(Royal Oak Music Theatre, MI - October 24th, 2011)
Multi-platinum and Grammy winning rock band, Evanescence, the American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody, have certainly undergone some band member transformations over the years. But one thing, luckily for all fans of their music, has remained constant: Amy Lee's soaring vocals.
Now being the only surviving original member, with their third self-titled studio album (the band's first since 2006's The Open Door) now in stores, it's obvious that the group could simply be called The Amy Lee Band. But Lee would never allow that to happen.
Tonight, in front of a sold-out audience, and having been opened by both New York rock band The Pretty Reckless and Rival Sons, come 10.10pm the lights went down and the screams went up! The band walks out on stage, Amy comes to the front, smiles, waves, turns her back and suddenly we're into both 'What You Want' and 'Going Under.' "Thank you, Detroit for being here tonight with us," she acknowledges. "It's been a long time since we were here," she continues. New song 'The Other Side' is next and showcases Amy's incredible depth of vocal in the most magnificent way.
Dressed in back, save for gold leggings and a white belt ensemble, Amy prowls the stage like a chained tiger. Rocking back and forth on her heels as high notes are hit, bowing down, her hair covering her face for the deeper ones, her songs are a cluster of riff-heavy gothic metal, nü-metal with a twist of melancholic, and balls out rock!
'Weight Of The World' is followed by a trip to the keyboard for 'The Change,' before she addresses the crowd again. "Hello, how is everyone tonight," she asks, always smiling, always cheerful. As the stage spots from behind the band light up in thin lime green beam strips, 'Made Of Stone' is next, and then the uber impressive 'Lost In Paradise.'
As a piano is brought onto the stage for Amy, heavy back beats then mix sublimely with some beautiful piano work for 'My Heart Is Broken.' Another piano-led song in 'Lithium' follows, and together with the pounding bass and drums the song is a definite highlight of the night. The rock-bounce of 'Sick' is another audience favorite, with slower new track 'Oceans' right behind it.
The always-brilliant 'Sober' has the crowd in a frenzy, especially as it is first brought to us by Amy on the keyboard. Bathed in a bright, demonic red mist, once she hits center stage the whole ambiance of the track is perfect for Halloween! That bleeds (all pun intended!) into the slower 'Imaginary,' before the final track of the set, the mega hit single from the Daredevil soundtrack 'Bring Me To Life' threatens to blow the roof off! But, sadly there are no other mics on stage and so where Ben Moody would have come in, there is either silence or Amy covers for him. It's just not the same and lets down the song, in truth.
After the song, the band simply walk off, leaving Amy thanking Detroit, once again. A few minutes later and they are back with the slow piano track, 'Never Go Back.' Looking beautiful with all the spots revolving in time behind her, the band then join in halfway through. 'Your Star' is next, before Amy introduces the last song of the night. "Thank you. We've just one more song for you tonight. You have been amazing. The best show on the tour so far." And with that she begins her piano intro to the powerful, beautiful piano ballad 'My Immortal.' Then the strobe lights begin to whirl into action, and finally the band back her up for all their worth. "Thank you, Detroit," Amy says at its end, waving, smiling, shaking front row hands, "We hope to see you all again soon."
I agree, Amy for this was a wonderful, solid, Amy Lee Band ... er, sorry, Evanescence show! And one that my fellow bday journo, Dr. Danny Fox, couldn't get enough of either ... inbetween games of iPhone Scrabble and checking the World Series updates, bless him!
Review & Photos by: Russell A. Trunk