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Willow

Concert Reviews
Evanescence
(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI - July 15th, 2004)

Although the bandís name may suggest a sudden vanishing, the (at times) PG-rated nu-metal music of Evanescence is poised for longevity. Fallen, the Wind-up Records debut of this talented group from Little Rock, Arkansas, is an emotional, ethereal work of undeniable potency guided by the heavenly vocals of Amy Lee.

Having been opened for by the trio of bands Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and Seether, one by one each band member of Evanescence takes to the darkened stage. To the throbbing guitar beats of 'Haunted' and the collective screams of the near sold-out open air crowd, Lee casually walks out. With the mic gripped firmly between her hands, her stare out into the sea of fans ice-like, Lee is the working persona of the goth girl ready to kick some musical butt!

Framed by the seas of red and purple lights alike, 21 year-old Lee's vocals suddenly match the pounding beats of the guitars as the band set off into their 50 minute set. Dressed in a tight black sleeveless top with black zipper pants underneath a bright red half-wrap, 'Going Under' is next. Then, just before 'Taking Over Me' Lee makes the 12,000 strong crowd aware of something very important to her: "The last time we were here we played a small club called Harpos [Editor - 800 people, max]. It's great to see you all here tonight. I could never have expected this. Thank you so very much."

As the stage lights change from red and purple, to green and blue, to blue and red, Lee's passion remains adamantly rigid. She controls the mic, the crowd, the band, all in a silent manner that oozes confidence beyond her young years. The machine-gun drum and bass guitar beats continue on throughout both 'Everybody's Fool' and 'Thoughtless', but as the piano is brought out for 'Breathing No More' it's then that you know the tempo is about to soar in a whole different manner.

Looking, playing and sounding like Ani DiFranco dipped in the allure of Tori Amos, Lee warns the crowd before she strikes the first key: "Hello Detroit. We're gonna slow things down a little, but this is not the time to pee. This is my job ... and I can see ALL you people." And so, with her long, flowing black hair tied back, she musically slides through the uneventful song before cruising beautifully into 'My Immortal' and then the beginning of "Bring Me to Life'. The crowd is now in uproar and screaming at the top of their voices as the latter song breaks into a hardcore rock out tune before it itself wanders aimlessly into the anguished, urgent rocker 'Tourniquet'.

Huge strobes are sent crashing around the stage now, the machine-gun beats back in full force and as the band bring the set to a close with 'Imaginary' you know the encore isn't far away. Indeed, coming back for both 'Zero' and 'Whisper' the band finally leave the stage to a well deserved standing ovation and an eventual sale of T-shirts that would make even the mighty Van Halen shudder!!!

Review and Photos by Russell A. Trunk





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