I must be very frank. I didn’t know that Evanescence still toured. I didn’t know they had a new album coming out this year.
And be honest; neither did you.
Still, when I told people that I was going to see them, almost everybody was ‘dead jealous’, which is a Northern English term for ‘rather envious of you, old chum’. It made me realise that for a sometimes quite heavy rock band, they’re actually very popular; and they’re very popular to a lot of people. 13 year old ‘you just don’t understand what I’m going through, Dad, leave me alone’ me loved them. All grown up me still loves them. Even my 50 year old aristocrat mother upon hearing I was going to see them said, ‘Oh wonderful, I have their CD’. That in itself is an achievement considering the only other music she owns is Adele 21 and 50 Best Driving Songs.
The CD in question is of course their debut album, Fallen, and it’s popularity was obvious at the Apollo, as half of the set featured it; all killer no filler. Even the less known tracks like Breathe No More, The Change, and Lithium would land well with even the flakiest of fans.
It’s no criticism, but I’m sure we can all agree that the band’s early music was embraced most by the ‘angsty teenager’ of the naughties, me included. And the reason they did, and continue to do so well (2 sold out nights in London is a credit to a band with just 3 albums) is because rather than cure their fans’ angst, they justified it. They said, ‘Hey you with the badly applied eyeliner and the Kurt Cobain t-shirt! I know you’re annoyed, so are we, and that’s okay’.
But, just like us fans, the band I saw at the Apollo were all grown up. I didn’t even get ID’d for a beer, and I look like a 12 year old German milk maiden. So rather than the show being an adolescent gathering in solidarity of sadness, it was a celebration, and prime excuse for the headbangers to show off the hair they’ve probably been growing since they first saw Amy Lee in 2005. The band even stripped back My Immortal and turned it into a grown up, guitar accompanied, stool seated, ballad. It felt like it was a brick feature wall, and chalk board away from being a bohemian café gig. And it was absolutely incredible.
But don’t be fooled. Like Dwayne Johnson, they can still rock. (Wow.) The moment we all heard the twinkling of the piano keys at the end of the night we knew we were about to be woken up inside. I have never in all my years of going to gigs seen a venue react to a song like the Apollo did to Bring Me To Life. It was electric! I even danced with a woman who I was previous scowling at for watching the whole gig through her phone! At this point, all was forgotten, and I was celebrating being 13 again. In fact, sod that. I was celebrating being 23, being in the moment, and being brought to life.
So to sum up,
I watched a heavy rock band.
On one of the hottest days of the year.
My feet were killing me.
I had to use my shirt as a sweat rag.
And I bloody loved it.
And if we really want to sum up in an even more concise way, I can simply quote the man who was stood behind me at the end of the set:
“These fuckers are good at what they do”.