Evanescence is currently the number one selling musical act on the Billboard 200 charts as Nielsen SoundScan reported a whopping 127,000 copies of the self titled CD sold in the first week.
Last night they gave Milwaukee a short but fierce concert at The Rave Ballroom.
Amy Lee and her bandmates are on tour supporting the new self titled disc "Evanescence" which is the third studio release from the group that originally hailed from Little Rock. Rival Sons and The Pretty Reckless opened up the show.
The last two studio discs from Evanescence have sold a combined total of over 23 million copies, and they won the Grammy in 2004 for Best New Artist. Despite some lineup changes, five years between discs and a hiatus, it appears they are rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, and their current success leaves little room to argue that they are doing everything right in a big way.
The first single from the new disc, "What You Want", opened up the show, and Lee took the stage much like a butterfly in flight, her long flowing dress fluttering as she darted from side to side, never staying in one spot too long before she moved on. Lee's deep and powerful voice carried well through the power chords of her guitarists, leaving me impressed at the clarity of the mix in the ballroom, which can sometimes seem like an echo chamber depending on where you are standing.
The opening chords of "Going Under" inspired the crowd to erupt with joy, an emotion that was clearly reciprocated onstage by Lee, who was all smiles in response to the nearly sold out crowd of dedicated fans that have been waiting years for the show last night. It was an impressive legion of fans that showed up to The Rave to pack the ballroom full, despite two other concerts going on in other parts of the building.
Evanescence went on to play a total of eight new songs last night by my calculations. More than half of the set list consisted of new material, and it was warmly received, but the loudest applause was saved for the biggest hits of the past, namely "Sober" and "Bring Me To Life". Both songs appeared at the end of the 75 minute set.
"Sober" was delivered with heartbreaking and gut wrenching honesty, and the crowd sung along in support as an impressive chorus of unified voices. Lifting the tempo and the mood of the room one last time for the night the mega hit "Bring Me To Life" brought the full thunder and range of Lee and her bandmates to a full boil, and after hearing the band power through the song there was no question in my mind that Evanescence is back in top form ready to reclaim their spot as a top band of their genre in the industry.
Despite the new song "Never Go Back" being listed on the setlist as the first of a three song encore, it went unplayed. Lee is a gifted pianist and her unique style has always been the core of Evanescence's tone. "Your Star" and "My Immortal" ended the show with Lee sitting at her piano as she serenaded the crowd one last time. It was truly a sight to see and hear.
We can only hope it won't be long before Evanescence comes back to play a longer set when the fans are a bit more familiar with the new material.
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