Washington D.C. – On May 15, 2019, two complimentary bands, Evanescence and VERIDIA, took to the stage at The Anthem. It was a night where the vocals were spectacular and the musicianship of the instrumentals was phenomenal.
Opening the night was an up and coming band, VERIDIA from Nashville, TN. Known for their alternative rock with a pop flare style, they were the perfect opening band for the headliner. Their opening number, “I Won’t Stay Down” from their first full length album, The Beast You Feed, delivered the positive message that no matter what happens, keep picking yourself up. The appealing beat got the audience moving! Lead singer and VERIDIA co-founder, Deena Jakoub moved about the stage with purpose, engaging the audience with her message.
VERIDIA’s set included music with a pop beat backed by the power of rock thanks to co-founder Brandon Brown (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Kyle Levy (drums). Deena shared a very touching moment, and song, with the audience. Written for her dad while caring for him when he was very ill, “I’ll Never Be Ready” was never played for her father. However, it made her realize that one cannot change the past or predict the future, therefore, live fully in the moment. It was a song written to be intimate with the listener and was not written for the full band. The original intent was for the song to be Deena and the piano, so it made sense to reach out to a special friend and pianist, Amy Lee (Evanescense vocals and keyboard), to accompany her in the tune. The song was beautiful, and to say it was emotional would be the understatement of the year. What was most impressive, this tied the entire show together demonstrating an obvious strong bond between acts.
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VERIDIA left the audience energized and wanting more. They got what was needed when Evanescence took to the stage next. Amy Lee (lead vocals and keyboards/piano) captivated the crowd starting the set with “Imperfection”, one the two new singles from their most recent album, Synthesis. The song is all about understanding our imperfections but also dealing with those things we cannot control that take their toll on our lives. As expected, Lee’s vocals were right on target, inciting a flood of emotion.
The Evanescence style is quite unique. Some call it gothic rock while others call it gothic metal. My favorite online description was, “Some kind of gothic”, meaning it cannot be classified. I personally find a great deal of appeal in the fact that it cannot be put into one bin or another. There are so many elements to their music. The band, consisting of Troy McLawhorn (guitar), Jen Majura (guitar, backing vocals), Tim McCord (bass), and Will Hunt (drums) provides Amy the versatile accompaniment required to make it all come together.
Like the VERIDIA performance, Amy shared a special number and deeply emotional piece with us. “Lost in Paradise” is about a time when we have fallen to a point when it is difficult to go on, when all seems lost. When “I have nothing left” and we “are lost in paradise”.
Throughout the night, Amy’s classical background could be heard in the music, intermixed with gothic, a lot of rock, symphonic-like harmonies and a touch of metal. The mix is something that will stay in my mind and heart for a long time. While I cannot speak to how the band got its name, the word, Evanescence, describes something that gradually disappears or fades away. I can safely say this performance will not live up to the meaning of the band’s name, as it will stick with me for years to come. I have to wonder, however, if their performance style, with the musicians out of the spotlight, putting focus on the music more than the musicians, is intentional. Even as we fade away, the music will live on.
The evening of May 15th, 2019 was indeed a memorable performance. VERIDIA and Evanescence were meant to perform together as their styles were unique and yet fit together so well. When I think of the performance, the word that comes to mind is chemistry. There was an obvious bond between the bands and it added so much to the night. To top it off, The Anthem venue staff was out of this world. They also added to the atmosphere and made this a truly unforgettable night.
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VERIDIA Set List
I Won’t Stay Down
I’ll Never Be Ready (with Amy Lee)
Mystery of the Invisible
Feed The Animal
Evanescence Set List
Imperfection (rock version)
What You Want
The Other Side
All That I’m Living For
Call Me When You’re Sober
Made of Stone
Lost in Paradise
Bring Me to Life
Haunted / My Last Breath / Cloud Nine / Everybody’s Fool / Weight of the World / Snow White Queen (medley)
Show Date: 5/15/2019
To hear more Evanescence, check out their “Lost in Paradise” video: