Evanescence and Halestorm rocked Denver, Colorado. Female hard rock power reigns tonight at the Bellco Theater in Denver, Colorado. The powerhouse lineup had Amy Lee’s Evanescence headlining with Halestorm and Plush opening. Bellco Theater in Denver, Colorado, is known for plays and musicals. Tonight, the venue rocked with the soaring hard rocking vocals of Amy Lee of Evanescence, Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, and up-and-coming star Moriah Formica of Plush during their band’s respective sets. This was a dream lineup for fans of female lead hard rocking metal groups.
The night started with a killer set from the all-female hard rock band Plush. Their hard rock metal sound blends Moriah Formica’s soaring vocals and songwriting talents with the emerging virtuoso guitarist Bella Perron. Bassist Ashley Suppa (the “female version of Cliff Burton”) and internet sensation drummer Brooke Colucci provided the rhythm section for Plush. Formica’s vocals remind me of a cross between Heart’s Ann Wilson and pop superstar Pink singing with Metallica.
The second single, “Athena,” from their self-titled debut album, began the night. This was followed by “Champion” and “Sober.” The highlight of the evening was Plush’s cover of Heart’s “Barracuda.” I thought Ann Wilson was singing. Formica’s vocal range showed how this very talented 20-year-old made it to the playoffs on The Voice in 2017. The short set ended with the breakthrough single, “Hate.” Plush is the future of American hard rock.
4.) Barracuda (Heart cover)
5.) I Don’t Care
Halestorm followed Plush with a blistering set of upbeat, riff-heavy rockers that had the Bellco Theater audience jumping and dancing. They opened the evening with the thundering new track “Back From the Dead.” The hard rock anthem served as a rallying cry to welcome back live music for the audience. Halestorm ripped through the night with some of their heaviest rockers, including “Uncomfortable,” “Apocalyptic,” “I Get Off,” and “I Am the Fire” before Lzzy’s duet with Amy Lee. The highlight of the Halestorm set was the “Break In” ballad with Amy Lee. Lzzy began the powerful rendition of “Break In” duet on the piano with Amy Lee of Evanescence walking onto the stage with roaring applause and screams from the audience.
Before performing “Amen,” Lzzy introduced two special fans and guests of the band. A Colorado Springs young fan donated her Halestorm ticket money to KILOs 2021 Stuff The Truck. She wanted to help people in need in Southern Colorado with her money instead. Lzzy discovered this and invited her and her mom to the show. She also received signed swag from the band.
Drummer and Lzzy’s brother, Arejay performed one of the coolest drum solos I have ever seen before the encore. This included two oversized drumsticks. Throughout the night, Lzzy and guitarist Joe Hottinger showcase their talented jamming solos. Comparing this guitar duo to Metallic’s Hetfield and Hammett or Queensryche’s Degarmo and Wilton might be a lofty comparison. Hale and Hottinger are very talented and will continue to get even better. The Halestorm ended their set with their signature anthemic rockers. “Freak Like Me,” followed by “Love Bites (So Do I).” Lzzy and the band ended with the sing-along “I Miss the Misery.”
Lzzy Hale – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, piano
Arejay Hale – drums, backing vocals
Joe Hottinger – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Josh Smith – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
1.) Back From the Dead
4.) I Get Off
5.) I Am the Fire
6.) Break In (with Amy Lee)
8.) Drum Solo
9.) Freak Like Me
10.) Love Bites (So Do I)
11.) I Miss the Misery
After a brief set change, Evanescence hit the stage to the devout and eager fans at the Bellco Theater. The band walked onto the smoky light-saturated stage with the taped “Artifact/The Turn” single playing in the background. The packed Bellco Theater erupted in a chorus of cheers and screams. The 19-track, 90-minute set gave the Evanescence’s fans their money’s worth. Evanescence played most of their songs from their latest release, The Bitter Truth, followed by their signature hits.
Amy Lee was the focal point throughout the concert in her trademark gothic style dress. She seemed to glide around the stage and had a commanding presence with her fans. Evanescence’s current lineup features vocalist and songwriter Amy Lee on keyboards, harp, and piano. Jen Majura accompanies her on rhythm guitar and backing vocals with Troy McLawhorn on lead guitar. Bassist Tim McCord and drummer/percussionist Will Hunt on a very high drum riser fill out the rhythm section of Evanescence. The stage design was very elaborate. It had a tiered stage with a triangular video screen behind drummer Will Hunt. Amy and guitarist McLawhorn performed in front of the video screen throughout the evening.
The band opened with two dramatic gothic rockers in “Broken Pieces Shine” and “Made Of Stone.” This was followed by the very metal track, “Take Cover.” Throughout the show, Lee was very grateful to be playing to a live audience again. Before performing the ballad, “Lithium,” on the piano, Amy spoke to the audience about the suffering and loss during the pandemic many have felt. Lee urged her fans not to become numb to the media blitz of bad news and still feel the sadness and pain of this continuing heartbreak. In my opinion, she is the goth metal version of singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Lee, like Tori Amos, is able to connect with her fans through her music and very personal lyrics.
Highlight from the 90-minute set included the “home movie” video montage from the band’s career before performing the thunderous metal track “Better Without You” and the Linkin Park cover “Heavy.” “Heavy” featured Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale singing with Amy as a sea of cell phones captured this special performance.
The set ended with the audience sing-along anthemic rocker “Use My Voice.” This was followed by Evanescence’s breakthrough hit “Bring Me to Life.” After a quick break, the encore began with Amy performing the ballad “My Immortal” on the piano. The night ended with the last track on Bitter Truth, “Blind Belief.” An upbeat song and a declaration of hope to everyone that we will survive and get through these dark times with the lyric “love over all.”
Tonight’s show presented two of modern hard rock’s titans teaming up. I hope someday there be a duet album between Lzzy and Amy. Amy and Lzzy’s complimentary vocals shined during their duets.
1.) (Artifact/The Turn)Broken Pieces Shine
2.) Made of Stone
3.) Take Cover
4.) Going Under
5.) The Game Is Over
6.) Lose Control
7.) The Change
9.) Wasted on You
10.) Part of Me
11.) End of the Dream (w/ Synthesis intro)
12.) Far from Heaven
13.) (Interlude (Video)) Better Without You
14.) Call Me When You’re Sober
16.) Heavy (Linkin Park cover) (with Lzzy Hale)
17.) Use My Voice
18.) Bring Me to Life
19.) My Immortal
20.) Blind Belief