hmv.com reviews... Halestorm @ Glasgow Barrowlands
Pennsylvania hard rockers Halestorm previewed their new album Into The Wild Life at a packed Glasgow Barrowlands on Friday (March 6th) and blew the roof off. We review the show...
American Rock band Halestorm, 2013 Grammy winners in the Best Hard Rock/Metal performance category for the track 'Love Bites (So Do I)'.
The four piece band hail from Pennsylvania and feature on vocals and guitars Lzzy Hale (yup that is the correct spelling!) along with her brother Arejay on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitars and Josh Smith on bass.
Truly a band that defies pigeonholing, Halestorm have just came off of some dates in the US with country superstar Eric Church and have supported the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Disturbed and Bullet For My Valentine in the past.
The iconic Barrowland Ballroom, a short walk out of Glasgow city centre. Arguably the best live venue in Glasgow.
Any good supports?
Yep, two excellent bands were on show before the main event. First up were Wilson, a five piece from Detroit who can only be described as total lunatics on stage. They came for a party and to make new friends and that’s exactly what they did. Kind of like an American version of Brit upstarts Black Spiders merged with some Pantera, they got the crowd right on side when they dropped an incredible cover of 'Son of A Bitch' from Scottish legends Nazareth.
Next up were Nothing More. Fresh from playing Soundwave festival in Australia along with a 30 hour flight to get to the UK, these guys were the absolute surprise package of tonight's bill. Once a song began it would go totally in the opposite direction and change styles throughout. Similar to what Biffy Clyro do but without actually sounding like The Biff, they reminded us of a better looking Dream Theater. Great musicianship and when all four band members finished the set by all playing different drums, it was truly spellbinding.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Those two little words that bands and promoters alike love to hear - Sold Out, so that’s a 1900 capacity crowd. Each time Halestorm have played Glasgow it's been a steady increase in venue size which is a great testament to their songs and stagecraft.
It was a very mixed crowd, lots of parents with teenage kids, the t-shirts on show ranged from Slipknot to Fleetwood Mac so that gives an idea of how wide a range the average Halestorm crowd is. Ready for it from the off, this was a noisy, robust crowd that were ready to make themselves heard.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Halestorm play on average 260 gigs a year, meaning that they are a band born to be on the live stage. Tonight was indeed the sixth time that this writer has caught them live in Glasgow since February 2012, they're true road warriors.
They opened with 'Mz Hyde' from sophomore album Strange Case Of, with Lzzy sporting some cool Aviator shades and slinging her signature Gibson Explorer guitar with real abandon. From there it was straight into 'Its Not You', the opening track on the band's debut album I'm In Love With Somebody And It's Not You, a great line from a singer who doesn’t pull any punches.
The set is drawn heavily from Strange Case Of, with nine of its 12 tracks aired tonight. We also get to hear some new tunes from the band's forthcoming album Into The Wild Life, with 'Amen', 'Mayhem', 'Apocalyptic' and 'I Like It Heavy' all aired. The tracks are four very different sounding songs, 'Mayhem' was aired on the last tour as a work in progress and is a cracking, storming monster of a song, 'Apocalyptic' has got an smoking hot groove to it, 'I Like It Heavy' is a future anthem, but 'Amen' is the one to watch, it's hooks a plenty, with a trademark How the hell did she do that Lzzy Hale scream!
From the band's formidable back catalogue we also get the likes of 'Freak Like Me', 'Daughters of Darkness', 'Rock Show' and 'I MissThe Misery', songs that prove Halestorm have more hooks in their tunes than some bands have in their entire career.
Before you know it the set is coming to a close and that means one thing, 'Here's To Us" and we don’t mean the Glee version either! This is the original Halestorm version complete with F-Bombs, a great show stopper and perhaps one of the best drinking songs ever by a band that aren't Chas & Dave...
Any good between song banter?
Lzzy has a great relationship with the fans, totally embracing social media and making herself very accessible, therefore she comes across more of a friend to many in the crowd. Endless thank you's, mentions of all the famous bands that have played here and a very funny quip about the Barrowlands past history as a ballroom, mentioning the fact that maybe some of the crowd were conceived after a night at the dancing .
But the best quote was when Lzzy mentioned that the band have been together for 10 years now and they measure their success in "small triumphs & tonight is another small triumph".
Did they put on much of a show?
Halestorm are all about the songs so no gimmicks or effects are required, but special mention needs to go to Arejay Hale for his drum solo that didn't see a rush for the toilets! A great drummer and an incredible showman, everyone especially loved the oversize drumsticks.
What was the highlight of the set?
The new tracks that were aired were exceptional, in particular current single 'Amen', an incredibly catchy rock song that will have you humming away for weeks after hearing it. But for us, it was the extended version of 'Miss The Misery' that capped off an awesome show. The track is always a fans' favourite, but it was made even better by some magical riffing from Joe Hottinger.
Where can I catch them next?
The band are making the drive down south for a handful of dates. Don't miss this cracking triple bill.