Favorite Songs

It’s hard to pick only a few favorite songs but I’ll try for this post – I have to say it feels a little like being a kid in a toy store and being told that I can have any toy I want, but it has to be just one. I don’t really want to play favorites. Sometimes it really depends on what I am in the mood for, but I’ll list a couple that I end up turning to more than the others.

I’ll start with Fallen. I’m fairly attached to this album because the first songs I heard from Evanescence were “My Immortal” and “Bring Me to Life”. Like so many other people, the music really caught my attention. Amy Lee’s voice really is something else. But I also really like “Everybody’s Fool.” It’s a dark song and the video is just great. It brings a lot of attention to an issue we all struggle with: trying to do everything perfectly.

Open Door is a good album. If I had to pick a favorite song, it would probably be “Good Enough”. It has everything that originally called my attention to them but it feels more evolved and mature than the songs on Fallen. I find myself listening to this album a lot more than I thought I would, considering how long ago it came out. Other favs: “Lose Control” and “Call Me When You’re Sober.”

My favorite song on Evanescence is probably “The Other Side”. The drums are so great and it is just a kick-ass song. And if you’re really into gothic rock, “Never Go Back” is going to be right up your alley. My favorite part is the range that Lee gets to display in it. On Lost Whispers, I find I listen to “A New Way to Bleed” more than probably any other song on the album. But I also think “Say You Will” is a great song. The chorus is so good. Synthesis has an amazing version of “Bring Me to Life”. It may sound weird to admit this, but if I am ever in need of calming down, I like to play “Secret Door.” I don’t know why, maybe it is the harps.

I probably should mention that I also really like “Broken”, and that I wanted to include it on this list. I know it is a Seether song and so it does not really count officially, but it is a great song and Amy Lee deserves a lot of credit for her fantastic vocals.

If I had to pick just one song as a favorite, though, I’ll always have a special place in my mind for “My Immortal.” It’s just because it was the first song I ever heard and it made me a fan.

Well, it was definitely hard to pick the songs for this post, although I did my research by listening to every album again and that was fun. What are your favorite Evanescence songs, and why?

Motivation

So here I am to give them their due such as they are. I am fine with Christians—and everyone else—liking them. I know they have undergone many changes in members and output, but the music is there with a few stylistic changes. So be it. I have been with them every step of the way. In fact, I love to wake up their sounds every morning as motivation to have a productive day. As I get ready for work, their lyrics and rhythms speak to me, and it is hard to leave the house and stop my singalong fest.

Like most people, I take long showers and have been known to pipe in Evanescence to enhance the hot water experience. I don’t have to worry about the water running out, cutting my concert short, since I own a tankless hot water heater. What a great investment. It now affords me hours of enjoyment that I can look forward to every morning. Let me tell you: get one of these modern technological devices if you want to save energy while enjoying an hour-long session under the swivel spray head.

When a certain kind of music becomes your motivation in life, you are a lucky soul indeed. You can listen to it everywhere you like at any time of day or night, thanks to all the devices now available that enrich your existence. In the case of Evanescence, there are numerous albums ranging from the independent albums in the mid-nineties to the full-scale studio releases to date. This illustrious group has had Grammy nominations and millions in sales. Clearly, I am not the only devoted follower. With every new lineup, the group has produced quality albums of widespread appeal. It is not surprising that they have had songs for months on the Billboard Top Ten list.

In spite of a hiatus, Evanescence came back to life in 2010 better than ever. If you like the new sound, I suggest you go back to the beginning and catch up with their rich history. This is the best way to understand the group and how the present material has come about. While the recent stuff is among their best, there is a lot to appreciate in the older songs. They have just completed their Synthesis Tour in 2018 and there is a lot more to come.

Find Out More

My blog is a good source of personal opinion on Evanescence. I really hope you like it. But this post is not about that; this post is about other things on the internet. I know there are other sites around the interwebs that have information about the band. Some of them are even helpful! I’ll tell you about them now, and then you can go check them out.

If you’re looking to connect with fans, you can check out message boards. There was nothing better than the Evboard site before it fizzled out – the band even hit it up sometimes back in its heyday. There are still a few fans lurking around, but it is not nearly as active as it was. Try EvThreads instead. It is a little more active, and is where many of the fans who started out at the Evboard site ended up. There are some other message boards around but many of them are inactive – and that is a real bummer. I think it is probably a casualty of even the best bands when they sometimes take significant breaks in between albums. Fans run out of stuff to write about, I guess.

When you want band information, there are a few options. First, their own site has news, music, videos, and an official store. If you want real, verified news – that is a good place to start. If you’re looking for more in-depth pieces or unofficial information, you are in luck. There are great people who keep the Wikipedia page up to date. They use a variety of accurate information and some good sources, so it is more reliable than some other Wikipedia pages. Several band members have their own websites where they talk about all kinds of things that are going on; some have more content on them than others. Amy Lee’s site in particular has a lot on there, including information on her side projects. Just a word of caution, though: if you’re going to chat with any of them, don’t ever ask them if Evanescence is a Christian band (I’m kidding, but I am actually not kidding).

The band itself has an account on just about every social media platform you might find yourself on. I think another reason why many fans jumped ship from the message boards is that now there are more direct ways to reach the band. Amy Lee, Tim McCord, Troy McLawhorn, Will Hunt, and Jen Majura all are active on at least one form of social media – start with twitter and facebook. It’s a good way to interact with the band and allows you to get a pretty cool peek into their lives. It gives context to the music and sometimes you even get to see or hear things before they’re official.

If there are any sites that you think I’ve missed, please add them in the comments. I’d like to make it a huge list so that us fans can all waste even more time on the internet!

Going Live

One of the greatest things about music is the ability to hear the band play up close and personal. Evanescence is amazing live. If you haven’t had the chance, you really should. And while you wait for them to come to a venue near you, you can listen (or watch) Synthesis Live or Anywhere but Home. I’m sure there are bootlegs and other performances out there as well.

I’ve been to see them a few times and every time has been great. I can’t wait to see them again! They’re just so good onstage, no matter what the lineup has been. It has been fun to see them evolve as a group and hear how their sound has taken shape.

One of my favorite shows was from years ago – 2003 to be exact – in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a place I do not live. I had met a girl online through Evboard (a fan message board) and she lived there. She invited me to Summerfest so that we could see Evanescence together. She promised I could stay with her. A girl, days worth of concerts, and Evanescence? I could not find any sane reason to say no. I had a birthday coming up, so I asked for the ticket for my birthday and some gas money, and off I went. I have no idea how my parents let a 17-year-old drive two states away to stay with a girl he’d never met in person. Thank god they’re cool and don’t ask too many questions.

The day of the concert started out ok but before Evanescence took the stage, it started to rain. We spent a few hours getting alternately soaked and being hot and sweaty thanks to the humidity. The girl I was with was super cool, though, so I did not entirely mind the rain. The band came on, opening with “Going Under” – which I always thought was a perfect way to open a show. Amy Lee was wearing a cool skirt that looked like it was made out of a bunch of Steven Tyler’s scarves. Sorry, I have a little crush on her (at the time, it was a lot bigger), so I still remember the skirt.

But back to the show. Amy Lee and Ben Moody, because Moody was still with the band at that point, were dumping water onto the crowd because it was so gross out. They ran through most of the songs on Fallen. The crowd got more and more pumped despite the weather (July in Wisconsin, who knew).

My favorite part of the show was “My Immortal”. It was just totally amazing. It was like watching lightning strike right in front of you. Everyone was charged up, completely on fire. The crowd was screaming in excitement. Everyone was totally out of their minds. I still remember how awestruck I was. You knew you were seeing something really special. Words cannot do it justice, except to say: you had to be there. You should have been there.

What Else Have They Done?

Evanescence has very talented members – and it did in the past as well. When they aren’t touring or putting out albums, you can get your fix through other their other projects. If you liked a particular ex-band member, they might still be around as well. This post is designed to let you know where to look to find some of their side projects and bands that others have moved on to.

Take Amy Lee. Most recently, she made a children’s album with her family called Dream Too Much. She has also written songs for a variety of soundtracks, including Voice from the Stone, Indigo Grey: The Passage (which won Best Film Score at the Moondance International Film Festival), and War Story. She contributed to Nightmare Revisited, an album of Nightmare Before Christmas songs reimagined for the film’s 15th anniversary, by singing “Sally’s Song.” She recorded “Halfway Down the Stairs” for the Muppets: The Green Album. She also covered “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” on the Johnny Cash tribute album, We Walk the Line. Lee has worked with other bands as well. She worked with her former keyboardist David Hodges on a couple of songs. She performed backup vocals for the song, “Missing You” for the Big Dismal. She is also featured on the MTV Unplugged: Korn version of “Freak on a Leash”. But her most recognizable side contribution was her vocals on Seether’s track, “Broken,” which was on the Punisher soundtrack.

Jen Majura toured with Knorkator, a heavy metal band from Berlin, in 2016 during a band hiatus. She also performs with Alen Brentini on his solo album and as part of the group Something on 11. Will Hunt also made an appearance with Blandini & Lynch. Troy McLawhorn focuses more on producing music in his downtime and Tim McCord does some work through the Japanese music label Brave Wave Productions.

Former members of the band have kept themselves busy as well. Not all of them have gone on to the same kind of success, but most have made a name for themselves in one way or another. Ben Moody, founding member of Evanescence along with Amy Lee, has written songs for many other artists. He formed We Are the Fallen with two other ex-members of Evanescence, John LeCompt and Rocky Gray (and the band name is the reference to Evanescence’s Fallen album that you think it is). They created the group to continue with the direction they thought the band should have headed, although their facebook page hasn’t been updated since 2016. Gray has been in some other bands (and is a former member of Cryptic Memoirs, along with LeCompt) and now seems to mostly do soundtracks for horror movies. LeCompt has been busy too, playing in bands while producing others. David Hodges went from Evanescence to several other bands (most recently Arrows to Athens) and has had great success as a songwriter, working with people like Christina Perri, Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, and Tim McGraw.

As you can see, the band (both current and former) members stay quite busy!

History of Evanescence

Every longtime fan knows the history of their favorite bands. But, if you’re just getting into a group, you might need some information. This post is for those people. If you already know all of this information, feel free to skip it. If you have info you’d like to add, let me know in the comments.

Evanescence was founded in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Amy Lee and Ben Moody – a singer/pianist and guitarist, respectively. They had met a year prior at a Christian youth camp and began playing very small venues around Little Rock. Things picked up from there.

They were signed to a record label, Wind-up Records, and relocated to Los Angeles to refine their sound. The extra time paid off. Once Fallen was released, it spent nearly a year on the Top 10 Billboard charts and was certified platinum 7x. They began touring to support the album in 2003. During the tour, Moody decided to leave the band. He was quickly replaced by Terry Balsamo, and Evanescence continued the tour without further incident.

In 2006, bassist Will Boyd also left the band. They replaced him with Tim McCord. They had many challenges while working on their next studio album: Balsamo had a stroke, attributed possibly to a blood clot; side projects made people unavailable at various times; and Lee wanted to be sure they had enough time to develop the album. Open Door came out that August, with a tour following that October.

During this tour, there were more personnel changes. Guitarist John LeCompt was fired, while Rocky Gray (the drummer) quit. Will Hunt and Troy McLawhorn replaced them to finish the remaining dates.

Fans were excited when Amy Lee announced that they were writing material for a new album during the summer of 2009. Once again, however, there were delays. They started touring at the end of August 2011, and Evanescence was released in October. The band was on the road for a long time, through the end of 2012. The changes just kept coming, however. The band’s contract and back catalog was sold to another label. Lee sued their old label for unpaid royalties and Evanescence was eventually released from the new label.

The band took another break, this time through 2015. They lost guitarist Balsamo and replaced him with Jen Majura. They went on tour but did not start recording again until 2017, releasing Synthesis toward the end of that year.  They have been touring to promote the album and will be recording a new album.

The history of Evanescence has been complicated: personnel changes, album delays, and record label issues. It’s been a lot to keep track of and that’s why I thought this post might be helpful. Despite all these challenges, Evanescence has remained true to what is most important to them, and to their fans: touring and putting out good, quality music. That is the only thing that really matters.