Bands doing shows with orchestras seems to have become an increasingly popular in recent years. But there are few that feel like such a natural fit than when Evanescence announced they were re-recording songs with a full orchestra. The album Synthesis released late last year and saw the band re-imagine several of their songs in a fantastic new way. Before the release of this they embarked on a US tour which was filmed for their new live DVD.
It has to be said just how impressive the orchestra are, they just add so much to these songs. Whether its the subtle use of strings on the more emotional moments or the pure drama when everything comes crashing in, a lot of thought was put into how the orchestra was used. And really the way the songs sound is big selling point here, as a live show it’s a bit lacking in terms of the excitement and spectacle you’d usually see bands pour into these sort of releases. There’s no real stage show but instead it is carried by both the orchestra and Amy Lee’s performance, and what a performance it is.
That’s not to say the rest of the band are irrelevant here. It’s just with these arrangement’s leaning less on the traditional rock elements of Evanescence it does feel like the focus is on them less this time round. But they still help to fill out the sound. But really this performance demonstrates Amy Lee at the top of her game. Her passion on every song really gives the whole thing so much emotional power. Even after all these years, seeing her perform My Immortal like this could give people goosebumps. And again with the orchestra just adding so much to the song it really comes across as a special moment.
The setlist is still a very interesting part of this whole Synthesis project, as the band avoided picking most of their big songs for it. Of course Bring Me To Life still made an appearance and is obviously brilliant. But for the most part this setlist consists of deeper cuts. Similar to the album this does make the performance feel like something that die hard fans would get the most out of. And whilst this does help highlight how Evanescence have always been far more than the one hit wonder band some view them as, it is a shame that some of their biggest songs don’t get the full orchestra. Something like Call Me When You’re Sober could have really been special.
Overall this DVD is a must own for any die hard Evanescence fan, especially if you missed out on the Synthesis tour and want to get a glimpse of what it was like. It’s not the most explosive live performance ever and some might find parts of it a little dull, especially if you are more of a casual fan. But it always feels like something important to the band and something they have been striving towards for a long time. If this tour remains the only time the band ever do this, this DVD will certainly show that it was a huge success.
Synthesis Live is released today (12th October 2018) through Eagle Vision.