Live Review: Evanescence & The Beautiful Monument @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

31 August 2023 | 11:26 am | Michael Prebeg
Originally Appeared In

Amy Lee’s distinct and powerful, yet angelic vocals wash over us before a storm of rock and roll comes crashing in.


Evanescence (Stephen Hunter)

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“Hey Melbourne, we’re The Beautiful Monument and we hail from everywhere in Australia.” The local Melbourne band explode onto the stage with a bang to warm us up before the main event. Their melancholic, atmospheric hard-rock sound is a reminder that post-hardcore music is still going strong. They quickly grab our attention with their raw and vulnerable lyrics with a soaring energy. 

They dedicate their song Give Up to all the elder-emo’s in the crowd tonight, reminding them that sometimes it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Their last song Hellbound is dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Evanescence logo illuminates the stage with laser lights flickering out across the arena as Artifact/The Turn welcomes the band to the stage. Amy Lee’s distinct and powerful, yet angelic vocals wash over us and bring a sense of calm before a storm of rock and roll drums and guitars come crashing in for Broken Pieces Shine. 

“We’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” says Lee. It’s been five years since their last Synthesis tour with a live symphony orchestra. This time around, they’re going back to their roots to deliver a classic metal-rock show in celebration of their debut album Fallen. They’ve also released a new album (The Bitter Truth) since their last visit, so they’ve got plenty of new material to share with us too.

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Amy Lee has been the heart and soul of the band since the very beginning, but the band has some new faces on the current lineup including Australian Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies on bass. “We are finally complete now that we have an Aussie in the band,” Lee comments.

They waste no time in getting to beloved heavy-hitting singles like What You Want, Going Under and Call Me When You’re Sober. Their luscious and gloomy goth-rock sound is as commanding and as strong as ever with a flawless cohesive delivery. 

“We’ve all been through a lot since the last time we’ve seen each other. You guys, okay? You still standing?” Lee asks. “I just want to take this moment to appreciate the moment. Not worry about the past, not worry about what’s gonna have to happen tomorrow…just right fucking here, right now tonight. ‘Cos this is a good night and, in those moments, when everything sucks, we can come back to this night. I’ll be right there with you,” Lee says.

Lee proceeds to take a seat at the grand piano centre stage for the hauntingly beautiful, yet emotionally gut-punching track Lithium. Lee showcases her superb vocal range as she pours her heart out over the keys and the audience becomes transfixed by her captivating performance.

They maintain momentum with a setlist that includes highlights mixed with old favourites, new tracks and even some B-sides for those die-hard fans. Evanescence showcases their incredible musical talent and emotional depth, delivering a powerful and unforgettable performance that proves just why they’re still one of the most influential rock groups two decades on from their debut.

Imaginary is preceded by a taped montage of tour videos to celebrate their 20 year-long legacy and the mark they’ve left across the world. As much as fans would love to hear every track from Fallen live, they do their best by fitting in as much as possible with a few medleys to include as many as they can.

“No matter where you are in the world, no matter what country you live in, we are up against a lot. If you believe that things can change, if you believe that things can get better, if you believe that love wins – fight for it. We have to stand up for each other, we have to stand up for what’s right. One voice may not seem like much but with all of us together we make a loud sound! Are you with me? Use your voice!” she exclaims. She continues with their political-heavy track Use My Voice to empower the audience and fire up the stadium.

“I wanna thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the past 20 years,” Lee proclaims at another moment. “I just want to say that it’s not that it didn’t mean something to me back then – of course it did, but it means so much more to me now because of you. When I play this next song, please know that it is about you, it is about us and everything we’ve been through together through our lives, through our losses, through the things we’ve seen together and the things that we only understand.

“Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing with us and letting this music be a part of your life as much as it is a part of ours. We love you, this is for you.”

There’s no encore for tonight’s show, instead they keep the energetic pace going right to the very end of their last breath with their biggest tracks to finish. My Immortal brings tears to the eyes of the crowd as phone torches light up the arena for an emotional moment as we sing in harmony for the touching piano-driven ballad. Lee proves Bring Me To Life doesn’t need a male vocalist to rap a verse and takes on every lyric herself for the earth-shattering anthem to raise the roof and bring the house down.