

This was the first time that Evanescence had performed at The Garden; a fact that outwardly filled Lee with joy. She joked with the crowd halfway through the set, saying, “it has been a dream of mine to play this room for such a long time. I’m just happy someone else is paying for the parking!” The second half of the set leaned heavily into The Bitter Truth material, with the band putting enormous energy behind their performance. Lee bounced all over the massive stage, running up and down the catwalk without missing a single note. The only moment that energy slowed was when a grand piano emerged from under the stage, and the first heartbreaking chords of “My Immortal” filled the air. With the stage dark, apart from some sparse lighting behind Lee, the entire room sang every word of the 2003 hit as one.

Evanescence at MSG, 3/17/23. Photo by Joseph Buscarello

When Lee announced it was their last song, every single person knew what was coming. “Bring Me To Life”, a song that turned the band into superstars and defined a moment in time for a whole generation of metal fans. Playing those first few piano iconic chords into a loop, as the grand piano faded below the stage, Amy’s voice grew in intensity as she approached the first bridge, building up to a moment of calm silence in anticipation of the chorus. And then it hit. Lee danced up and down the catwalk, urging the crowd to give even more energy than they already were, and they responded. She then matched what was being given, singing up towards the ceiling with a veracity that shook the room. A collective chill ran down 20,000 spines, as the music faded out, ending an opening set about as iconic as one can get. 

After such an incredible display, it was hard for everyone to believe that there were still two hours of Muse to come. That’s how shaken Evanescence left this iconic room, with fans unable to muster the energy to move from their seats, let alone even go for another drink. Here’s to another 20 years of spellbinding and sensational performances from one of rock’s most treasured bands.

The tour is on a short break for the time being, but ramps back up in April for a trek across the West Coast. Evanescence wrap up their stint with the tour on April 20th in Salt Lake City before a run of festival dates through June. Head over to their website for the full itinerary and check out idobi photographer Joseph Buscarello’s photo gallery from the show at Madison Square Garden below. 

 
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