Evanescence – [Live]

Friday, 14 October 2011

The fact that Evanescence has only been around for fifteen years is quite surprising. They certainly aren’t a band who churns out albums year after year but they still manage to sustain strong popularity and a devoted base of fans. Having more than twenty million albums sold, seven Grammy nominations and two gilded gramophone trophies certainly helps that cause. Today, with a mere three albums under the band's belt, the mix of ferocious goth-rock guitars, epic, larger-than-life choruses and Amy Lee’s signature operatic vocal style are instantly recognizable traits. Even though the band has drawn comparisons to Garbage, Lacuna Coil, Snake River Conspiracy and Tool over the years, Evanescence has managed to maintain its own easily distinguishable and embraceable sound.  

Evanescence, their self-titled album and first since the 2006's The Open Door, definitely has a more developed, solid vibe and is just bursting at the seams with singles. I was interested to see how this translated to the stage, if at all, and I was pleasantly surprised. For their current tour, the band's line-up is unchanged from that which supported The Open Door and included Amy Lee on vocals, veteran guitarist Terry Balsamo, Tim McCord on bass, rhythm guitarist Troy McLawhorn and Will Hunt on drums. From the first live riff of the hook-laden “What You Want,” the opening track from their new album, it was obvious that many fans were eager to see Evanescence back on the scene. The song has a distinct historical feel as the band seems to glance back into their past before they forge ahead. “Hello, hello, remember me? I’m everything you can’t control.”

I will skip the standard adjectives like “driving,” “heavy,” “dark” and “powerful” since they are all clear from the first listen to the new album. What was also clear was that when Amy Lee casually commented to the crowd that she was “happy to be back,” she seemed to genuinely mean it. The band thumped through popular tracks including “Going Under,” “Lithium” and “Bring Me to Life” in a set which seemed to be designed to showcase new songs. These included “The Other Side,” “Made of Stone,” “My Heart Is Broken,” “Sick” and “Never Go Back.” With a punchy rhythm section and searing, crunchy guitars weaving their way through the dynamic changes in each song, the music was impeccably tight and the vocals were breathy, passionate and dramatic. Amy Lee’s voice takes on an amazing quality in a live setting that elevates her already stellar sound into something even more spectacular in person. This was immediately evident as Lee performed the intense and theatrical “Lost In Paradise” at the piano which was placed front and center on the stage.

The evening ended with a strong encore consisting of “Never Go Back,” “Your Star” and finally “My Immortal.” After the band finished their show, I was convinced that this was their strongest album yet. It feels like Evanescence had been around longer than they have and it seems like it has been much longer than four years since their last album. It’s a familiar and more mature sound and I, for one, am glad they’re back.

Set list:
What You Want
Going Under
The Other Side
Weight of the World
The Change
Made of Stone
Lost in Paradise
My Heart is Broken
Call Me When You’re Sober
Bring Me to Life

Never Go Back
Your Star
My Immortal



Evanescence's world tour continues. Click here for an updated list of upcoming concert dates.


Evanescence's self-titled album is out now. Buy it here on Amazon.

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