Sitting on a piano bench on stage at the Laredo Energy Arena, Amy Lee, lead singer ofEvanescence, closed The Carnival of Madness Tour’s stop in the Gateway City. The spotlight showered Amy Lee, who played ‘My Immortal’ on piano, with a soft glow that pushed the drama in the rock diva’s resonating vocal performance. Evanescence's encore was the climax of a 6-hour, jam-packed lineup that reflected various sub-genres of Alternative Rock and proved that rock isn’t dead in the 956. Audience members grew up with the hits of Chevelle and Evanescence while the younger crowds got their first taste of rock through newer acts like Halestorm. Despite the absence of a rock station in Laredo, there was an excited crowd that showed up early to support the event.
The support of a strong rock scene is undeniable; they are present and support most events that come into town. However, the next step to drawing in a bigger audience is to introduce more Laredoans to alternative music. Bringing in The Carnival of Madness was a great event that attracted new fans by offering a variety of bands in the rock genre. The concert introduced Laredo to the new faces of Alternative Rock in New Medicine and CAVO as well bringing in rock staples: Halestorm, Chevelle, and Evanescence.
The Carnival of Madness’ stop in Laredo, its only tour date in South Texas, reminded concert goers of two things: concerts are about the experience and it pays off to get a good spot in General Admission. The audience got their money’s worth with a setlist that included bands that are on heavy rotation on alternative rock stations throughout the country. Those who came early to save a good spot for the Evanescence set were treated to opening sets by CAVO and New Medicine. CAVO played songs off their ‘Thick as Thieves” album, including their single ‘Champagne.’ New Medicine thanked the early crowd for joining them for their set and played their single ‘Rich Kids’ among other songs from their album, ‘Race You To The Bottom.’
Halestorm was the third act of the night, and they continued the energetic buildup for the headlining acts. The Laredo crowd welcomed them with a wave of camera phones lit up for their wild
entrance. Lead singer, Lzzy Hale, rocked the stage in a black skintight suit. Riding high of their continued success of their breakthrough album, ‘The Strange Case of...,’ Halestorm played their singles such as ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and ‘I Get Off.’ Lzzy used their song ‘Rock Show’ to acknowledge the fans who waited in the heat to be the first ones into the night’s rock show. The band ended the evening with their upbeat song, ‘Here’s To Us.’
Halestorm was one of the stronger acts of the night with Lzzy Hale providing rawness in her voice and her band mates in sound. Although a newer band with a younger fan base, Halestorm had the vocal and guitar chops to impress even seasoned rock fans. This was Halestorm’s third time to Laredo, and they continue to put on a show that scream of the rawness of rock n’ roll.
Another band familiar to Laredo was Chevelle who went on after Halestorm. The trio’s second visit to Laredo erupted into swarms of mosh pits that were in synchronization with the crescendo of their hits ‘Send the Pain Below’ and ‘Jars.’ Leader singer, Pete Loeffler, also played one of their well-known songs ‘The Red’ with an eerie, red backdrop to accompany the tone of the song. Their music was edgier and more testosterone filled than the other acts on the bill, and this made the perfect breeding ground for moshing. The band filled the rest of their set with songs from their latest album, ‘Hats Off To The Bull.”
Undoubtedly, the crowd was won over by Evanescence’s long list of hit songs. Despite being midway through the Carnival of Madness Tour, Evanescence frontwoman, Amy Lee did not skip a beat in her showmanship. Amy Lee spent the entire show jumping from playing the piano for their song ‘Lithium’ to playing the keyboard for ‘Call Me When You're Sober.’ This on top of her ability to own the stage and getting close to fans while performing hit songs such as ‘Going Under’ and ‘The Other Side.’ The crowd in the LEA erupted the loudest when the intro for ‘Bring to Life,’ their breakthrough single, began.
The most moving moments, however, were when Amy Lee’s voice was accompanied with solely her piano playing. Fans left with these unforgettable experiences of the spine-chilling vocals of Amy Lee. From the set list to their monochromatic backdrop and Amy Lee’s ethereal looks their set was one of the best rock performances to ever hit the LEA. The Carnival of Madness gave music fans a reason to mosh, sing-a-long, and bust out the camera phone to record every second of the show. More importantly, Laredoans showed their support for rock and the demand for the next rock show to plan a stop here in town.
Photography by: Eduardo Gonzalez
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