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  • Orpheum 216 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Good lord. What do you even say about Little Rock, Arkansas-formed nu-metal megastars Evanescence these days? Could vocalist Amy Lee possibly have to carry any more weight on her back? She's like LeBron James carrying the Cleveland Cavs around—working desperately to use her soaring, melodramatic vocal arrangements to push the most blandly uninspired post-grunge guitar riffs and clunky drum grooves toward some kind of greater purpose. Ever since Evanescence's 2003 major-label debut Fallen popped up out of nowhere to give nu-metal its final crossover death gasp and sell more than 17 million units, the band's lineup has completely turned over, and they've effectively been running in place. Also, what a bummer to be some die-hard Evanescence fan who's been waiting seven years for a new album since 2011's self-titled release and the band's subsequent hiatus, only to get this year's Synthesis, which, despite being called a "new album," is primarily just reinterpretations of their old songs. It's easy to find charm in the sharp production, the forced orchestral flare, and Lee's big hooks, but as long as Evanescence works within the whiny radio-rock framework that's tailored to appeal to angsty teenagers, their audience will keep growing into adulthood, discovering the Cocteau Twins, and jumping ship. —Joel Shanahan

Earlier Event: December 3
Takács Quartet + Garrick Ohlsson