The band that introduced me to Central PA's music scene played their final concert in York on a snowy Saturday in January. Evelyn's Ashes, a hard rock band from York, PA, began writing music and performing together in 2005. Their Facebook page describes the band as:
Five rock steady musicians, all working together in perfect harmony to create a climax of sound that fans and new listeners rarely forget. The red hot lead vocals of front man Wes Myers are complemented by the driving rhythms and searing lead riffs from guitarists and brothers Chris and Justin Cutshall, the bass and back vocals of Scott Salisbury, and Ted Hile on drums. Having shared the stage with such national acts as Sevendust, Papa Roach, Cold, Fuel, 10 Years, Rev Theory, Hurt, Taproot, Nonpoint, Dokken, Warrant, and Smile Empty Soul, when concert attendees leave an Evelyn’s Ashes high energy performance, they are always left spellbound and craving more.They released two albums over the course of their 8 1/2 year career, 2008's 'Far Away' and 2012's 'Letters From Home', and were in the beginning stages of a 3rd album by late 2012. Their original songs pack a hard punch with a powerful message, but the band is also known for their live cover versions of well-known rock songs.
I began attending Evelyn's Ashes' shows in 2009 and have always been impressed by their stage presence, energy and talent, which has only strengthened over time. They have a loyal fan base and I made many new friends and discovered other local bands as a result. Although I only went to the shows in York the past 5 years, EA has played in many venues throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland.
My first show - November 2009
Various shows - 2011-2012
After a five-month hiatus to regroup, write new songs, and deal with personal obligations, Evelyn's Ashes returned to the stage in June 2013 with a new bassist, a new drummer, and several new songs. A summer of comeback shows preceded their announcement on September 26th that the group was planning to permanently disband and would be scheduling final performances for later that year. However, a major snowstorm in December 2013 caused the final show in York to be postponed until after the new year, and a Chambersburg show was scheduled for February 2014.
Comeback Show - June 2013
January 25, 2014 marked the date of Evelyn's Ashes' Farewell Show in York, PA. A brief evening snowfall hindered my plans and I almost didn't make it to the venue due to car trouble. Luckily my brother was able to give me a ride to Fat Daddy's Nightclub so that I could see one of my favorite bands play for the last time. I arrived as the opening band, Calisus, was coming off stage and the technicians were preparing for the headlining act. The original members of Evelyn's Ashes reunited for the 2014 shows and despite the weather, there was a large turnout of fans. For some, it was the first and only time they'd see the band perform. For others, who had followed them since the beginning, it was a welcome homecoming.
Anticipation filled the room as the "Intro" track from their debut album began to play over the speakers. The five musicians made their way onstage to thunderous applause and kicked off the live show with "The Innocent". They played many of their older tunes, such as "Silence Of The Serene", "Rewind", "Hate I Breed", "Disease", and "Tears of Deceit", some of which hadn't been performed in years. The second album, which was dedicated to the military, produced songs like "Unwilling", "Breathe", "This Time", "To The Fallen", and "Fake N Jaded". Newer songs, like "Memory", were never recorded but that didn't stop the fans from learning the lyrics at past live shows. They also included a handful of their most popular covers, such as "Outside", "Simple Man", and "Comfortably Numb". Staind's "Mudshovel" was requested, but the band ran out of time.
Final York Show - January 2014
"Backdown", an original that appears on both albums, is one of my favorites to hear live and a great song to blast in your car. Closing out the show, as always, was "Far Away". The title track from the first album is a rock ballad describing how difficult it is to be away from your family, and a song that I never get tired of listening to. With hugs all around and laughter between old friends, the evening ended on a positive note.
Don't miss the Final Farewell Show on February 8, 2014 at The Orchards in Chambersburg, PA. Evelyn's Ashes will be joined by Baltimore rock group, Silvertung.
For tickets, directions, and more info, click HERE.
All photos by Nicole McMillan