Monday, 12 November 2012

PAUL MAY: Evanescence live at the Nia, Birmingham, 8th November 2012


File:EvLogo.svgWe know how to treat rock stars here at Gonzo Daily. Whenever possible we put them to work, and this is just what we have done with Paul May. On hearing that he was just about to go and see Evanescence we inveigled a gig review out of him. ..

In general I really like to see artists perform at the NIA because, as rule, the sound is far superior to its rival venue, the LG arena, but after hearing what I can only class as probably one of the worst mixes of all time for the second support band, I was more than a little worried for the main attraction Evanesence.

I thought that this would be a sellout gig for the US Goth-like rockers, and was surprised to see quite a few empty seats and standing only at about 70% capacity.   However despite this, the band took the stage with authority and delivered a show worthy of so much more.
File:Amy Lee - Evanescence 07.jpgI wasn’t familiar with this latest line up, but I must say they played with a precision that commanded their audience from the word go.

Amy Lee, vocalist and founding member, did the job in sterling fashion.   Her vocals became more powerful with each song, one heck of a job to sustain such a dynamic range throughout.  The only sign of any waiver was in the finale encore, My Immortal, where it cracked, just a little, in the lower register, but that’s just purely nit picking!  

I must admit I thought her vocal performance was genuinely excellent.  I was equally impressed with the drummer who was not only a great time keeper, being able to work alongside a musical click track with synths, but he was technically brilliant too!  A joy to watch.  Some nice baritone detuned guitars and solid rhythm section, aided by a light show linked to the sequencer making for a very impressive visual occasion too.  Giving a lesson on how to use natural talent alongside modern day technology successfully.

Their mix was quite interesting, with very little bottom end, a very middle range mix, kept it sounding a bit more metal-esque instead of the polished studio feel you would probably expect, but never the less a very clever and crisp mix.

If you were a fan of the band, you would have loved it.

Covering old and new songs, from “What you Want” to the anthem “Going Under” to the final number of the set “Bring Me Back to Life” and the finishing encore “My Immortal”

I enjoyed the show and was glad I went, and I think they pitched the concert perfectly at 1hr 15mins, as any longer would have been a mistake.    

Overall, a truly professional band, with a unique sound and a great vocalist who is still stunning to this day.  Well worth seeing.

As well as being a music journalist par excellence, Paul May is also the guitarist with the Atkins.May Project. Check them out at Gonzo

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