Powerhouse band Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling positively delighted DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI to an exceptional night of musicality on Monday July 9th.
Both acts were joined onstage by a talented live orchestra, which gave their songs a bigger than ever feel.
Evanescence has been a force in music since the early 2000’s with their debut album, “Fallen”. In 2017, they returned with a welcome voice to the music world releasing their newest LP, “Synthesis”. “Synthesis” includes new tracks, as well as reworks of previous material with an exceptional orchestral sound.
Since the Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling tour is a co-headling tour, the bands swap order each night to not make either feel more or less important than the other.
Evanescence was first on the docket, starting their night at just about 7:45. The sun was still gleaming into the amphitheater before setting over the horizon.
The orchestra was seated first, and a couple of minutes later, the beautiful Amy Lee emerged from stage right. The audience roared with applause at her presence as she waved with a smile. She seated at a black Steinway and Sons piano and began into “Overture”, the opening musical piece from their latest album.
After the minute or so of song, Amy stood to take the mic. Next up was “Never Go Back”, redone from the band’s self-titled album. The pairing of Evanescence and orchestra was a truly breathtaking soundscape.
During “End Of The Dream”, a flurry of birds projected on the screen behind the musicians. Ms. Lee’s voice soared across each and every fan, a wonderful unity of both power and vulnerability.
When the song finished, Amy joked, “It’s all downhill from here”. She thanked the audience and stated how nice it is to be back in Detroit.
After “My Heart Is Broken”, Amy gave some insight into the tour.
“The tour is special for a lot of reasons. This is the very first time we’ve ever played with a live orchestra. This is the first time playing with these musicians. We pick up local musicians everywhere we go.” There were extra cheers from the crowd, most assuredly for their musical friends and family who were having the extreme honor of playing on stage.
After the recognizable “Lithium”, Evanescence started into the huge track, “Bring Me To Life”. The crowd surged and brought out phone cameras to record. Paul McCoy’s voice was replaced by sweeping music to pair with the chorus. A drummer and percussionist pounded away, still giving the song a heavy feel.
Throughout the show, the other members of Evanescence were seated behind Amy, adding electrifying guitar sound, and backing vocals from Jen Majura.
After “Imaginary”, Amy thanked the crowd again. “You guys having a good time? This is the part of the show where the orchestra is tuning. So legit. I always wanted to be that cool.”
After “Secret Door”, Amy continued that one of her favorite things about music is that it can transport you. “We’re going to play a song that has that power now more than ever.” Evanescnece and orchestra started into a tremendous cover of the Beatles’ timeless “Across The Universe”.
Next was “Hi-Lo”, featuring Lindsey Stirling, who took to the stage with a dazzling violin to beautifully present her musical gift to the song. The song is a collaboration between both artists on “Synthesis”.
After the soaring track, “Your Star”, Amy told the crowd, “We’d like to play a song for you that is one of our oldest”. She explained that the song has become very special, though at first it was not her favorite. “From what we’ve been through together, what we’ve overcome. Thank you for giving this meaning.”
The band and orchestra started into the haunting, “My Immortal”. When the song finished, Amy blew a kiss to the crowd.
The band closed out their night with their new album’s ending track, “Imperfection”. After the song ended, Amy thanked the crowd one more time and said, “Give it up for your amazing orchestra! My amazing band…Our incredible conductor!” The band bound together and bowed, then leaving the stage being showered with applause.
After a brief intermission, the incredible Lindsey Stirling was ready to begin.
Lindsey is absolutely a stand-alone artist, bringing violin into the forefront of the music scene while melding classical music, electronic, dubstep, and even nodding to video games.
Her night started with a powerful poem, paired with images of her journey as an artist… both the disappointments and triumphs – criticisms and acclaim. She started into the tremendous track, “The Arena.” Ms. Stirling covered every bit of the stage, all while playing flawless violin. She danced and jutted, clearly enjoying every moment of putting on such a wonderful show.
Next up was another original song entitled “Moon Trance”. Large tombtstones made their way across the stage, along with dancers in skeleton attire. Lindsey also revealed a new black leotard costume with a white skeleton.
After the song finished, she took to the microphone, stage right.
“What’s up, Detroit? Lions and Tigers and Red Wings, oh my! My name is Lindsey Stirling! I’m honored to be here with you.”
After “Shadows”, Lindsey began into “Shatter Me”, for which Amy Lee joined her once again on stage. Ballet dancers and tutus were abound, emerging to contribute their artistry with the song. The trend continued throughout the night. When the song finished, a deafening cheer echoed over the theater as Amy Lee exited.
Next up was “Lost Girls, the opening track from “Brave Enough”. Talented dancers gave a gorgeous portrayal of hardship and resurrection, with Lindsey joining them for much of the dancing. “Lost girls find a way” echoed through the speakers, giving the dancing a wonderful metaphor.
Lindsey walked again over to the microphone. “Thank you so much! You guys are amazing, Detroit! One of my favorite things about Michigan is that when you ask someone where they’re from, they go like this!” Lindsey held up her hand, making a mitten shape, as all Michiganders do to point to their matriculating location.
“Hey, I’m from California!” She held up her arm and pointed in a silly fashion to a spot on it. “Where you guys from? Let me see it.” The lights illuminated to reveal a packed DTE, each fan holding up their mitten hand.
“Thanks for traveling so far to come to the show tonight. Oh my goodness, there’s so many of you! This is our biggest show of the tour so far. Not only is this special because it’s Michigan, but also this tour in general is really special for me because I’ve known of Evanescence of course for years. I’ve been a casual fan for years!”
“CIRCA 2002” text flashed on the screen before a video played of Lindsey and friends dancing to “Bring Me To Life”.
“Ok, maybe I’ve been a little bit more than just a casual fan. That was me at 15 years old! The reason that I decided to show that video tonight isn’t to show off, as cool as it is. It’s because I don’t think anyone would have watched that and thought, ‘Wow! This girl’s got something. That it factor, there is it.’ That’s a pretty powerful thing to share because I had some big dreams. Even when I made that video. The thing is it was obviously not pure talent that made me who I am today. It was a ton of dedicated hard, hard work! No matter if you are 5 years old or 95 years old, we all still have goals. We all still have dreams. If you can see it in your head, even if nobody else can see it, I am standing up here as proof that if you believe it and if you dream it, you can make it happen. When we reach that moment, that experiene when you feel like you’re living your dream, to me it feels almost like I’m flying. This next song is called ‘Take Flight'”.
Lindsey took to a raised platform that continued to climb higher and higher above the stage. She was wearing a dress whose fabric continued to ascend as well, rising many many feet in the air.
Next up was Lindsey’s original song, “Crystalize”. The audience cheered to greet the track, having recognized it right away. An icy backdrop was reminiscent of that song’s music video. Toward the end of the track, a disco ball was brought onto the stage that reflected light in every direction, all over the theater.
When the song completed, an insightful monologue began over the speakers that presented the power of positivite reinforcement, even on something as simple as crystalized water.
After new track, “Hold My Heart”, Lindsey took to the microphone again.
“Thank you so much, Detroit! Oh my gosh! you guys are amazing tonight! One of the benefits of being one of the first shows on the tour is that all the rhinestones are still on our costumes! One of the negative aspects is that we’re all a little out of shape! I thought I worked out super hard to prepare.”
The open dialogue she presented throughout the night was so very warm, welcoming and uplifting.
“One of the things that I have learned in the last few years is that we have a say in how we feel about ourselves.”
She started into a very personal story about battling anorexia and depression when she was in college. She explained how she used to look at others who were happy and think they were born that way. With time and effort, she went from simply surviving to healing.
“I read self-help books, I went to therapy, I went to group therapy, I did positive thinking exercises, I just turned taking care of my mind into a part-time job. Now if I am feeling negative, I have the tools built inside of me where I can stop and say, ‘I don’t want to feel that way’. I know that’s helpful for everyone that we can choose happiness. I know it’s possible to very authentically love who are. There’s that fake it til you make it but I know that it can actually become genuine and real. Find the light inside of yourself, it’s there, share it with the world and make the world a brighter, more beautiful place. That’s what this next song is about. It’s called ‘First Light.'”
Colorful dancers and a colorful backdrop highlighted the song.
After “Mirage”, Lindsey encouraged everyone to put their hands together for the band and, “I’m going to ask you to stand up! This is pretty much the end of the show”. The band continued into “Don’t Let This Feeling Fade”, also off of Lindsey’s most recent album.
Lindsey made sure to introduce each of her dancers individually by name. “They’ve been working their butts off up here!”
She closed out the night with as much energy and passion as at the start, clearly giving her all to the performance.
Amy Lee reappeared to close the show seated at the piano with a lovely cover of “Young And Beautiful” by Lana del Ray. Lindsey and Amy faced each other as they played their interpretation.
The two incredible ladies united and bowed, with the crowd cheering wildly before their exit.
The pairing of Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling on tour together was certainly one of brilliance, with a live orchestra lifting them both to new heights.
The tour is sure to be a massive success, continuing through the United States into September.
Review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
Hozier, the Irish gentleman responsible for mega-hit “Take Me To Church” has announced a welcome US tour.
It’s been mostly all quiet on the Hozier front for the last couple of years, with the talented artist hinting at upcoming music via several social media posts. Hozier, whose full name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne, was last seen in the states touring in support of his exceptional debut album of the same moniker, which was released in 2014.
The musician announced the tour via Facebook,Twitter and Instagram with a post that read in part, “Very excited to announce the upcoming North American tour for later in the year which will coincide with the releasing of new work. The completion of the record is fast approaching and I’m eager to share it with everyone.”
Ticket presale is slated for June 14th, while general sale begins on June 15th.
For further details, check out Hozier.com.
All North American tour dates are listed below…
09/15: CityFolk Festival Ottawa, ON
09/18: L’Olympia Montreal, QC
09/19: Rebel Complex Toronto, ON
09/21: Riviera Theatre Chicago, IL
09/22-23: Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival Franklin, TN
09/24: Beacon Theatre New York, NY
10/01: House of Blues Boston, MA
10/02: Lincoln Theatre Washington D.C.
10/03: The Fillmore Philadelphia, PA
10/05-7: Austin City Limits Music Festival Austin, TX
10/08: The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
10/12-14: Austin City Limits Music Festival Austin, TX
10/14: The Marquee Tempe, AZ
10/15: The Observatory North Park San Diego, CA
10/16: Fox Theater Oakland, CA
10/18: The Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
10/19-20: Roseland Theater Portland, OR
10/22: Orpheum Theatre Vancouver, BC
Preview by Tiffany Cuthrell, photo courtesy of Hozier
The Killers discography has taken us on a journey from the outside-in narratives of “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me”, to their Vegas nod western vibes of “Sam’s Town” (an album whose darkness and mystery carried me through high school!), and even into outer space with “Day & Age”.
My first thought upon starting to play “Wonderful Wonderful” was, “Wait, is this someone blowing through THAT shell?” The mystery was quickly quelled as the title track progressed into a catchy synth, fantastical bassline, and brash rhythm.
Released on Friday September 22nd, the band’s fifth studio album is most assuredly a departure from any of their previous records’ sound, although one that is still Killers to its core. It is fresh, welcome, experimental, and bold.
“Wonderful Wonderful” brings, at times, a self-awareness and cockiness that us listeners haven’t quite heard before from these Vegas gents…. but since they’ve been making us dance, think, and rock since 2001, this type of reflective is forgiven. Besides, such prowess feels more as if the band is in on the joke they are telling, than genuinely full of themselves.
Their lead single, “I’m The Man” has been getting massive radio airplay since its June release.
The song ironically has the unique capability to be empowering and reductive at the same time, lending commentary to a gentleman who’s got it all (a cash register ka-chings in the background). The song carries a Bee Gees-esque stroll throughout, while touching on some Scissor Sisters-jived grooves in a short breakdown.
One of the most touching songs on the album is the slower tempo, “Rut”. Lead singer Brandon Flowers sings, “Don’t give up on me, cause I’m just in a rut. I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up”. Next on the album is equally motivational “Life To Come”. “I didn’t see this coming, I admit it, but if you think I’ll buckle, forget it.” “Run For Cover” and the track to follow, “Tyson Vs. Douglas” are catchy, danceable, and have the energy of a Springsteen anthem, perfect for driving down the highway.
The album closes out its brand new songs with the grounding jam, “Money On Straight”. The track carries through with an acoustic guitar flow reminiscent of Portugal. The Man, and the occasional Keane-feeling synth (cue Perfect Symmetry’s “Better Than This”).
The entire album seems as though it could have been a massive smash in the 70’s or 80’s, while still housing a modern feel. Despite some Arcade Fire depth, Doors type of vocal echo, and undeniable glam, it is true Killers, through and through.
The Killers have announced a gigantic tour to correspond with the album’s release, taking them from across the United States, into Europe, New Zealand, Australia,
The tour will only have half of the original Killers, sans guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer, which is only a change for the live shows.
The band has expressed their sincerest wishes that fans will not be let down with the tour lineup that is to come, as this album was made straight from the heart.
The Killers will make a stop at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on January 15th of next year.
1. “Wonderful Wonderful”
2. “The Man”
4. “Life to Come”
5. “Run for Cover”
6. “Tyson vs Douglas”
7. “Some Kind of Love”
8. “Out of My Mind”
9. “The Calling”
10. “Have All the Songs Been Written?”
Review by Tiffany Cuthrell, header photo by Erik Weiss
Creative giants, Radiohead, are hitting the road for nine US tour dates, as well as a headlining stop at Coachella this April.
The tour will take Radiohead to Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Kansas City, up to Portland and Seattle, as well as five nights in California.
The announcement is welcome news for fans, after an extensive US tour leg was missing from the band’s roster after their new LP was released last year.
The band’s ninth studio album, “A Moon Shaped Pool” debuted on streaming services last May, and garnered Radiohead two Grammy nominations for best rock song, and best alternative album.
After dotting the US, Radiohead will head overseas for mostly festival dates through July.
US Tour Dates:
03/30: American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL
04/01: Philips Arena – Atlanta, GA
04/03: Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA
04/05: Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO
04/08: Key Arena – Seattle, WA
04/09: Moda Center – Portland, OR
04/11: Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA
04/14: Coachella – Indio, CA
04/17: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA
04/18: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA
04/21: Coachella – Indio, CA
Words by: Tiffany , featured photo by Alex Lake
Milky Chance have emerged from their cocoon with terrific new single, and announcement of a new album.
“Cocoon” is the German rockers’ first single since their 2013 debut LP, “Sadnecessary”, which garnished the duo success with singles such as “Sweet Sun” and more infamously, “Stolen Dance”.
The band has announced (through press release) that “Cocoon” is representative of their own growth. Lead singer Clemens Rehbein stated inspiration as “trying to find a place where you can be yourself and not be distracted; to slow down and reflect on yourself.”
The duo blends a number of musical styles (folk, electronic, and reggae, to name a few) that create a modern sound entirely unique.
The band’s new album, “Blossom” is due for release on March 17th.
Milky Chance will be touring a number of intimate shows throughout Europe, the USA, and Canada before “Blossom”‘s release.
“Before Blossom” Tour Dates:
02/15: Botanique – Brussels, Belgium
02/17: Les Etoiles Theatre – Paris, France
02/20: Musik & Frieden – Berlin, Germany
02/21: Vega – Copenhagen, Denmark
02/22: Debaser – Stockholm, Sweden
02/24: Chata Fuera – Vienna, Austria
02/27: Plaza – Zurcih, Switzerland
02/28: Tunnel Club – Milan, Italy
03/02: Circulo de Bellas Artes – Madrid, Spain
03/08: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA (US)
03/10: The Independent – San Francisco, CA (US)
03/15: TBA – Chicago, IL (US)
03/17: Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY (US)
03/18: Lee’s Place – Toronto, ON (Canada)
Check out catchy “Cocoon”‘s open for interpretation video below!
“Cold Blue Rain”
Words by Tiffany Cuthrell, featured photo by Jonas Holthaus