Fri 06, Apr 2012
Reviews - Evanescence - Live At Beirut Waterfront
Review Date: 2012-06-25
Reviewed By: Fred Bteich
It's been some time now the Lebanese rock audience has been awaiting such concert, yet nobody had expected Evanescence to be the ones to do so by coming to this country. Perhaps their performance in Dubai eased their coming to Lebanon or it was the other way around, since I recently noticed the band's concert date had been leaked way before the announcement on one of their forums.
June 24, expected to be "the biggest summer concert" came with much expectations and enthusiam.
Fans started gathering at around 5:00pm, despite the doors supposedly to open at 8:30pm.
15 minutes earlier than the scheduled date, the wave cranked their way through the lanes, filling progressively the Beirut Waterfront venue. To tell you the truth, I was extremely shocked with its dimensions: quite small, favoring the seated and the standing which is a plus, but the worrying question going through my mind was: how were they going to fit everyone in here?
Tickets said 9:30, but the band decided - or was forced to following technical delays or more likely a lack of rapid filling to the place - to start 15 minutes later.
Amy Lee took to the stage alongside the other members and the crowd went wild as the drums kicked off playing the tune of "What You Want". I must highlight here that the sound system was simply perfect, and that I had never heard such crystal clear beats resounding from the instruments, particularily from the drums.
Everyone was holding their breaths, awaiting the vocalist to open her mouth and start singing, for the band had had a concert a night earlier in Dubai and a quick flight to our country, giving them very little time to rest.
However, Amy Lee couldn't but stun the audience, showing no signs of lethargy neither vocally nor physically, as she moved from side to side, covering the scene with her charming dress and voice.
"Going Under" was the first classic to hit the concert, followed by "The Other Side" and "Made Of Stone", featured understandably so, to promote the band's newest album.
The appeasing "Lithium" came next, with the piano midway through the stage catching all the attention, as a roar resounded from the crowd as soon as the first notes of the song were played. However, for a reason or another, I was quite pissed with the background - one of many for the night - which had accompagnied the performance, consisting of intertwined pink and mauve circles, extremely inadequate.
"Lost In Paradise" preceded another new hit for the band "My Heart Is Broken", which was itself followed by 2 more songs from the 2011 opus "Sick" and "The Change".
"Whisper" was up next, delighting the old fans, mostly the die-hard ones amassed in the emptier-than-thought Golden Circle zone.
"Oceans" from the 2011 album, the fabulous "Call Me When You're Sober" released 5 years earlier and "Imaginary" 3 more back heated up the place, preparing for the biggest hits, still yet to come.
One of them, was unarguably "Bring Me To Life", to the delights and the screams of joy of a loud crowd, who kept repeating the lyrics with Amy Lee and filling the empty male passages of the song, left without vocals.
We're almost at the hour mark when suddenly the band's members disappear off the stage and the drummer approaches to throw his sticks to the nearby fans. Silence and bewilderment reign for nearly 5 minutes, with people unable to believe the concert was so short, and that Evanescence didn't perform the other awaited mega-hit.
But all the ideas were completely dismissed fractions later, when the piano was pushed again to the middle of the stage followed by a huge roar of an ecstatic crowd. We just knew, at that moment, that the best was yet to come.
"Your Star" delayed it, but couldn't prevent "My Immortal" to be sang by every single creature present, going all the way to the security guys. At that point, Amy Lee shivered and just held her breath for some minutes to allow her "Le-ba-non" to sing alongside her, with the international flag filled with fans' signatures, proudly resting on the drums.
11:00pm was to be the end of the "dream concert" with the drummer concluding it by throwing -believe it or not - the cymbals to the audience.
All in all, "Evanescence - Live At The Beirut Waterfront" can be judged as such:
- Vocally: excellent given the circumstances, despite some glitches - sometimes big - here and there.
- Musically: couldn't have been any better with the equipment and the sound system.
- The Venue: small, worrying for bigger bands coming up next, and giving unexpected rights to the people occupying some particular places.
- The background: behind the band, apart from their logo being diffused every now and then with changing colors, was terrible with 2 being extremely disgusting and inappropriate.
- The setlist: pretty much equilibrated, with a slight predominance of the newest band's songs, undertandably so. A bit disappointed though not to see them play the likes of "Tourniquet", "Everybody's Fool", "Sweet Sacrifice"...
1h15 mins were enough to quench the thirst of the Lebanese people, some of whom - in a big quantity in fact - claiming to be fans of the band while only coming there for the 2 classic songs..