Amy Lee reclaimed Evanescence with a vengeance last night during a surprisingly strong concert at Scotiabank Place in front of a smallish crowd of about 5,000 in the arena’s theatre set-up.

Although it wasn’t the same version of the band that made the hit album, Fallen, and shot to stardom a few years back, Lee has reassembled the troops and is using the tour to prove that she is the heart and soul of the band, able to function just fine without her former friend and creative partner, Ben Moody or that troubled ex-boyfriend from Seether.

Of course, Lee is tasting victory with the new Evanescence album, Open Door. It’s another monster hit, judging by the number of of times the song, Don’t Call Me Till You’re Sober (<- Haha, it's obviously 'Call Me When You're Sober' - webmaster), is spun on commercial radio stations. The saturation is nearing the point that people threaten to throw up if they hear it one more time. Thankfully, no one lost their cookies last night when Lee sailed into the hit that fans refer to as DCMTYS. Squeezed deep into the set, the song rocked with empowerment, Lee bringing it back to the same spot where it started, as a heartbreaking wail of anguish. Though basking in the glow of her newly announced engagement, on stage Lee was able to sing her catalogue of torment with reasonable conviction, starting with the sorrowful tones of Sweet Sacrifice, Weight of the World and Going Under. How appropriate that she has reportedly found her soul mate in a therapist named Josh. Wearing a black tutu (a bold choice for a woman with hips), black boots, cut-off gloves (no ring was spotted) and dark-pink tank top, Lung flung her long hair while she sang and covered the stage with a graceful lurch. It looked exactly as if she was consumed by emotion, punching her fist in the air and bending over in pain. It was a terrific acting job, the theatrics enhanced by the pounding rock of her band members, some backing beats and a light show that was decent but not lavish. Lee is certainly a compelling performer, but perhaps even more so when is sitting at the piano. Her solo songs provided a welcome respite from the grinding alt-rock of the full-band numbers. There was much screaming and fist-pumping in the audience, but most of the love came from the core of the crowd in front of the stage. Lee appeared to recognize fans from other tour stops, and commented on how she likes off-the-beaten-path places like Ottawa and Winnipeg. “They get looked over and missed for a lot of tours, but you guys are the most eager,” she said. Out in the crowd, it was dad-and-daughter night in the arena, the grizzled dads accompanied by girls anywhere from eight and up. They must have been startled by openers Stone Sour, perhaps not realizing that singer Corey Taylor also dons a mask and plays the lead demon in Slipknot, one of the freakiest metal bands out there. The tendency to shock was evident in the f-bombs and growling vocals that were mixed in with the radio-friendly anthems of Stone Sour. Also on last night’s bill was the lively Toronto band Black Maria.

Comments closed.