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Playing with Evanescence

Last Wednesday night I got a call to come and play with Evanescence in Houston, for a Friday evening show. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! I grew up with Amy Lee singing My Immortal and Bring Me to Life, so I figured to make music with her on stage was going to be awesome (which it was.) There was a 38-piece orchestra that was hired too, along with her core touring group.

Musicians: First and foremost, Amy Lee is a phenomenal musician. She's a fantastic singer, great pianist and incredible writer. Everything was so professionally run, on a schedule that we stuck to.

Instrument: I got to share the Steinway grand piano with her. I'm not sure what I was more excited about; sharing the piano with Amy Lee or that I got to play a rock/classical fusion show on a Steinway.

Music: The music had crazy rich piano parts, and I (get this) got to play the first movement of The Moonlight Sonata with an orchestra to start off the show in our opening set. THAT will likely never happen again in my lifetime. I literally played that piece in front of thousands of people who were actually quietly listening (for a rock show anyway) to my every note. I'm really glad I didn't have the time to freak out about this (I actually didn't know I would be doing this until 1pm that day so didn't practice it at all.) I haven't found a video yet, but hopefully one will pop up on YouTube.

She's got a classical new age feel on the piano that I really identified with and had SO much fun playing. Here's a link to the last song of the show where you can hear a super fun piano part (watch to the end!) I love love LOVE how much piano she has in her music, and in particular this show.

Rehearsal: In the rehearsal we only had 2 hours to run the whole 90+ minute show, so I actually didn't get to play some of the parts before we went live, which included the Moonlight Sonata movement, though I played it twice through before the performance. Yay for sight-reading abilities! Probably the coolest part for me was that I got to be Amy (play her piano parts!) in the rehearsal while her voice was on the click track in our ears. Basically I felt famous. :-D

Highlights: 

  1. I had a LOT of fun on the last song that I linked above
  2. I loved playing the Moonlight Sonata, Movement I, with orchestra
  3. More than anything, I felt so much joy playing on My Immortal with her. It's such an iconic piano part! 
  4. I loved the opening piano part of Hi-Lo too...the piano parts in her show aren't just fluff. They're really important, which makes it a lot of fun for us pianists
  5. Making music with 50 other versatile, professional musicians 

I walked away feeling so energized and am reminded of why I love making music. I am reminded that I love the pop/classical fusion and am inspired to do more of this type of playing in the future. More than anything, I see why it's important work that as a teacher, I keep doing what I am doing when I create these popular performance opportunities, arrange popular/familiar music and teach my students how to play with rhythm, musicality and LOVE what they play.

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