A little while ago I was very lucky to see one of my favourite bands – Halestorm 🙂
In 1998, Lizzy Hale (vocals, guitar, piano) and her brother Arejay Hale (drums) founded the band in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. The Hardrock band was mainly influenced by other rock legends from the 70’s and 80’s such as Alice Cooper or Van Halen. In the beginning, they toured together with their dad Roger Hale (bass) and released their album ‘Forecast for the Future’ before Joe Hottinger (guitar since 2003) and Josh Smith (bass since 2004) joined and completed the band. Atlantic Records signed the band in 2005 before they started touring again and released the ‘One and Done’ live EP in 2006. The debut album ‘Halestorm’ was released in 2009 charting on place 40 of the US-Charts. After playing a live show in at The TLA in Philadelphia in early 2010, the band released the record of this concert called ‘Live in Philly 2010’ later that year followed by a cover EP ‘ReAnimate’ in 2011. With their in 2012 released second full-length studio album ‘The Strange Case Of…’ they were nominated for a Grammy and won the category as best Hardrock/Metal performance in 2013 being the first female fronted band. In 2015 ‘Into the Wild Live’ was released as their third full-length album after a tribute EP ‘This Is Your Life’ for Ronnie James Dio in 2013. The latest release of the band was another cover EP called ‘ReAniMate 3.0’ in 2017.
The musical style of the band is a mix of Heavy Metal and Hardrock. Lizzy’s voice and enormous vocal range gives the band their individual touch. Mixing high rough and clear belting notes with soft low and edgy tones, the band has many heavy songs but also some heart-breaking ballads. Furthermore, the lyrics and music are written by the band members themselves based on experiences or other stories such as for example a fan letter about the person’s experience of the first rock concert (Rock Show – Strange Case Of…).
With loads of shows not only in the USA but also in Europe and some Asian countries, Halestorm is very well known for their non-stop touring. Hence, I was absolutely happy after I heard that they would have some headlining shows in Germany after I missed the chance of seeing them play live before.
As supporting acts, they brought two bands from the USA which were first Wilson who was followed by Nothing More.
Wilson is a rock band from Detroit, Michigan who was founded in 2010 and currently consists of the members Jason Spencer (founder, lead guitar), Chad Nicefield (vocals), Kyle Landry (rhythm guitar), James Lascu (bass) as well as Matt Puhy (drums). Following their first EP ‘Standing on the Reel’, the band released their first full-length album ‘Full Blast Fuckery’ in 2013 via Easy Killer Records and Damage Records which was then followed by some tour dates in the USA. In 2015, the band released their second album ‘Right To Rise’ and started touring some parts of Europe alongside Halestorm and Nothing More.
Being the first band of the evening, Wilson started quite heavy and highly energetic seeming to have a lot of fun on the stage. It was the right start as they animated the crowd.
The next band on the stage was the Alternative Metal band Nothing More who was formed in 2003 in San Antonio, Texas and currently consists of Jonny Hawkins (vocals, additional drums), Mark Vollelunga (guitar), Daniel Oliver (bass) and Ben Anderson (drums). So far the band released six albums. The first three albums, ‘Shelter’ (2004), ‘Madhatter’s Bliss’ (2005) and ‘Vandura’ (2006), were released by themselves. ‘Save You/Save Me’ (2007) and ‘The Few Not Fleeting’ (2009) both were released via Vestia Entertainment before the band was signed to Eleven Seven Music in 2014. Their self-titled album ‘Nothing More’ was first released in 2013 but then re-released in 2014 via Eleven Seven Music and charted on place 33 of the US-Charts.
The band is known for their unique and special live performances where they use different self-made instrument constellations such as the ‘Bassinator’ that is played by four of the members at one time. Their music is mainly influenced by personal experiences and also by philosophy and movies. Furthermore, the singing technique and voice of the singer was quite unique as he used his fingers to create a vibrato sound.
The whole sound and show of the band was very interesting and got the crowd right from the beginning. With their special performances and interesting percussion techniques, it was a great to see the crowd getting hyped. The band showed their passion and seemed to be absolutely happy on stage – having loads of fun.
Leaving a very happy crowd Halestorm came finally on stage and rocked the crowd. It was absolutely amazing! Lizzy’s voice is great and sounded as good as on their records, showing that she really can sing in her full range. They all seemed to have a lot of fun. The crowd also was happy, sang along and engaged. However, in my eyes, it was a little bit older audience coming from the biker scene. But that didn’t mean they would have had less fun 😀
The acoustic of the venue (Batschkapp, Frankfurt am Main) was good as well. The instruments were clearly recognisable and it wasn’t too noisy or loud which is very important for heavy music as it otherwise would turn into one loud mess of everything. The show in general didn’t need a lot of different lights. A simple light show was enough to support the emotions of the show and create a deep and cosy atmosphere. As the venue itself was quite small with a capacity of up to 1500 people, the bands seemed to connect with the crowd quite easily and the crowd was a part of the show itself as well.
I always really like the smaller shows as the atmosphere is absolutely amazing! It was definitely a special time seeing Halestorm live and the concert was a great show. Another special of the evening was the crowd singing ‘Happy Birthday’ for Arejay who celebrated his special day kind of with the crowd that day 😀 Such small and atmospheric concerts always come along some magical vibes and ambience!