I am about to do something I dislike – reveal how old I am. But in 2003, I was sixteen and in my second last year of high school in a regional town. My music of choice was whatever everyone else was listening to, and for the most part, that was r&b and rap. In secret, I was listening to alternative rock – mostly whatever was making it to mainstream radio and Rage, so my rock or “heavy” music knowledge wasn’t vast.
To paint the picture of the music landscape in Australia in 2003– Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian (never thought we’d mention him on WoS) had the number one single of the year with ‘Angels Brought Me Here’, then we had Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’, Black Eyed Peas with ‘Where is the love?’ and a couple of songs from Delta Goodrem. We had Linkin Park, Jet and The White Stripes with ‘Seven Nation Army’ on the “alternative” side of things. Alternative Rock was a sausage party, and the females in mainstream were pop stars like Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Then one day, we were listening to the radio and heard haunting piano refrains and a siren-like female voice asking, “How can you see into my eyes?.” And then I saw dark-haired, eyebrow-pierced frontwoman Amy Lee scaling a building in the Daredevil-inspired film clip, and she was like nothing I’d seen before.
‘Bring Me To Life’ was the first single from Evanescence’s debut album Fallen and broke into the charts after both it, and ‘My Immortal’, featured on the soundtrack of Daredevil starring Ben Affleck. The song catapulted despite label hesitation due to the “piano and chick singing” and having to give in to pressure to add the male rap parts. Fallen has since sold over 17 million copies and won two Grammy awards. But it was only the beginning for the band that would continue to evolve hugely in the following twenty years.
Initially, Evanescence consisted only of Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody who met at camp in their teens. Despite the band’s success, things were not peachy, and Moody left during their European tour in October 2003. Moody’s departure allowed Lee to take the band in the creative and stylistic direction she wanted, and the band released their follow-up album The Open Door in 2006. Everyone will remember the absolute banger lead single from the album, ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’.
In the time since, the band has released three more studio albums; the self-titled Evanescence in 2011, the electronic and orchestral Synthesis in 2017 and The Bitter Truth in 2021. There’s been lineup changes, two hiatuses, solo work from Lee and times when she didn’t think the band would keep going. But she has stayed true to herself and constantly evolved the band from album to album, and today in August 2023, Evanescence will start its Australian tour here in Brisbane.
Amy Lee and Evanescence profoundly affected the sixteen-year-old girl I was when Fallen was released, and I know there are many of you out there for who this band has also had an enormous impact.
In 2023, they continue to do so, and we raise our bullhorns to them.
Read our review and photo gallery of the first show in Brisbane, featuring the always incredible The Beautiful Monument in support, and get spinning the catalogue in celebration.
Words by Cait Mac @caitastrophe_x
Evanescence – 20 Years of Fallen Tour
with The Beautiful Monument
Thursday 24 August @ Riverstage, Brisbane – SOLD OUT
Saturday 26 August @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday 28 August @ AEC Theatre, Adelaide – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 30 August @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 2 September @Red Hill Auditorium, Perth – SOLD OUT