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Evanescence Concert Review (March 29th 2004 - Avalon)

By Forest J. Handford

I have been a fan of Evanescence since I first heard 'Bring me to Life' in DareDevil previews before the movie's release to the big screen. Eventually I heard the song in it's entirety on my local alternative rock station (WFNX). When the station began playing 'My Immortal' I was hooked and immediately bought their album 'Fallen'.

I added myself to their mailing list several months ago (well before the Grammies). When they announced their concert at Avalon in Boston I marked in my calendar the day the tickets would go on sale. On that day (January 20th) I bought tickets from the ticket website the minute they became available.

When I got my ticket, it was marked row GA8 (General Admission) seat 10. Mind you, this is the very first rock concert I have been to with the exception of AC-DShe (an all female AC-DC cover band) at last year's GENCON. I was rather nervous throughout my wait as I couldn't find anybody to go with and didn't know what to expect. You could say this was stepping way outside my box.

Until the Friday before the concert I had assumed Avalon actually had rows and seats. A co-worker told me on Friday that they actually just have a big dance floor and my "seat location" was probably the middle of the mosh pit! Fortunately there was no moshing.

On Sunday I left from my house in Pawtucket RI at about 4:20 with a splitting headache. Fortunately the headache left during the drive.  Doors were at 6:00. I printed several versions of directions to Avalon which I took with me. I relied on the directions from their website the most. When I got onto Boylston Street (Avalon is on Lansdowne) I couldn't find signs for Avalon or Lansdowne street. I circled the area, especially Fenway Park several times until I finally went down Lansdowne by luck and saw a garage marked as Lansdowne parking. I hadn’t expected it to be that close to Fenway Park. I also didn’t know it was a few doors down from Gillian’s which I have been to.  I went to a local lot (which had no staff on duty but was open) and parked my car. I wondered throughout the night if I would be towed!

The line for the concert went to the end of the block. I think I was inside by around 6:20. Before the first band played I bought two of the Evanescence tour shirts and changed into one of them. I then checked my coat (after stuffing my other shirt and the shirt I had worn into pockets). As I got to the end of the coat check line the first band began to play.

Atomship was the first band. I pushed my way through the crowd to get to a decent location in the rear of the dance floor. Atomship was very heavy/hard rock. I think they only played their own music (although a song called scissor fight might have been a cover). During their performance members of the second band to play occasionally came out to video tape.

I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and got thirsty during the performance.  A vendor, who I could barely here, walked through the crowd. When I asked him what he had he said, “Cold beer and water.”  I bought water, it cost $4.00.  Do you remember when water was free?  I remember when water was free.  Now a 20 ounce bottle of water costs as much as a small lunch!

I doubt they actually sold much alcohol. It was an all age’s show and the average age seemed to be 20.  I saw a few children who looked as young as 8.

I thought Atomship was good. Most of the people directly around me didn't seem too interest which made me wonder if they would like the harder songs by Evanescence.

The second band to play was Default. While the stage managers switched the bands’ gear Default members came out to video tape the crowd.  They encouraged us to be loud, which we obliged. 

I think I have been a Default fan longer than an Evanescence fan. I don't like Default as much though. Their bass guitarist had the bottom half of his head shaven and the top grown long and braided into pig tails. It looked really cool when he was head-banging.

Default started by playing some lesser known heavy songs. They played a Led Zeppelin cover (which I didn't recognize).  Near the end of their set they played the songs of theirs that I liked. I sang along to a few of them.  This concert was the last of the tour so all the bands mentioned it several times. 

There were two short women behind me; I’m a little over six feet tall and could see perfect.  After Default played I asked them if they could see and they said no!  L  I moved out of their way so they could get a better view for Evanescence.  I thought about offering to lift them but decided against it, can’t break those New England habits.

When Evanescence finally came out Amy Lee was wearing a pink dress.  It was a strapless dress that I would expect to see a bridesmaid wearing at a wedding.  After the first song she said, “I bet your thinking I’m wearing this dress because I lost a bet.  Well if that’s what you’re thinking, you’re right!” After the first three songs she took off the dress revealing her black Goth-style pants and a black silk shirt.

They started with a few of the harder songs from ‘Fallen’.  Then they toned it down and brought out a keyboard for Amy to play.  The keyboard didn’t work at first and Amy joked that it was her first time playing.  During this section they played their mellower songs ending the section with ‘My Immortal.’ 

The crowd was definitely into their music. Many of the people near me sang along to the songs, even the lesser known songs.  I seemed to be the most energetic person in my area with dancing, head-banging, cheering, and occasional jumping.  J  I thought it was cool how many people called friends and family with cell phones and held their phones up. 

Evanescence played at least two covers.  One was of a Sound Garden song I did not recognize.  The other song was Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Zero’.  I sang along to it.

When they finished and Amy said good night we all cheered and clapped . . . in darkness . . . for several minutes. They came back and played two or three more songs.  At one point they shot silly string into the audience and put two blow-up dolls in front of the drummer.  When the band left the final time they threw the dolls, some blow up palm trees, drum sticks, and guitar picks out to the audience.

When the lights came on most of the crowd made for the front entrance, where the coat room was.  I found a spot to sit and wait for the crowd to die down.  As it did several people waited in front of the stage for more things to get thrown out.  During this time Avalon staff went around telling people to move to the exits.  I really didn’t see a point to listening since there was a huge mob at the exits.  Finally when the dance floor was mostly deserted I walked out.  It took awhile to get to the coat-check.  After I got my coat I looked at the sales offerings again. I decided I wanted an Evanescence hooded sweatshirt.  I had arrived at the concert with a little under one hundred dollars.  At this point I had only $35 left and the shirt I wanted cost $60.  I tried Avalon’s ATM, but it was broken. 

Before I left the concert I noticed the Atomship band members were signing stuff.  The other two bands were not in sight.  I almost bought a Default t-shirt but they were kind of dull so I bought an Atomship t-shirt instead.  It has a cool logo.  After buying the shirt I had them sign the back of my ticket and one of them mentioned they were worried they would be too harsh for the crowd. When I left one of the band members also signed a woman's stomach with a message to her boyfriend saying he had a hot girlfriend and that he had been down there (with an arrow pointing down).

I was surprised by the fact that I had ate no dinner and wasn’t hungry despite all the dancing.  On my way back to my car security told me I couldn’t walk on the Avalon side of Lansdowne Street because they were loading the trucks.  I crossed to the Fenway Park side and got the same story because of the tour buses.  My only option was to walk down the middle of the street or walk around Fenway Park.  Neither option was acceptable so I waited in the crowd outside of Evanescence’s tour bus.  I didn’t think the band was actually going to come out.

After almost twenty minutes Amy and one of the guitarists came out and began signing autographs.  Amy had changed and was now wearing a skirt.  I was surprised by the way she looked.  Between television and pictures I had a hard time imagining what she actually looked like.  When she came out to sign autographs I was surprised she was so short (maybe five feet tall max).  When Amy was on stage she had great stage presence which made her seem tall.  She was so short I couldn’t see her past the small crowd that was getting things signed.  Her skin was a little pale, Irish pale not sickly pale.  Her hair was very long and jet black.  During some songs she had it tied in a pony tail and others she had it loose. 

They only allowed one signature per person and quickly got through the crowd.  Somehow I ended up being the very last person to get a signature!  I commented to one of the security guys, “Yikes, I guess I’m not pushy enough.” 

He replied, “Well the last is always the best.”

She hugged several of the fans.  I had her sign the front of my ticket.  She thanked me for waiting and I thanked her for coming to Boston.  I also told her I look forward to her next album.  In ways I regret having said that because if she hears that a lot and considers it pressure . . .! 

Anyway, she waved good-bye to the crowd and thanked us all one last time, then got into the bus.  Once the buses were loaded they let us walk down the street. When I got to the Default tour bus a fan asked me if I was in the band. I said no but now I wonder if I should have signed something for them anyway!  Oh well.

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