January 18, 2012
House of Blues - Orlando
Lake Buena Vista, FL USA
Review by Brittany Fornof
Photos by Nick Masuda
From Evanescent to Effervescent
The stage was dark, the lights flashed a royal blue, and a deep, sultry voice bellowed toward the crowd. Wearing a glittery, purple tutu skirt and a pair of masculine knee-high combat boots, lead vocalist Amy Lee half-pranced, half-stomped onto the stage in her usual get-up of punk rock princess apparel. With her long dark hair hanging across her shoulders, the thirty year-old exceptionally pale, exceptionally talented vocalist broke into "What You Want" from the band's latest album Evanescence.
Performing at the front of the stage as the concert photographers below her scrambled to capture her vivacious energy with a few clicks, Lee looked beautiful, but in an unnerving way. She leaned toward the left and swung her head to the right, concaving her back as she sang. Defiantly, she stood with her feet wide apart, leaving the tulle of her skirt to shape her silhouette in the lighting.
"Hello Orlando," she said smiling. "It's so good to see you again. It's been way too long"
The band continued their set with "Going Under" from their 2003 album Fallen before breaking back into their latest album with the drum-heavy song "The Other Side."
"I love you Amy" some girl screamed from the audience. "Me too!" another chimed in.
Sitting at the piano, Lee flipped her hair over the keys and played out the melody to "Weight of the World" on the keys before dramatically racing towards center stage, singing, "Free fall, free fall, all through life."
Performing "My Last Breath" from Fallen, Lee sang with the woe-is-me intonation that was the foundation of the band's earlier image--the sweetness of her voice contrasting strikingly with the theme of the song.
"If you love me then let go of me/I won't be held down by who I used to be," sang Lee before crumpling over like a broken rag doll, but with one arm catching herself on the microphone stand.
Drummer Will Hunt hammered out a few beats as guitarist Terry Balsamo slinked to Lee's side near the keyboard. Throughout their set, Evanescence performed crowd-favorites such as "Lost in Paradise," "Erase This, and "Sick" from their latest album as well as chart-topping singles "Call Me When You're Sober" and "Lithium" from their 2006 The Open Door album.
"We love you too," said Lee, sitting down at the piano."Thank you for making this possible. You guys are really amazing."
The band's continued popularity can be attributed to their immense success in the past as well as the durability of the sounds and themes of their present recordings and live performances. Despite how much Lee has personally grown and matured physically and emotionally over the years, she is still capable of representing the slave-to-their-emotions mindset with which adolescents are plagued. She has the vocal ability of an experienced 30 year-old, body of a 20 year-old, and energy of a 15-year old. The band's exceptional sound is a mix of Lee's delicately ferocious voice, the heavy metal undertones of the stringed instruments, and Hunts' heavy pounding. The loyalty of the audience, the energy of the band, and the well-executed lighting cues resulted in another phenomenal performance at the House of Blues. "Evanescence" may mean "a gradual disappearance," but disappearing is one act that this band will not be doing any time soon.