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UPDATE: Evanescence announced via Instagram on Monday, Dec. 13 that shows with Halestorm were being rescheduled to January due to "multiple positive COVID tests in our touring party." The bands' New Jersey performances have been rescheduled for Jan. 16 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden and Jan. 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
As the live music scene returns with a vengeance, arena-filling hard rockers Evanescence and Halestorm are prepared to finally hit New Jersey.
“We are so ready," said Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee. "Both of us have been in the creative zone, making new albums and doing what we can with the time. But I am so excited to get back on stage. It’s going to be surreal.”
“Especially in Jersey, man," added Halestorm singer and guitarist Lzzy Hale. "I grew up in Pennsylvania, I know all about you dirty Jerseys. Rock 'n' roll is very much alive in Jersey, always has been. I feel like it’s going to be kind of a family reunion of sorts. There are going to be a lot of people that come out of the woodwork for those shows, so it’s going to be fun.”
Lee, Hale and company kicked off their 21-date fall tour last month. They play the Prudential Center in Newark on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and the BB&T Pavilion in Camden on Friday, Dec. 17, with support from Lilth Czar.
“My favorite tours are the tours that I can go out and I have to step up my game because whoever is on this tour with me is obviously on 11," said Hale. "So it just makes me a better performer, it makes me a better musician.”
The 2021 tour is just the latest step in the nearly decade-long friendship between the two singers.
“When we first toured together in 2012 and really got to know each other on that tour, I was so blown away and inspired watching Lzzy sing every night, honestly," said Lee. "Everybody’s different — we’re girls in rock bands but our music isn’t exactly the same — (and) it’s cool to get inspired by people.
"It’s rare to have the opportunity, still, honestly, to be on tour with somebody that is a woman fronting a rock band and that has that incredible, killer voice. ... I think both of us like to watch and learn from each other and get inspired by each other, and it’s cool to support each other.”
The tour is happening during a very active period for both Evanescence and Halestorm.
In March, Lee and her band released "The Bitter Truth" LP, their first album in a decade. Halestorm released a new single, "Back From the Dead," in August, and Hale told the Asbury Park Press in October that the band was in the 11th hour of work on its latest album, expected to be released next year.
The two singers have also found time to collaborate in the studio, with Lee appearing on Halestorm's 2020 "Reimagined" EP and Hale contributing vocals to the "Bitter Truth" single "Use My Voice."
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"Use My Voice," a righteous blast of advocacy and visibility released last August, was used by Evanescence to advocate for voter registration and engagement via a partnership with non-partisan, nonprofit organization HeadCount.
“This has been a time to not hold anything back and to really put perspectives in place, see what’s really important to us, see what’s really important in the world and have to draw some lines in the sand for everybody in a way that is, for me, about positive change," said Lee. "There are things that need to change, and that’s not easy."
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Lee said the "Use My Voice" collaboration — which featured Taylor Momsen, Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation, Deena Jakoub of VERIDIA and Lindsey Stirling in addition to Hale — “absolutely felt like something bigger than myself.”
Hale said she was "incredibly honored" to appear on the song.
"That’s what art is supposed to do," Hale said. "Art has always been the Northern Star for change, because music has that power. One song can change your life or change your course of action or make you look at something in a different way. So the fact that Amy decided to put that out there into the world, I think that helped a lot of people, and just to be a part of it was incredible.”
Alex Biese has been writing about art, entertainment, culture and news on a local and national level for more than 15 years.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Amy Lee of Evanescence, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm on tour in NJ