Its a cold September night in Portsmouth, the ideal weather for a storm, which is ideal as Halestorm are in town, and they are ready to party. Halestorm are one of the new best new rock bands of the last 5 years, having spent a considerable amount of their time touring stateside the band finally gets to come share the love with their fans in the UK, with this being their first ever UK headline tour, and with every date on this tour being a sell out it seems like anticipation has been high.
Opening tonight’s proceedings with a powerful rendition of ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ which sets the bar pretty high, and before you even have a chance to know what’s hit they have already launched into ‘Mz Hyde’ both of which come from the band’s incredible new album “The Strange Case Of…” and show the kind of progress the band has made in such a short amount of time, the extensive nature of their touring schedule also means that by the time they land in our neck of the woods, the band is tighter than security at MI5.
Even though the majority of tonight’s set revolves largely around the band’s newest album, they do delve into their self titled album for the likes of ‘Its Not You’ and a rather haunting version of ‘A Familiar Taste Of Poison’ which sounds absolutely spine tingling tonight. Although the decision for them to follow that with Lzzy Hale side stage with nothing but a keyboard and a spotlight for a heartbreakingly beautiful run through of ‘Break In’ created a moment of such emotion that I nearly broke down and cried, still it was a moment that really stood out and that being a special song created one of my highlights of the show.
The latter half of the show was all energy and rock n’ roll spirit though complete with Drummer Arejay Hale getting to do a mental Animal from the Muppets style drum solo spot, Guns N’ Roses and Judas Priest covers, alongside the likes of the bands own ‘Rock Show’, ‘I Get Off’ ‘You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing’ and the finale of ‘I Miss The Misery’ and ‘Here’s To Us’ the latter saw the band loosen right up and lead the crowd in a mass sing along with arms aloft swaying in total unison, it was like one big party and an amazing way to end the show.
Halestorm are a band that musically may not be to everyone’s taste, but they are without a doubt one of the most energetic and impassioned live bands in the world right now, led by the charismatic and multi talented Lzzy Hale, a frontwoman with one of the best voices in rock right now and who knows how to command an audience to the point where she gets them involved with the show, but never so much that she overshadows the rest of the band. She has the benefit of being backed by a band who knows their way around a stage and knows how to give their fans a live experience that will leave you singing, jumping and grinning from ear to ear at the end of it.
Whether its playing to 20,000 people in the mud at 11am at Download or blasting through an hour and a half on their own headline show, Halestorm always give a 110% and if for some reason you didn’t catch them this time around, them make sure you see them next time when they return which hopefully will be sooner rather than later.
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal at the Manchester show.