Evanescence, Halestorm and more at DCU Center Arena (2022)
DCU Center Arena (Worcester, MA)
Evanescence, Halestorm, Lilith Czar
January 20, 2022
So, there I was, in the upper tier, section 211 of the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. For those who don't know, Worcester is pronounced Woostah. It is a famous place for Rock and Metal music. It is also a place that most musicians ask if they are saying the name right. That happened again on January 20, 2022, when LILITH CZAR, HALESTORM and EVANESCENCE rocked the freaking house.
First up was LILITH CZAR. Below is their setlist.
1. Intro Poem
2. Feed My Chaos
3. 100 Little Deaths (Juliet Simms cover)
If you have yet to hear this band, or who they are, do a bit of research. She's been on The Voice, she's changed her style and she has completely reinvented herself. I did not know enough about her going into this but have since read up on her and checked out a few tunes. The songs are relevant and touching and sound really good live! Her backing band is awesome, too. She has a great sounding, clear voice that carried well and held tons of emotion. Rest assured I will know more about them in the near future. If I would say one thing to them after this show, it would be, "Way to stand toe-to-toe with a couple of giants and hold your own!"
So, for those of you living under a rock (or if you just don't get to many live shows), HALESTORM is one of the more dynamic acts touring today. And tour they do! Constantly. This was not my first time to see them live, and it won't be my last (this was number five!) That setlist above is definitely a killer set. Too bad it was too short. They need to play two hours every single night.
Lzzy is an amazing singer with so much character in her voice. That gritty delivery she has just fits their music so incredibly well. The whole band is so seasoned. Josh on bass and keys and singing throughout is a joy to see. Especially since he doesn't just kick back on stage and play bass. He gets out and works the crowd better than most bass players are capable of. Joe is one of the most solid guitar slingers in the business. His fret work is outstanding. Then, there is Arejay. He is one of the most entertaining drummers on any stage right now.
Now, a little background on this show. The fact it happened at all is astounding. The HALESTORM, tour bus burned in the middle of the night. Fortunately, none of the band was on it at the time having taken a night to crash in a hotel. The tour manager braved the fire to check for band members (and saved one vintage guitar). The Worcester Fire Department did what they do best but couldn't save much. The4 band thanked them from the stage and dedicated "I Am the Fire" to WFD.
Besides that, Amy Lee came out to do a duet with Lzzy on "Break In." Nothing but a piano and those two amazing voices. The crowd sang along, some cried (not me though, it was the onions). After that, they played "Amen." The key thing here is that there was just an amazing guitar solo in the middle of that song. It was more than you get on the record. One thing this band does really well is putting a new spin on these songs, playing a beefed-up version live. Extended solos, killer vocal displays that show off the incredible pipes Lzzy has, etc.
Then Arejay got to display his showmanship. Yes, a drum solo. Arejay reminds me of Morgan Rose of SEVENDUST. The arms flailing, the dyed hair, the ability to perform backing vocals while putting on a great show at the same time, all are similar. Playing to the crowd, getting them screaming, using oversized sticks, flipping and twirling even the oversized sticks, all add to his mystique and sense of the dramatic. He is a key part of the band and the show. I especially liked when he played the cymbals with a cymbal.
The show concluded with an extended version of "I Miss the Misery." The song is already killer, then they do this version. Extra vocalizations from Lzzy add to the mix, but the star of this is the over-the-top work at the end of the song. Those trade off guitar solos between Joe and Lzzy reached epic proportions, like SKYNYRD-esque levels of cool. Josh threw in some bass fills to add his touch to this section. The interaction of all the instruments through this was what shows you just how awesome this band is and how well they work together.
HALESTORM is one of the best live acts out there. They absolutely dominate the stage. And don't think the fans don't notice. We do. Half the crowd had already seen the band before judging by the response to that question from Lzzy. As much as I love seeing them with another iconic band, I would love to see HALESTORM do a full headlining set. They need time to do "Familiar Taste Of Poison," "Mayhem," and "Black Vultures" among others. They need more time on stage!!!
How about this… they play three sets on an evening with HALESTORM. Set one is covers from the "Reanimate" releases. Set Two is acoustic ballads, stripped down and raw, full of emotion. They finish out with a full set of electrified tunes. I know this is pretty unrealistic, but I can only imagine how cool that show would be.
EVANESCENCE headlines this tour and holy smokes do they still put on a grade-A show!
To let you know how good this show was, all I have to do is describe the reaction of the group of people a few seats away from me. There were seven people, five men and two women. The man closest to me would jump and down and yell as soon as he recognized the song being played. He and the others screamed along with the lyrics, banged their heads, took photos and videos and just had an extremely good time. Fans like that are one of the reasons I love live music. Watching the joy on their faces is pure pleasure. Even better, this was a family of Iranian diehard fans.
The crowd was a true amalgamation. There was young and old. There were generations there as parents took their kids. There were multiple ethnicities there. There were new fans and old. It was beautiful! One of the coolest things for me personally is the way my family is tied to this band. I took my two youngest kids to see EVANESCENCE in 2003 in Little Rock, AR. Then, last year on the first leg of this tour, my oldest son took my grandson to see them (it was his first concert!). We have three generations of fans in this family. How cool is that??
The show was just pure enjoyment. Amy Lee still has such a phenomenal voice. It is so clear and powerful. Whether she was singing an old hit like "Bring Me to Life" or a new rocker like "Use My Voice," she still has all the power needed to make them sound fresh and clear. And it doesn't matter if Amy is sitting at the piano, and she is the only one on stage or if the entire band is crushing the song all around her. She is an amazing vocalist. Her voice is distinct, and her tones are just gorgeous.
The band is rock solid. Jen rocks out. She often does this and performs backing vocals as well. Troy is a fantastic performer. His work on the guitar fits in perfectly with the music. He has great timing and technique. Tim and Will are so in tune with each other that it is no surprise to learn they have been playing this music together for over a decade. As a band, they are completely in tune with each other in a live setting.
As a fan of both the new album and the earlier material as well, I was very pleased with the setlist. Coming out to "Broken Pieces Shine" was an excellent choice. That song rocks so hard! A few songs later you get "Going Under." They performed seven songs from The Bitter Truth, including personal favorites "Better Without You" and "Use My Voice." Yes, I did sing along with that last one. Loudly.
Again, they crossed over. Lizzy joined them on stage for a killer rendition of the LINKIN PARK song "Heavy." The crowd was enthralled and loved the moving tribute. It doesn't matter if Lizzy joins Amy or vice versa, the work so well together the crowd cannot help but hang on their every note. "Break In" and "Heavy" were two definite highlights of the show. Those two iconic voices singing in harmony are hard to describe. Both are distinctive and mesh so beautifully.
The last song before the encore was the song that so many first heard from this band. "Bring Me to Life" still sounds as killer now as it did when it first came out. The crowd again sang along with every word. The guy next to me almost launched himself over the balcony railing he was so far into it. When they came back out for the encore, Amy sat at the piano and the crowd went absolutely crazy. As soon as the first notes of "My Immortal" came through the speakers, the DCU Center ERUPTED!
Finishing with a new song, "Blind Belief" was wrapped the show. Dynamic and powerful, it was a great finish to a great show. And at the end, the band members went to the edge of the stage and gave out picks and sticks and drumheads and setlists. The fans yelled and screamed and begged for more. EVANESCENCE is still one of the best live bands out there. Their light show, their stage presence, and their ability to move and connect with the fans all make them top notch performers. This is a band that has been filling arenas for 20 years!
Much like HALESTORM, EVANESCENCE thanked the fans over and over for being there. You can just tell when a band appreciates their fans. Watching Amy get a bit choked up knowing this tour is winding down, hearing Lzzy being grateful for all the love and support after a bus fire that could have been catastrophic, all of this makes you realize how invested in the fans and show these two great bands truly are.
That is what live music is all about. The bands and the fans exchanging love and appreciation, singing together, feeling together. I cannot wait to get together with grandson, Peyton, and talk about what this show meant to him. I want to hear how this made him feel. This is something that he and I can share. This is extra awesome for me because I live 1500 miles away and can't create all the memories, I'd like to have with him. Thank you, EVANESCENCE for giving us something unique and beyond amazing!
1. Broken Pieces Shine
2. Made of Stone
3. Take Cover
4. Going Under
5. Lose Control
6. The Change
8. Wasted on You
9. End of The Dream
10. Far from Heaven
11. Better Without You
12. Call Me When You're Sober
14. Heavy (LINKIN PARK Cover) (With Lzzy Hale)
15. Use My Voice
16. Bring Me to Life
17. My Immortal
18. Blind Belief