Saturday, February 6, 2010

Halestorm Live - January 29, 2010

On a freezing night in New Jersey I travelled to the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville to see one of my favorite bands, Theory of a Deadman. They were performing with Taking Dawn, Adelitas Way, and Halestorm. I had never seen any of the other bands and only heard a couple of songs by Halestorm, but the buzz around the internet was that these bands were great, so I was intrigued about the opening acts.

I was meeting my friends Bobby and Joe at the Ballroom and we planned to meet for dinner first. Bobby has a notoriously bad habit of being late for everything that he goes to, no matter what. So when he told me earlier in the week that he would arrive around 6, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. However, since I wasn’t going to make until 7, I figured we were ok.

I called him when I was leaving my office (at 5:30) and he hadn’t even left his house yet. As always, there was a story to go along with why he was running late. There’s always a story. I headed south to the show and told him I’d call when I was closer to the venue, we could meet for dinner at a nearby bar/grill.

I got to the bar at 6:40 (I have the exact opposite problem of Bobby) and called him to see where he was. He was just leaving our town (over an hour away) then. He said that he would see me at the venue. I laughed to myself, went in for dinner and after a good meal and a few beers, I headed over to the Starland Ballroom.

I completely missed Taking Dawn. By the time I got inside, they were already on and off the stage and preparations were being made for Adelitas Way to perform. I had heard a lot about Adelitas Way through the good rock internet sites. The buzz was strong and they were getting a lot of positive heat. I was curious to see how they sounded and to learn if they were able to live up to the hype.

Adelitas Way took the stage in a surge of rock and roll. Heavy guitar and a fast, rocking rhythm shocked my system and I knew these guys were good. The lead singer, Rick Dejesus, looked like a young Jacoby Shaddix, and had a tough, gritty appearance. He had honed the rock star look.

One thing I immediately noticed was the lead guitarist. Not only was he an exceptional guitar player, but he had the coolest Buddy Holly glasses ever. A rock star with glasses? That was a rarity. It was a wild look for him and gave the appearance of an everyday Joe, as opposed to the larger than life, unapproachable rock star.

The songs were amazing. Adelitas Way lived up to the hype and put on a heck of a show. They played 6 songs, but they were all solid ones. DeJesus was good at working the crowd and he had a strong voice able to carry the heavy tunes the band played. Reminiscent of Papa Roach and BuckCherry, Adelitas Way was a great band that I will be paying some attention to this year.

Once they had finished their set, I looked around to see if Bobby and Joe had shown up yet. They hadn’t. I shot a quick text letting him know that he missed the 2nd opening act and that Halestorm was coming up next. I was very curious to see Halestorm. The local radio stations had picked up a couple of their songs and they were amazing. The internet buzz was super strong on praising the band and of course talking up their sexy lead singer, Lzzy Hale. Even my friends over at Hard Rock Hideout were high about this band. When they are glowing about a band, I know I have to pay attention.

Halestorm took the stage in unique fashion. The lights went out, and a low moan came from somewhere beyond the stage. The moan slowly grew into a howl and as it built in intensity, Lzzy Hale took to the stage, a V-shaped electric guitar in hand. The siren yodel was coming from her and I was flabbergasted. What a set of pipes she had! She yodeled again and the sweet sound shaped into the opening lyrics of It’s Not You. As she continued, the remaining band members trotted onto the stage and took their positions. When everyone was in place, Lzzy sang the intro: “I’m in love with somebody and it’s not you!” Boom! The song kicked in and their stage show had begun.

Selling her sultry sensual sexiness, Lzzy Hale was not shy about how hot she was. She played it up to the crowd in her stage comments, her provocative dress, and her songs. She talked about how she liked to be on top and in control when in the bedroom and of course the guys just went nuts. This little vixen had all the men in the palm of her hands (and probably some women too).

If it was just sex and candy, then Halestorm wouldn’t even be worth writing about, but along with having one of the hottest women in rock and roll front their band, Halestorm can play. Their songs were crisp, bursting with strong guitar and drums and, of course, a lead singer whose voice was amazing. Hale’s ability behind the microphone is astonishing.

After their first two (maybe three) songs, Lzzy Hale introduced Archie on the drums and then the rest of the band promptly left the stage. I stood there thinking to myself, “There is no way in hell this guy is about to do a drum solo.” He was. Who does drum solos anymore, especially as an opening act? These guys were nuts.

Archie started out with the typical drum solo then threw away his drum sticks. The bass player immediately ran out and handed Archie another pair of drum sticks, only these looked like mini logs. Archie began wailing away on the drums with the mini logs, twirling them around and never missing a beat. Combined with his exaggerated facial expressions, it was quite comical to watch.

The guitarist then came back out with a tom drum in his hands. He held the tom drum in front of Archie who stood up and started playing it. He walked from behind his kit and continued banging away. The tom was slammed to the stage while Archie attacked it. The next thing I knew, every member of the band was walking out with tom drums and sticks in their hands. They all slapped their drums on the stage and began whacking away. In unison the four of them drummed out quite a beat. My mouth was hanging open. It was the coolest drum solo I ever saw and a very entertaining idea. Halestorm was proving to be a talent.

They finished up the night with the one-two punch of Dirty Work and I Get Off. After that performance, I was hooked. I knew I was going to have to get their CD (and I did – review coming soon). Lzzy Hale and company were completely astonishing in their performance. Having a gorgeous lead singer who flaunts her sexuality and plays it up for the men in the crowd only makes the band that much more likeable. They were astounding in concert and I would pay money to see them again.

Next Week: My review of Theory of a Deadman


Bonnie Rockitt (HRH) said...

I told you Ryo! And I haven't even seen them live yet! I'm so jealous!

Ryo Vie said...

You would have loved it! I hope they get to your area soon.

Anonymous said...

This is a great review of a great band. I love them very much. But have to point out that the drummer's name is Arejay and when Lzzy speaks about being on top and in control, she never mentions the bedroom. (But a "male" would think so... LOL!) ;)

Nice reading anyway! I recommend this site!!!

Anonymous said...

It is an amazing band for sure, their music is incredible, plus she is very beautiful and sexy, love her voice.

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