The crowd that packed Philadelphia’s Electric Factory Oct. 10 for Evanescence’s show was a surprisingly mixed group. Teen goth and rock fans were expected, 7-year-olds and graying 50-somethings were not. Then again, this was a concert the whole family could see without squirming because of any adult content.
Opening with “Sweet Sacrifice,” Evanescence heavily relied on material from its new album “The Open Door” for the set, which ran a quick hour and 15 minutes. (Tickets were only $27, so that seems fair.) The album had been available for just a week, but the room already knew every song. That was because, as vocalist Amy Lee proudly announced, the band had the No. 1 album in the country.
The Electric Factory swallows sound because of being converted from a warehouse into a concert hall. That caused some songs to lose their nuances in live translation, like the triggered samples for “Lacrymosa.” Beyond that, you couldn’t find much fault with Evanescence’s performance.
“Going Under,” “Imaginary” and “Bring Me To Life” packed a heavy punch from being honed on the road since debut album “Fallen” was released. “Sweet Sacrifice” had a nifty, chuggy riff that makes it ripe for the band’s next single, and current radio hit “Call Me When You’re Sober” was of course readily received.
Lee is a confident chanteuse most in her element when her alto is soaring during passionate renditions of “The Only One,” “Haunted” and “Imaginary.” For all her gothic costumes, dark lyrics and lofty voice, she isn’t compelled to play the role of a brooding diva, instead flashing cheerful, dimpled smiles between songs. Lee’s dress and demeanor is attracting a following that could make her the first rock/metal female superstar in a long time, if not ever. When she performed “Lithium” and “Good Enough” solo at the piano, the crowd’s shouting often drowned her out — one girl emitted a bloodcurdling shriek as if it were the height of Beatlemania.
Between Lee’s role as bandleader and being groomed as the focal point of Evanescence, some might forget the four other people in the band who also deserve props. Terry Balsamo’s steady rhythm guitar work balances counterpart John LeCompt, who handled leads like they were second nature. They and bassist Tim McCord and drummer Rocky Gray solidly anchor the production to deliver the music exactly as it was recorded. It wouldn’t hurt for them to change up the arrangements to give them a new dimension, but Evanescence more than satisfied fan expectations on this night.