Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Live blogging the Evanescence concert in retrospect

Well, my attempt to live blog the concert did not go as planned. At all. My phone got all paperweighty on me and refused to send emails, visit my blog site, etc. What it did do was allow me to text myself, so that's how I took notes at the show. I also took pictures and video, and we'll see how well that turned out later.

After we got to the concert, we found the bathroom (and I blogged about it here because I always blog about peeing, basically) and then got to our seats, which were maybe 12 feet from the stage. Third row, center. Amazing. And then I got pissed off because the first row center seats were empty for the whole night. I can't imagine what tragedy causes you to miss out on your first row center seats so I hope those folks are OK. Of course, if they are OK, then I'll have to hurt them because THEY WASTED FRONT ROW CENTER SEATS! Honestly, people.

Anyway, the first opening band cracked me up because the guitarist walked on stage and immediately threw out a pick. That's pretty ballsy, considering that we really didn't know anything about them. Who wants a pick from some weird guy in tight pants who can't even throw his pick far enough to make it past the second row? You have to prove yourself before we bend all over in the dark and find your pick to take home.

The sound mix wasn't great (all night, because apparently you can either SEE a concert or HEAR a concert, but not both, depending on where you are seated), and they were hard to understand, but Electric Touch turned out to be a pretty good band. And the lead singer got really excited when a handful of us joined in on parts of Blitzkrieg Bop (AY! O! LET'S GO!). Nothing like getting singled out by the singer in a band. Yes, I am that awesome.

Next up, after a potty break (OF COURSE) was Rival Sons, who came with their own banner and bravado. My first thought was, "Is Rival Sons a popular enough band to act this quirky?" I think not, which means the lead singer in particular just kind of looked stupid. He was dressed in all black, wearing these skintight, low-waist jeans with a suit jacket covering a vest that bared his stomach at the bottom. No shirt. He also had a scarf on and lots of jewelry, and he had on these ankle high white boots with all these buckles on them. The photo here doesn't do him justice.

I kept staring at the jeans, mostly because his waist was kind of at my eye level since we were sitting down. He was a crazy skinny man, and his jeans were so tight that I could see that he had lip balm or something in one of the pockets. And that leads me to the flaw in his outfit (for him, anyway). I could see what was in his pockets, but nothing, well, in between the pockets. Which means... ahem... I kind of think he should have worn a shirt that covered up his front. Because there is a difference between leaving something to our imagination and having nothing for us to imagine.

ANYWAY. He could definitely sing and the band could definitely play!

Once he stopped his onstage seizure dancing I, of course, went pee again. Then it was show time! Amy Lee was so close that it was nuts! She invited us to all stand up and the show was off. It's always amazing to be close enough to the stage that you know the band sees you. Husband and I both made eye contact with Amy and got smiles back. That's just cool.

I know that on previous tours there was criticism about Amy's voice not being on-key. I can tell you for sure that there was nothing to criticize here. That woman was note-for-note perfect, even singing the opera-like vocals in Weight of the World (you can hear that song below, although it's an album version with fan-made visuals). She was also friendly and adorable. Which is what I like in my Amy Lee. I noticed that she had boots on and remembered that The Girl, though only five, has caught on to the boot trend and is trying to get me to buy her a pair. I also noticed that in some lighting, black shirts are see-through, and I'm thankful that Amy, unlike some young stars, knows how to wear undergarments. It would have been a long, awkward show from that close if she didn't!

At some point before the show, Husband and I noticed a woman behind us who had chosen to wear a top that, well, was missing some important parts. I'm honestly not sure how this woman didn't flash everyone every time she moved. Later in the show, I saw that she was one of the few people sitting down. At first, I thought it was odd, but then I realized, "OH! It's because the security cards said 'No flashes!'" HA! I was so proud of that one I had to shout it to Husband right in the middle of everything. I think he was appreciative. I'm sure you all would have been, right?

It's been a long time since I've been to a concert, and one thing has really changed. Up until a few years ago, bands often requested no cameras and no recording equipment at shows. You could have lost your camera if you violated that rule. I can remember buying a disposable camera (do they still even make those?) and burying it in my purse in hopes that security wouldn't notice (they never did). Now, if you turn around at a show, you'll see hundreds of cell phones recording songs, nice cameras, and I don't even know what else. I guess once you could take photos and videos from cell phones, the artists realized they were screwed and they might as well go with it.

I tried to make a conscious effort to look at the whole band, not just Amy, whenever I could drag my eyes away from her awesomeness. At one point, I was watching her and then I thought I saw a drumstick go flying behind her. I thought, "Hey! What am I missing back there?" So then I starting watching drummer Will Hunt and he was throwing sticks straight up in the air, catching them, and continuing to drum! And that's when I realized that drummers are completely awesome. Well, at least one of them is. I also enjoyed looking at Terry Balsamo's seemingly never-ending parade of cool guitars. He had all kinds of pictures on them.

I love seeing my favorite artists in concert but don't particularly enjoy watching concert DVDs. There's something about the community experience of a concert that's just incredible. When the band closed the main set with Bring Me to Life, so many people in the audience were singing that I couldn't tell if the voice I was hearing was my own or someone else's. We were all feeling the music in our bodies and singing and it was amazing. There's nothing like it.

The show ended after a short encore, including another sing-a-long on My Immortal (prompted by Amy, who asked us all to sing after saying, "I know I can't get away with not doing this song.") When we left I looked longingly in the direction of the people waiting for set lists (and later, the people lining up to try to get autographs), but we really needed to get home.

And then, randomly, as we walked out of the concert hall and by what turned out to be a door to the backstage area, we saw James Durbin, of American Idol fame! James caught my attention during AI not only because he was an amazing metal singer but also because he has Tourette Syndrome and Asperger's*, two disorders that also plague one of my children. I loved what James did for others with these problems simply by being who he is on a show watched by millions. Anyway, I said to Husband, "HEY! I THINK THAT'S JAMES DURBIN!" Two young women had spotted him as well, which confirmed my suspicion. Well, that and the part where Husband said, "Yeah, that's him." So naturally I said, "I'm going to go say 'Hi!'" I went over and shook James's hand and told him that I was a big fan and that I voted for him tons on Idol. I'm pretty sure he said "Thank you," but we were all distracted by the fangirls being fangirly, and the fact that he was not expecting to be noticed while waiting to be let in the side door. I would have asked for a photo (like the fangirls did) but with my phone on HOLY CRAP YOU NEED TO CHARGE ME RIGHT NOW I figured it would be pointless. Plus, Husband was looking all "It's-time-to-go-home-because-I-have-to-wake-up-for-work-in-six-hours"-y. Still, it was an unexpected treat, and now I'm wondering what the hell James Durbin was doing in Tampa and what his connection is with Evanescence. Maybe he'll be opening up later for the tour? If so, they will really need to come back by here and do this all over again. Someone needs to arrange that for me.

So, that's my live blog, done somewhat not live. Rock on!

Evanescence, Weight of the World, included because I said it would be.

All photos courtesy of my shitty cell phone.

Other blog entries related to the Evanescence concert not-so-great live blog experience are here, here,   here, and here. WHEW! 

*Spell check doesn't recognize the word "Asperger's" but suggests that I may have meant "Supercharger's." What?

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  1. Came across your blog randomly - just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of James Durbin and he is indeed doing some shows with them soon.

  2. AWESOME! What a great concert that will be!