Live Recap: 101 WKQX- The Nights We Stole Christmas 2021- Night #4: Evanescence, with support from Badflower & Cleopatrick
Night Number four of 101 WKQX's The Nights We Stole Christmas form the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago- and like last night with Kings of Leon- a pleasant surprise to see the 101 WKQX faithful coming out in droves for headliner Amy Lee and her band Evanescence.
A lot has happened with Amy Lee and Evanscence over the past few years, not all of it pandemic related- more of it band member related, in regards to getting the look and feel to push forth her vision and gifts for dynamic singing and songwriting, and doing her best to find the right fit to make things gel.
Have to say I was on the fence with this particular show out of the five nights of We Stole Christmas- I guess in reality not knowing what to expect production wise, band member wise and such, and how Amy will be performance wise.
All of that changed for me from reading Selena Fragassi's article in Wednesday's Chicago Sun Times, and the insightful background on not only Evanescence's latest release "The Bitter Truth", but also getting to know a bit where Amy's head is at in regards to her songwriting, and status on her current state of affairs, both on a personal level, and also a global pandemic level.
All of this being inspiring enough for me to feel satisfied a day before her headlining set at the Aragon Ballroom.
So for me, all you need is one spark of motivation to be all in and embrace the inevitable- especially when you're looking for that extra push to do right by the band, the radio station 101 WKQX, and especially JBTV.
Have to say you know things are going to be good three minutes prior to the band entrance, and everything stage wise is bathed in a dark shade of purple, and the PA is blasting a snippet of Queen's "We Are the Champions".
Opening to the instrumental title track from "The Bitter Truth"- "Artifact/ The Turn", and then Amy trailblazing her way though "Broken Pieces Shine", also from The Bitter Truth", and Amy has set the standard for tonight's performance, with pleasant surprises throughout.
Although for us photographers present it was a soundboard shoot- that really didn't matter.
The stage was decent enough for decent imagery of full band and isolated musicians, with the sophisticated 101 WKQX LED backdrop being crisp enough to show fire and brimstone as if it was true pyro, followed by brimstone.
And as for Amy Lee, decked out in black, with a silver / sparkly right shoulder shawl, she commanded both sides of the stage, and also front and center, in front of an elevated drum kit, and her voice....the high notes coming from her were giving me chills.
I haven't heard Amy sing that convincingly in ages- as if we were back to 2003 at the Metro Chicago, still seeing her trying to find her way as a new and upcoming band.
The setlist showcased lots from "The Bitter Truth", some seven songs in total, much of it equal to earlier releases, with lots of heavy and dark theatrical undertones, like you'd expect from an Evanscence album.
But song number three of the night- "Take Cover", into "Going Under", followed by "The Change"- no slouches here at all.
The whole set was riveting, and her band, consisting of bassist Tim McCord, lead guitarist Troy McLawhorn, drummer Will Hunt, and backing vocalist Jen Majura were up for the challenge as well, sensing that you know their must have been plenty of rehearsals to get this production right, and play as if seasoned veterans in the same camp.
Have to say I walked away stunned at just how good a show this was with Amy Lee and Evanscence, and how satisfying it is booking wise with 101 WKQK and these five shows for The Nights We Stole Christmas.
That goes for the openers as well, with equally blistering sets from both Badflower (who are JBTV alums by the way), and opener Cleopatrick- a dynamic fuzzed out rock n' roll duo from Canada.
As for Badflower, who to this day have a vision and presence that's the definition of badass in their own right- you know things are good and well and amped when you see Ali and Lauren from 101 WKQX taking in their performance from the pit with us photographers.
The show- all three bands- not a weak link in the bunch.
Now to try to get my composure and some measure of sanity before tonight's performance with headliner's Rise Against, which, as you and me know- is the definition of righteous insanity.
—Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago