A couple of days ago Kayla and I went to see Amy Lee (Evanescence) and Lindsey Stirling in concert. This was Kayla’s first major concert experience. She had seen Morgan James with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Black Violin. She’s also been to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Evanescence is touring in support of their Synthesis album, which is done with a full orchestra. Lindsey Stirling is a violinist who combines ballet dancing with Michael Jackson like moves into her show. I’m maybe more excited about this concert than any I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Earth, Wind & Fire, some great shows. I’ve seen Morgan James in a couple of intimate venues and with a full orchestra. However, seeing Amy Lee with a full orchestra, and Evanescence I know will be an experience like no other. I wonder how I’ll react when she comes on stage because her voice always, without fail, gives me goosebumps. Her songs often bring me to tears. I can’t cry in front of Kayla, but if it happens, it happens.
I adore Evanescence’s first album. The music is excellent and there are some songs with very moving lyrics. To think that Amy was 20 when the album was put out and to have a song with the depth of “My Immortal” blows my mind. Their second album did not impress me. There are only two or three songs that I like much from that albums. So, when their third album finally came out in 2012, I wasn’t even aware until after the time Shayna had passed. The girls and I used to watch the video from My Immortal and they both listened to the first album. I was in love with Amy Lee, but Evanescence, not so much. I heard that the 2012 record was different from their second album so I decided to give it a listen. This was just weeks after Shayna had passed and I was doing a lot of walking and listening to music to clear my head. I gave the album a try. It was as if the album was written just for me. The key to an artist connecting to us I think is to take what is their personal experience, make it universal, give it to us, and we translate it back into our own experiences. At the time I wondered what type of loss Amy must have experienced in her young life to write and sing with such passion about themes like loss, longing, dealing with seemingly unbearable pain, and hope for a better future.
Songs 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 16- My Heart Is Broken, The Other Side (Counting the Days), Lost In Paradise, End of the Dream, Never Go Back, Swimming Home (I can just picture Shayna going Home when I listen to this one), and Secret Door touched me to my very core. My Heart is Broken is the feeling we have when they first leave. Then, we’re counting the days until we meet them on The Other Side. We wander this Earth only half alive Lost in Paradise. We long for the End of the Dream, but we have hope knowing it will come. No dream lasts forever. Never Go Back is that feeling we have when we want to go back but we know the only way out is forward. The old days are behind us. Swimming Home I imagine is that feeling that people report from NDEs. They’re going Home. They still love us, but they’re being called Home and cannot resist that siren call. Finally, Secret Door is when our time finally comes and we get to fly Home through that Secret Door.
Anyway, back to the concert. There was warm-up act- Cellogram. He was just OK. Now, out comes Lindsey. I’ve seen her videos and know about her dancing. What surprises me is she tours with a dance company. This isn’t just her standing the middle of the stage playing the violin. She does about five costume changes and dances for the entire hour and a half set. A few songs into her set, she does Shatter Me from one of her albums, and Amy Lee walks out to do the vocals for the song. Lzzy Hale sings the song on Lindsey’s album. Sorry Lzzy Hale, I’ll never hear Shatter Me the same way again after hearing Amy sing it.
Lindsey’s done her set, and now it’s time for Amy Lee, I mean Evanescence. As I said, I’ve been to a few symphony performances. I’ve seen some rock/pop concerts. I have never felt the energy coming from the music the way I did from this combination of Amy Lee’s powerful voice, the lyrics that touch the soul, the band, and the full orchestra; which was used to perfection. I sat in my seat for 3-1/2 hours (except for standing for ovations and on a couple of songs). I was completely enthralled. The fear of over-anticipation ruining the actual event was unwarranted. It was everything I hoped for and more.
Even though almost every single song made me think of Shayna, I was able to keep my composure during the concert. Lots of goosebumps, but no tears. I belted out the lyrics I knew to the sky. I sent waves of love and gratitude to Amy for expressing so exquisitely what I cannot convey on my own. I hoped she felt the love that I and thousands of others were sending to her in waves. Interestingly, I most connect with the songs from the third album, the one I listened to the summer of 2015. But, when she sang My Immortal something happened that I have never experienced before. I’m not sure why except maybe that is the song Shayna most connects to since she didn’t hear the third album while she was in the flesh. I felt that Shayna’s energy was right there with me. I felt her presence in a way I’m not sure I ever have. I was sitting in my seat, and I felt an electrical charge from head to toe. It was a sort of buzzing. I felt as if she sat in me. Not on me, not on my lap, it was as if her energy body sat in my seat with me and merged into me. This is the opening of the song:
I’m so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
‘Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won’t leave me alone