Evanescence / Within temptation – london – live review
In many ways the world is broken, but in others the world is now healing after the previous two to three years. All regular gig attendees had their carefully curated schedules wiped out by the pandemic. Cancellations, postponements, uncertainty, changed plans, travel and hotel arrangements in tatters; it’s not been easy for music lovers.
Most of those tours have now finally taken place, but tonight is another where digging out the tickets reminds you just how long ago you actually brought them! So, understandable then that anticipation is high and the venue is full early.
Of course the opportunity to catch both Evanescence and Within Temptation together in the same night may well be a big reason for the atmosphere in London’s O2 Arena. Before that though we get our support act Veridia, who instantly look at home on the big stage.
The group are a fitting opening act and get the crowd suitably warmed up for what’s to come. A tender performance of ‘I’ll Never Be Ready’ with Amy Lee gets those mobile phones up in the air, but there is enough in the set as a whole to warrant further investigation from new fans.
Our co-headliners are rotating the closing slot on this tour and tonight that will be Evanescence, so up next it’s Within Temptation who take to the stage complete with stunning production.
If the stage show wasn’t headline worthy alone, the moment the band arrive their presence and energy is truly off the charts. ‘Faster’, ‘Paradise (What About Us?)’ and ‘Stand My Ground’ all help to build on that early atmosphere and create a real moment.
The fact that singer Sharon den Adel is clearly under the weather makes the beauty of their performance even more incredible. The final run of ‘Ice Queen’, ‘What Have You Done’ and ‘Mother Earth’ provides a superb climax to the set and leaves you wondering just how Evanescence can top it!
Soon enough it’s time for them to try, albeit with a much simpler stage show. Evanescence are a rarer proposition on these shores and them going on last feels right in many ways, but as the show gets going it’s clear that the energy levels have dropped.
Their latest album, ‘The Bitter Truth’, is very good and deserves the spotlight live, but tonight following Within Temptation’s huge show it’s clear the audience are after the classics. The atmosphere therefore feels a little flatter, only rising again for the likes of ‘Going Under’, ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ and ‘Imaginary’.
New tracks like ‘Wasted On You’ do sound epic tonight however and showcase where the band are very well. Amy Lee reminds everyone what an incredible talent she is and their finale of ‘My Immortal’ and ‘Bring Me to Life’ is probably the highlight of the night.
Having waited for years for this tour neither band disappoint and with two headline worthy performances the show represents great value for money. Both bands have just been announced as returning at Download in the summer, so do the right thing and get them noted on your clashfinder now!
Download Festival reveals 20th Anniversary line-up
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with festival announcements and where else could we start other than the monster 20th Anniversary line-up announcement from Download Festival!
Extended to four days this year the event will feature two unique headline sets from Metallica, the return of Donington icons Slipknot and a well deserved top billing for Bring Me The Horizon.
Other big slots are taken by the likes of Alexisonfire, Architects, The Distillers, Disturbed, Evanescence, Ghost, I Prevail, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Placebo, Simple Plan, Ville Valo and Within Temptation.
It doesn’t stop there and also playing will be the likes of The Blackout, Fever 333, Kid Kapichi, Nova Twins, Seether and Witch Fever.
In celebration of their 40th Anniversary, James have announced a new UK ‘James Lasted’ Tour complete with 22-piece orchestra and gospel choir!
Tim Booth says “There are a number of great bands who have been around for 40. But to get here and to be having the best time of our lives. To be part of a supportive loving family that still has something to say and new ways to say it. To be turned on by every gig and song. To fall in love over and over again, Groundhog Day, with our bandmates and audience. Damn. That’s time well spent.
We should have recorded the orchestra tour first time round, as many of you have reminded us. Well, we’ve done it now. And here comes the tour. The Orchestra and Gospel singers expand our palette, heighten the tenderness, heighten the celebration and, despite their numbers, somehow leave us feeling more naked and raw. It will be different, probably each night, because we are James and Joe knows how to dance with us. And because you are different, each night. Please leave your phones behind, come and play in the moment.”
Jim Glennie says “Has it really been 40 years? In some ways it feels like yesterday and in others, many lifetimes. I’ve lived a blessed existence, being in a band I’m supremely proud of with musicians that would grace any stage. A family of brothers and sisters, willing to support each other musically and emotionally. We are bloody minded and independent to the core. Uniquely challenging, always pushing ourselves into the new and taking risks collectively and individually, looking for transcendence. With love, trust, and acceptance we grow. Somewhere in a parallel universe, James are the biggest band on the planet. Here’s to another 40 years.”
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris will once again be taking British Lion on the road in the UK next January. Joining them for these shows will be Coney Hatch and Airforce.
Steve Harris comments, “We’re excited to be touring the UK again especially as we’ll be visiting many places we’ve not had a chance to play before. It’s fantastic that we’ve got long-time friends Coney Hatch coming over from Canada to join us. We had great fun when they were our special guests on the British Lion Canadian shows in 2018. And we’re happy to have our old mates Airforce back out on the road with us too. Everyone is really looking forward to this tour and we can’t wait to see everyone.”
Rockers Dirty Honey have announced a UK/EU Tour taking place early next year.
Prior to the tour, in January 2023, the band are set to release a brand new, re-recorded version of album track ‘Heartbreaker’.
“Some songs really come to life after they’ve been performed a bunch of times. You can really see an audience react to a line being sung a certain way or a riff grooving that you didn’t think of while recording in the studio. Over time we realized the song took on a new life on the road in both North America and Europe and we wanted to capture that energy….” – Marc Labelle, vocalist of Dirty Honey, talking about Heartbreaker 2.0
We move our News Report on now to the best new releases from the past week and we begin with Skindred!
The group this week announced new album, ‘Smile’, will be released August 4th. The band also shared new single, ‘GIMME THAT BOOM’, which you can check out above.
The track is based on a frustrating encounter lead singer Benji Webbe had with an overfamiliar fan.
“I was out shopping one day and I could hear someone building up asking me for a picture,” Webbe recalls. “The person didn’t care who I was with or what I was doing – they just wanted their picture. In this day and age, people want you and they expect to get you on tap, constantly giving you that ‘boom’ so they can get their Instagram Likes up. It’s important to remember that people can’t give you that ‘boom’ all the time. People think because they follow you on social media, they own you.”
Ahead of their UK Tour next month, The Dead Daisies have released new single, ‘Born To Fly’, which you can listen to above.
“Doug & I got together in New York earlier in the year and worked on a riff that I had written previously. Doug had a chorus that just fitted, we messed around with the melody and came up with the name ‘Born To Fly’. This is a straight-up rock song. For me it’s literal, I was born to fly. However we’re all born to fly in our own way.” – David Lowy
This week saw REWS share new single, ‘The World That Left You Behind’, which you can check out above.
“Ah! I’m ecstatic about finally releasing this song!! It’s got so much energy, riff’s for days and a great message!! I wrote it with a great friend of mine from NI, Cahir O’Doherty (New Pagans). It is a song that journey’s through how we can support those people in our lives who get carried away with negative thoughts and feel utterly lost and alone. Hopefully the song will provide a nice audio net for people to fall into at times of need, so they know they aren’t alone!” – Shauna
Dissonants have shared their huge new single ‘Grave Mind’.
‘Lyrically, Grave Mind is more conceptual than our previous work. I wrote the track from the viewpoint of someone on their deathbed looking back on their life and wondering if, now that it’s over and coming to a close, they can be happy and at peace. For this track we wanted to draw less from our own experiences and look at concepts such as mortality and happiness, and how one can affect the other’. – Frontman Benjie Allen.
M(h)aol – ‘Asking For It’
M(h)aol will release debut album, ‘Attachment Styles’ on February 3rd. This week they shared new single, ‘Asking For It’.
On the track singer Róisín said, “I wrote it initially in 2016 then revisited it in 2020. I was shocked by how much internalised victim blaming there was in the lyrics. I rewrote it, then we recorded it and it was released to raise money for Women’s Aid in 2021. The album version is a lot angrier than the 2021 one and almost satirical insofar as it’s highlighting how ludicrous the notion of anyone ‘asking for it’ is.”
Chasing Kites – ‘Shiver’
Bath-based indie-rock four-piece Chasing Kites return with their fourth single ‘Shiver’.
Speaking about the writing process, vocalist and lyricist Matt Donnelly explains, ‘’Shiver came together extremely quickly. I’d had the lyrics lying around for a very long time and felt they fit perfectly with the sonic side of the track when the melody was written. As we built on the skeleton of the song, our aim was to take us back into the realms of indie rock through powerful injections of energy in the choruses, while maintaining our commercial sound throughout.’’
Watch Episode 21 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Dissonants
2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.
This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.
Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!
With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!
What we said:
“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”
The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.
What we said:
“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”
Evanescence are an interesting entity. Officially a group for over 25 years but with only three all original studio albums if we don’t include 2017’s ‘Synthesis’. Amy Lee remains the only original member, and only member to survive from 2003’s breakthrough debut album ‘Fallen’.
It can’t be argued that the band are not absolutely huge despite this lack of new material. In fact, you are left to wonder what a more prolific band could have achieved. Now in 2021, the band are back with their first all new studio album since their self-titled 2011 release.
What should we expect from the band? Can they produce anything as good as their early albums? Well, it’s evident from very early on that this is a return to form for the band. There is plenty of what we have come to expect from Evanescence but there is also a good deal of experimentation. Certainly enough to keep the album interesting as it progresses.
‘Feeding The Dark’ and ‘Better Without You’ remind you how gloriously heavy yet anthemic the band can get. Meanwhile ‘Use My Voice’, ‘Take Cover’ and ‘Far From Heaven’ help to explore the versatility of the band.
Having gone ten years since their last album you could be forgiven for questioning the bands drive. With a release like ‘The Bitter Truth’ however you must now question what could have been had the band managed a more regimented release schedule.
What ‘The Bitter Truth’ does is make you remember just how good Evanescence can be, and hope that it’s not another ten years before they follow it up!