PICS: Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
'Lost in paradise': Symphonic-metal group Evanescence and electro-violinist-dancer extraordinaire Lindsey Stirling brought the symphony to life during their recent Mattress Firm Amphitheatre blockbuster.
It's been quite some time since Evanescence has performed in San Diego and Stirling hasn't been here since 2016 -- so the show was a real treat for area fans.
The two acts have been busy working together over the last couple years. Evanescence's latest album, "Synthesis" (from 2017) includes an original song titled "Hi-Lo" featuring the lively violinist.
Evanescence got started in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. Over the course of the band's career, several band members have come and gone (none of the band's three studio albums feature the same lineup) -- and is mostly now, for all intents and purposes, a Lee solo project.
Critics vary in terming Evanescence a rock or metal band, but most identify them as some form of gothic band. Publications such as The New York Times, Rough Guides and Rolling Stone have identified Evanescence as a gothic metal act, while other sources such as IGN, Spin and NME have termed them "gothic rock." Nowadays, symphonic rock seems the most appropriate genre for the band.
Evanescence has cited Pantera, Bjork, Mozart, Danny Elfman, Tori Amos, Nirvana, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Garbage and Plumb as influences.
After recording independent albums, the band released their first full-length album, "Fallen," on Wind-up Records in 2003. It'd go on to sell more than 17 million copies worldwide and help the band win two Grammy Awards out of seven nominations in 2004.
A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, "Anywhere But Home," which sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, "The Open Door," which sold more than 5 million copies.
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Following a hiatus, the band's next self-titled studio album was released in 2011. It debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart with 127,000 copies in sales. The album also debuted at No. 1 on four other different Billboard charts; the Rock Albums, Digital Albums, Alternative Albums, and the Hard Rock Albums charts.
In 2015, Evanescence emerged from another hiatus and announced they would resume touring. In March 2017, Lee stated that the band was working on a fourth album for release later that year. "Synthesis" was released worldwide later that year and marked a stylistic change in the band's sound.
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Lee has said the album is about "orchestra and electronica", and that the band had taken selected songs from their previous albums and stripped out the rock guitars and drums, rebuilding them into a classical arrangement reminiscent of a soundtrack.
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The group's Aug. 31 show consisted of the following set (according to setlist.fm): "Never Go Back," "Lacrymosa," "End of the Dream," "My Heart is Broken," "Lithium," "Bring Me to Life," "Unraveling," "Imaginary," "Across the Universe" (the Beatles cover), "Hi-Lo" (which was performed with Stirling), "Lost in Paradise," "Your Star"...
Followed by "My Immortal," "The In-Between" and "Imperfection." The band performed a three-song encore with Stirling -- a mashup of Karl Jenkins' "Palladio," Ozzy Osbourne's "No More Tears" and Sia's "Alive."
An acclaimed violinist from Gilbert, Arizona, Stirling has fused electronic big beats and animation with her classical violin training and charismatic stage presence -- with over 10 million YouTube subscribers, over 2 billion views on her YouTube channel, 2 Billboard Music Awards, Billboard chart-topping hits and sold-out tours worldwide.
On stage, Stirling moves with the grace of a ballerina but works the crowd into a frenzy, "dropping the beat like a rave fairy."
In 2010, at the age of 23, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on season five of "America's Got Talent," where she was described as a "hip hop violinist."
She impressed the judges on the show, not only by mixing hip-hop, pop, and classical music on the violin, but by incorporating dancing with playing the violin, which she also (obviously) does on her tours and official music videos.
Stirling's performances were dubbed "electrifying" by the judges on "America's Got Talent," and won the acclaim of the audience. But after she attempted to step up the dance level in her quarter-final performance, judge Piers Morgan told her: "You're not untalented, but you're not good enough, I don't think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time." Guess who showed him?
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Her 2012 debut album featured the smash hit “Crystallize,” which has racked up over 185 million YouTube views and led the album to No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Chart and Classical Album Chart. In 2014, Stirling released her sophomore album "Shatter Me," which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart and has sold over a quarter-million copies in the U.S.
In 2016, Lindsey released her first book with Simon & Schuster -- a memoir called “The Only Pirate at the Party” which she co-wrote with her sister, Brook S. Passey. The book debuted on the New York Times’ best-seller list and according to her official bio, "shares stories of Lindsey’s humble yet charmed childhood, humorous adolescence, life as a struggling musician, personal struggles with anorexia, and finally, success as a world-class entertainer."
She was recently seen on season 25 of the ABC television series "Dancing With the Stars" -- where she was the runner-up to the show's winner. Stirling’s 2016 album "Brave Enough," debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart and went on to score the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s year-end Top Dance/Electronic Album list. Her latest album was last year's holiday-themed record titled "Warmer in the Winter."
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