By Lisa Lewis
Summer time is concert time and there was no better

 place to be than at
PNC Music Pavilion Friday night for one of the biggest tours of the
summer season with Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence stopping in
Charlotte on their summer co-headlining tour.

The two man group Cellogram started things off in style as cellist Dave
Egger and percussionist Chuck Palmer took the stage flashing the devil
horns sign to the audience and preparing the crowd for a rocking good
time. The unique duo was all about fun as they ran through a quick set
of a little bit of everything with the highlight being a Cellogram
version of AC/DC’s “Back In Black.” This was my first time experiencing
Cellogram and they quickly won me over with an entertaining set and
solid musical technique.

As the symphony orchestra took the stage for a warm up, the crowd grew
larger as anticipation grew for the hard rock of Evanescence. This time
out, however, the band put their hard rock vibe to the side and came out
with understated, elegant versions of some of their biggest songs.
Accompanied by the orchestra just like on last year’s “Synthesis” tour,
Evanescence focused on the emotion and beauty of their music with the
highlight being the stellar vocals of frontwoman Amy Lee. Although Lee
has one hell of a set of pipes, it simply wasn’t enough to carry the
evening. I found myself a tad bored with the performance. I think a
bit of the passion was lost with the vastness of the outdoor venue and
the fact that Evanescence began their set with the sun still out seemed
to detract from the experience. Sonically, the band sounded awesome as
did Lee but for me the feeling just wasn’t the same as in years past.
It was a unique concept but it just wasn’t quite right. The crowd
reaction seemed mixed with the biggest reactions coming from their
biggest hits “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal.” The highlight of the
set for me was a solid cover of “Across the Universe” by The Beatles
with brilliant vocals from Amy Lee.

After a bit of a disappointment in Evanescence’s set, it was time to
focus on Lindsey Stirling who held the final spot on the evening’s bill.
Stirling appeared center stage on top of a riser with giant LED screens
lit up behind her and began the evening with “The Arena.” For the next
hour and ten minutes, Stirling would dance, enchant, dazzle, and amaze
the crowd at PNC. She is not only a gifted violinist but one hell of a
performer. I don’t think she stood still the entire night as her set
played more like a Broadway show with scenery and costume changes as
well as an array of dancers adding to the visual effect. The highlight
of the night was her biggest hit “Shatter Me” which featured poignant
vocals from Amy Lee and a Broadway medley from Phantom of the Opera
which closed out the night in perfect form and fashion.

If you’re looking for a hard rock show, this isn’t the tour for you.
But if you’re up for a little something different, be sure to check out
the elegant style of Evanescence and the musical theater of Lindsey
Stirling for a one of a kind summer experience.

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