Costume changes: Zero. Backing dancers: Zero. Stage design: None. Then again, unlike some recent performers in the UAE, Amy Lee needed little more than her long hair, a piano and a helluva voice in order to put on a great show.
The Evanescence frontwoman and her band made their UAE debut on Friday night and despite the notoriously poor acoustics of the Shaikh Rashid Hall at Dubai’s World Trade Centre, managed to bring her feminine brand of metal to life.
In a sparkly black and purple tutu, pink tights and with her signature waist length hair flowing around her, Lee had incredible presence, kicking off tracks at her keyboards before bouncing across the stage, all the time belting out the haunting songs she’s been known for since rising to fame with Bring Me To Life.
Her vocals were impeccable, and a tight set was provided by her band. Lee is the only remaining original band member and at times, it did feel like The Amy Lee Experience rather than Evanescence as such. Case in point was when Lee told the crowd that the next song was “from my next album”. It would have been nice if the hard-working guys behind her got an introduction, but the crowd – guys clearly there to see Lee do her thing, girls from all nationalities singing soulfully along with her – was eating out of her hand. It was one of the best audiences I’ve seen at a concert in the UAE – obviously delighted to be there.
The band worked their way skill fully through the hits old and new, moving from thrashing to wonderful moments when Lee’s baby grand piano was wheeled out and she showcased her beautiful voice in what felt like an intimate club gig.
“Thanks for waiting for us,”she said, and announcing that the third encore, My Immortal, was the final song of the night, added, “you’ll just have to have us back”. After that set, a second invitation is likely.