Amy Lee’s mighty voice wows in Evanescence show at Mohegan Sun
On Sunday night, a lot of viewers were watching fierce, take-no-prisoners women playing central roles and battling through the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”
At the very same time, thousands of music fans were gathered in the Mohegan Sun to see a different fierce, take-no-prisoners woman command the stage while belting out dark, dramatic goth rock that could have easily served as “GoT” theme music.
We are talking about Amy Lee, the powerhouse vocalist who fronts Evanescence.
Lee said that, since Sunday’s gig was the last night of the current tour, the band would hold nothing back and planned to leave everything on the stage. Boy, she wasn’t kidding.
And while all the group members excelled, the spotlight was literally and figuratively on Lee. That hurricane-force voice roared and leapt and growled and reflected the heights and depths of emotion as she seemed to live the brooding lyrics.
What was also striking was that, during the hour-and-a-half concert, Lee barely stopped singing. No breaks backstage for costume changes. Barely any time taken for between-song chit-chat. No breathers for her where, say, a backup singer might take over for a couple of minutes or a band member might bust out an extended instrumental solo. And yet, throughout, Lee’s voice sounded superhumanly strong.
A few times, the other instruments fell away, and it was just Lee at a piano (she stepped up to play the keyboard for a few songs) and her singing. I would have loved to have heard a bit more of that, with the focus purely on her voice.
Lee, as always, seemed possessed by the music. She stalked the stage, swinging her raven hair, stomping her feet and raising her hand in the air for theatrical emphasis. She wore black boots and a tiered black dress with what looked like napkins attached to each shoulder, a red one on her left and a green one on her right. (That fashion “don’t” was the sole misstep for Lee for the night.)
Over the course of the gig, Evanescence tore through its rich catalog of songs, though their biggest hit, “Bring Me to Life,” remains their most instantly infectious number.
While the group is reportedly planning to release a new album this year, no mention was made of new tunes on Sunday, alas.
On the last tour — in support of their album “Synthesis,” which featured orchestral arrangements of their hits — Evanescence performed their songs accompanied by an orchestra. Here, they were back to their rock roots, and, frankly, I was all the happier for it.
The band has shifted membership over the years, but its lineup now consists of guitarists Troy McLawhorn and Jen Majura, bassist Tim McCord and drummer Will Hunt.
They worked well together, creating a dynamic sound with heavy-rock guitars and insistent drumbeats and adding to the bristling performance energy.
Although the night featured an overly active light show, the musicians besides Lee seemed almost in the shadows a lot of the time. On the tour next, I hope they better illuminate these group members who are deserving of the notice.
Lee made special mention of this being a return visit to Mohegan Sun for Evanescence and said there was no place they’d rather end this tour. She acknowledged the crowd, saying, “Thank you, Mohegan Sun … You haven’t seen the last of us.”
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