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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Evanescence - Live in Denver 2006

EVAN001Some people want to write Evanescence off as a band for 14-year-old girls who hate their parents.

Granted, the capacity crowd was made up mostly of young females, who sang along to every tune played from the band's two albums, 2003's ``Fallen'' and the recently released ``The Open Door,'' like their lives depended on it.

Yet, everyone else in attendance could also grasp what's so special about this band. Evanescence has struck upon a powerfully moving musical hybrid -- equal parts Nine Inch Nails industrial goth, Tori Amos confessional pop and Linkin Park nu-metal -- and it's clearly worked for the group.

The band made a huge splash with ``Fallen,'' a multi-platinum smash that helped Evanescence earn two Grammy Awards -- for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance -- back in 2004.EVAN003

Earlier this month, Evanescence returned with ``The Open Door,'' which debuted at No. 1 on the album charts and outdistanced that week's second biggest release -- the Killers' ``Sam's Town'' -- by more than 130,000 copies.

In terms of lineups, it was a much different band on Sunday than the one we first met with ``Fallen.'' Co-founder-guitarist Ben Moody, who co-wrote all 11 of the tracks on ``Fallen,'' was replaced by Terry Balsamo a few years back. Also, Tim McCord has taken over for recently departed bassist William Boyd.

In just about every other regard, little has changed about this band over the years. The concert on Sunday was quite similar to the one Evanescence performed in early 2004 at the San Jose State Event Center.

EVAN002The new songs fit with the old ones, which was a concern since Moody didn't have a hand in ``The Open Door.'' Vocalist Amy Lee, dressed in the type of goth gear one finds at Hot Topic, was an engaging presence. The stage show utilized enough bright lights to land a fleet of aircrafts. And the concert clocked in at right around an hour -- which is the same length of the SJSU gig.

Taking the stage under a lower-case ``e'' decorated like a thorny crown, an odd move for a band that was once marketed to the Christian music crowd, Evanescence flew out of the gate with an explosive version of the new album's ``Sweet Sacrifice.''

The group stuck with ``Open Door'' for the heavy ``Weight of the World,'' successfully drawing from the soft-loud-soft school of alt-rock, then swung like a wrecking ball through the first album's ``Going Under.''

Lee, a 24-year-old SoCal native, showed a great deal of range as she handled dark rockers like ``Whisper'' and softer tunes such as ``Lithium.'' Much like Sarah McLachlan, Lee has the ability to both warm and chill the listener in the space of a few words on songs like ``Good Enough.''

The vocalist turned up the intensity with a powerful run through the new album's hit single, ``Call Me When You're Sober,'' and later scored with a tremendous take on ``Bring Me to Life,'' which was originally featured on the ``Daredevil'' soundtrack.EVAN004

Evanescence closed the main set in fine fashion with ``Lacrymosa,'' a tune that was heavy with drama and thick with tension, and then Lee returned with an encore of ``My Immortal.''

That song started out as a solo-piano performance, but that didn't last long. Lee was accompanied on ``My Immortal'' by hundreds of voices. The 14-year-old girls could clearly be heard -- and they weren't singing alone.

Paramount Theatre, Denver 24-10-06

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