Evanescence: This is not your father’s kind of show

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

If the ninth level of hell has a soundtrack, I heard it last Saturday night at NTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth.

Evanescence, one of the hottest bands in the land, was to perform. Being from West Virginia, I normally prefer bands with fiddles, but Evanescence is one of my 15-year-old son’s favorites, so I promised to take him.

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I gave up some time back on getting Adam to share my interests – mainly golf and watching the History Channel – so I decided that if I’m going to get to spend any quality time with him, I would have try to do his thing – music.

He picked up a guitar about a year ago and has rarely put it down. He’s quite gifted. Unfortunately for me his tastes run mostly toward heavy metal.

At 42, I was among the oldest audience members at Saturday night’s show, unlike the previous weekend when I took Adam to see Kiss at the Verizon Virginia Beach Amphitheater. There my 42 years ranked me among the youngest audience members.

Anyway, as you might have deduced by now, I know little of Evanescence, but I was nonetheless savvy enough to pick up some earplugs at Lowes when I stopped to buy some RoundUp earlier that afternoon, so I thought I was ready for whatever would come.

The opening act was a group called Breaking Benjamin – &uot;That’s French for ‘We stink,&uot; Adam said.

Actually, it wasn’t bad, despite the band leader’s fondness for a certain four letter word, which for some reason evoked thunderous applause at every utterance. A far cry from the response I got when I let the word slip at a recent gathering.

Benjamin was mercifully brief. Next on the bill was Seether, a South African band that played louder than any thing I’d ever heard. I liked them, too.

The highlight of Seether’s performance was when Evanescence lead singer Amy Lee came out and joined them for &uot;Broken.&uot; Adam tells me she and Seether lead singer Shaun Morgan are an item. Between Morgan’s long hair hanging down in his face and Lee’s pale gothic look with jet black hair, they looked like Morticia Adams and Cousin It from the Addam’s Family singing a duet.

Adam had loaned me his Evanescence CD for a few days before the concert, so I at least I was not totally oblivious to what was going on. While I enjoyed the music, something bugged me about Lee’s voice that I couldn’t pinpoint until I actually saw them in person. She sounds just like one of the women who sing during the opening credits of 1960s James Bond movies. It’s haunting, different and powerful.

My favorite song, &uot;Bring Me to Life,&uot; was fantastic, as was Adam’s favorite, &uot;My Immortal.&uot;

Despite my initial trepidation, I ended up enjoying Evanescence – much more than I did Kiss. Even so, by the time I got home, I was ready for a heavy dose of History Channel.

Andy Prutsok is editor and publisher of the News-Herald.