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Sunday, Nov. 23. SJSU Event Center, 290 S. Seventh St., San Jose, 408.998.TIXS, 7pm. $28.50

Stirring up a whirlwind of controversy, Evanescence shed the early Christian-rock ties that bound the group and pulled on the sweeping velvet cloak of self-described "epic, dramatic, dark rock." Founded in Little Rock, Ark., by the young songwriting team of Amy Lee and Ben Moody, the band hit the charts and stayed there with its debut album, Fallen, after first single "Bring Me to Life" caught fire. Evanescence's Garbage-meets-Linkin Park appeal proved to be an extremely winning combination for album sales. Fallen just came out in March, but it's already reached the double-platinum mark and become one of the hottest records of the year.

The group got its start near the close of the '90s when a 14-year-old Moody introduced himself to a 13-year-old Lee at summer youth camp after hearing her play Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)" on the piano. Soon after that, they became friends and began writing songs together.

It wasn't until a radio station latched onto one of their independent recordings, a seven-minute gothic anthem titled "Understanding," that their popularity began to grow. The attention spurred hometown interest for this mysterious local band that seemed as elusive as the dissipating vapor it's named for.

Live, Evanescence features guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray, plus touring bassist Will Boyd. It's Lee though, who's the main attraction. The classically trained pianist and former choir girl leads the show, a sweaty siren dressed in vampish costumes and rocking out with the crowd. (Sarah Quelland)

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Winter Music Guide 2003
The Fingerbangerz
The Faction
David Bowie
The Matches
The Ataris
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Good Charlotte
Hot Water Music
The Polyphonic Spree
Ticketmaster's new bid-for-tickets system
Winter music listings

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From the October 30-November 5, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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