Gig Review: Evanescence, O2 Academy, Glasgow, 8th November 2011

Like it or not, most people in attendance tonight are here for the nostalgia. Evanescence have not played in the UK for a long time, even longer if you factor in Scottish appearances. While the new album has been a critical and commercial success, a lot of people, myself included, really just want to hear the likes of “Bring Me To Life” live, with a healthy dose of new tracks.

With Fair to Midland dropping out of this tour due to injury, it’s up to [Me] (4) to warm up the barely-there crowd. They look as suave as Matt Smith as the Doctor, but this seems to be their most memorable quality – their songs are enjoyable enough, but they’re also fairly forgettable. They receive a polite applause, clearly capable enough of handling a crowd to the extent of not offending them, but fortune may have been against them on a bill such as tonight’s.

The Pretty Reckless (7) fair a whole lot better. As a young man, it would be easy to give this performance 10/10 for Taylor Momsen alone, strutting around in her usual dominatrix attire with a flimsy shirt hardly covering anything. She is undeniably the band, since the rest of the guys on stage who are at least double her age seem to be void of personality while she commands the crowd with her husky, rock n roll voice. The likes of “Goin’ Down” and a cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” prove that while Momsen may be a young actress-cum-singer, she has the credibility to rock with the best of them.

Much the same way that Taylor Momsen is The Pretty Reckless, Amy Lee is Evanescence (7). The teenage nostalgia comes in floods when you see her stalking the stage in her typical goth attire, and she is clearly happy to be back on the road again with an album which she describes as being made while she’s been at her happiest.

In a way it shows, since a lot of tonight’s songs, while heavy, are not as hopeless sounding as “Imaginary” from “Fallen” or “Lithium” from “The Open Door”, both of which receive rapturous cheers when aired. Opener “What You Want” is upbeat and an all-round good song, where as “Sick” and “Oceans” are clear standouts from their recent self-titled album which don’t drip of depression like earlier songs from the Evanescence catalogue.

It may be fitting – tonight’s audience is a little older than you might imagine, so the fanbase has grown along with Amy and her band. The main complaint though, regardless of how happy everyone in the room may now be, is that there just isn’t enough old material performed. “Fallen” sold millions of albums because people loved it, and we definitely want to hear more than just a few obvious cuts. “The Open Door” which propelled Evanescence into world players doesn’t receive any better treatment. Tonight it’s all about the new album and where Evanescence are now.

That is not to say it’s a bad thing – the new album is really good. A bit more variety added into the set would have kept the momentum flowing, had the crowd a little more engaged, and given those there for nostalgia a strong bridge to be brought up to date with the band and become more than nostalgia-fans, but present-day-fans too.


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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