Considering all of the offstage drama that plagued Evanescence in the years between its Grammy - winning, multiplatinum, globally successful 2003 debut , ``Fallen , " and its brand - new follow-up , ``The Open Door," the kick off to its current US tour was curiously lacking in kinetic energy.
It would seem the putting to bed of all the negative energy created by the departure of cofounder/sonic architect/guitarist Ben Moody, the 2005 stroke of replacement Terry Balsamo, the implosion of singer Amy Lee's romantic relationship with Shaun Morgan of Seether, and her sexual harassment litigation against a former manager would translate into a transcendent rebirth.
Instead , for 70 minutes Saturday night at Avalon the quartet gave a solid if unspectacular performance of a baker's dozen goth - metal - pop - rock songs almost evenly divided between its two discs.
The Arkansas-spawned quartet cranked up its signature buzz saw riffs and pummeling hooks but seemed to be missing a spiciness, that would have brought the show from good to great.
Of course the main ingredient in Evanescence is Lee's gloriously steely voice. It did not disappoint Saturday night. It was by turns huskily vulnerable -- on tracks like piano ballads ``My Immortal" and the sultry ``Good Enough" -- and a walloping wail -- on just about everything else , including monster hit singles ``Bring Me to Life" and ``Call Me When You're Sober."
Lee's voice swims upstream in long, controlled strokes that are even more impressive for their lack of indiscriminate melismatic detours. This is a sound with a purpose and that purpose is to lay bare her -- and by extension her audience's -- inner torment. To that end the catharsis rock on display succeeded without question for the singer and the sold - out house of sweet-voice disciples.
But as Lee -- whose stage presence is as chipper as her songs are lachrymose -- gave her vocal all, the trio backing her -- including new bassist Tim McCord and the mercifully recovered Balsamo -- gave something less by being merely efficient. Clad in black uniforms that added to the vibe of anonymity , they weren't without skill but seemed devoid of emotion. And all that airless sturdiness -- including pre recorded backing vocals and an insistence on playing the songs without a single deviation -- made it feel like watching the records live as opposed to seeing them come to hot-blooded life.