Review/photos by Thomas S, Orwat, Jr.
Buffalo, NY – Last Sunday, WNY fans of modern rock had one last chance to enjoy an outdoor festival concert , as summer 2012 gasped it’s last dying breath, but still managed to provide us with a beautiful sunny sky, with temperatures in the high 80’s. This event was radio station- WEDG 103.3, “EDGEFEST 2012,” held at the scenic and beautiful Outer Harbor on the lake in Buffalo, NY. This festival featured all of the bands currently on the “Carnival of Madness” tour, which includes Evanescence, Chevelle, Halestorm, Cavo and New Medicine, but with the additional added bands – Three Days Grace and Black Stone Cherry. This was the first time, since 2005 that this event was held at this location (and also the first EdgeFest in a couple years). And with all of the positive feedback from the thousands in attendance, I can assure you that this will be the location for many more “EdgeFests” in the upcoming years. The organizers of the festival did an outstanding job utilizing two adjacent stages making for very little down time between acts. This was truly the place the be on the Sunday before Labor day.
Although all the bands participating had entertaining and energetic sets, it was Halestorm and Evanescence, the two bands lead by female singers, that stole the show. Halestorm performed in the heat of the brutal sun, but still managed to show why they are considered one of the best modern rock bands around. Lead by the lead singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale, who was recently voted the “Hottest Chick in Rock” by Revolver magazine, Halestorm played a convincing seven song set. The band kicked into high gear with their first single “Love Bites, So Do I,” from their recent CD, “The Strange Case of…” Lzzy wailed on the guitar and intensely sang every note, proving that that she is more than just a sex symbol, but an extremely talented singer/musician as well. During the fourth song of the evening, Halestorm was joined by Amy Lee of Evanescence for the piano ballad “Break In.” Seeing both Lzzy and Amy onstage performing together was the highlight of the entire festival. This track has the potential to be a huge hit. Halestorm then ended the evening with rocking versions of their first single “I Get Off,” followed by the mid tempo “Here’s to Us.” Afterwards, Lzzy thanked the audience, declaring it “an honor” to be able to perform to such a great audience.
Following a well received, hard hitting ten song set by the grunge influenced, flannel shirt wearing band Chevelle, Evanescence hit the stage as the summer sky faded to darkness. The goth influenced rockers, lead by the vocally gifted, Amy Lee, played a full 17 song set that was intense, emotional and haunting. This is a band that must be seen live. Opening with their first single, “What You Want” from their 2011 release self titled release, the band stormed the stage. With dark blue, violet and red lights covering the band, and Amy Lee running around the stage – never still for a moment, Evanescence instantly gained the attention of the audience (and made it very challenging for photographers to capture good shots). In addition to Amy Lee’s spot on operatic vocals and beautiful piano playing, the other members of Evanescence are very competent musicians. Lead guitarist, Terry Balsamo (ex-Cold), played some aggressive and melodic leads along with co-lead guitarist, Troy McLawhorn. Additional highlights included the bands new single, “The Other Side,” their 2003 mega hit, “Bring Me to Life,“ and the last song of their encore, “My Immortal.”
The Edgefest was a huge success and a great close to awesome summer of concerts in WNY. Hopefully, we will have a few good shows to hold us over until next summer, when we can rock it all over again.