One of Hard Rock’s most electrifying acts over the past several years, has been Pennsylvania’s own Grammy Award Winning, Halestorm returned home to Pennsylvania on October 2nd with their “Into the Wild Life Tour” that was promoted as “A Wild Evening With Halestorm.” This meant that fans would a very intimate unplugged acoustic performance followed by a full electric performance of their newest record “Into The Wild Life,” with multiple of the bands older tracks being added into the setlist at some point throughout the evening. Although this show was originally supposed to be hosted at The Festival Pier in Philadelphia it was moved the evening before the show to Camden, NJ’s Susquehanna Bank Center due to a hurricane brewing up along the Atlantic coast, along with making sure the filming of their Live DVD was not interrupted in anyway due to weather.
The show/tour being sponsored by Jägermeister started with a brief MC’ed beginning to announce the show and talk about the band and the brand just as the MC exited the stage, Halestorm walked onto the stage with no special or fancy entrance just a dimming of the lights as the band walked on stage with a explosive cheer from the crowd. Lzzy Hale was the first and only member on stage for the first song as she beautifully sang out a medley of “Break In” and “Beautiful With You” from behind an alluring white piano that was branded with the band’s logo in purple on top along with a big golden letter H, on the side of the piano. After a brief applause, she asked the “boys” to join her on stage as they quickly went into “Rock Show” off their second full length album, The Strange Case Of… ! Then going into a song that is a well known radio hit by Halestorm called “I Get Off”, then “What Sober Couldn’t Say” before going into a very well done Halestorm rendition of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush.” Halestorm presented a side of themselves to the audience that most bands can’t pull off. From the bare minimum of having no opening act to having the band play fully acoustic with drummer, and Lzzy Hale’s brother, Arejay Hale playing a cajon, they masterfully played stripped down versions of some of their more popular songs. Playing “Familiar Taste of Poison” before Ending out their incredibly stripped down intimate acoustic set with “Mz.Hyde” in which the crowd exploded into applause as they then waited until they quickly changed over the stage and got costume changes before going into their blistering plugged in rock set in which we all know and love from a Halestorm show.
The backdrop was changed to present us with Halestorm in words rather then just their logo which was seen during their acoustic set, the piano was rolled off stage and things were set for the main event of the night as Halestorm returned to the stage. The band quickly emerged to the stage to kick off the electric set with “Sick Individual” from their 2014 release of “Into The Wild Life” via Atlantic Records. The crowd instantly energized with the opening riffs of “Sick Individual” when the crowd erupted into a roar of screams. The Pennsylvania rockers closed out the evening with a set of old-school favorites “Here’s To Us” and “I Miss The Misery”. Prior to the start of the “A Wild Evening With Halestorm” tour Lzzy declared “Here’s what you’re gonna get: a full evening with only Halestorm, in the spirit of our latest record, doing whatever the #%@! we want!”. I can say with confidence that Philadelphia loved every minute of Halestorm doing whatever the #%@! they wanted! Their plugged in electric set was beyond flawless and extraordinary, leaving the fans in amazement. I can honestly say that this was their best performance I have ever seen from Halestorm and I have seen them a numerous amount of times.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a rock concert that I felt was deserving of that Rock category. HALESTORM is no imitation. As many have attempted to capture the feel of classic rock, few have succeeded. HALESTORM didn’t get here overnight. This storm has been building for 18 years, strengthening its core and fine tuning its rotation for maximum impact. The momentum that started this one was Lzzy and Arejay Hale. Arejay’s drumming is a signature force and central to the sound of the band. Lzzy’s musicianship on both piano and guitar, her commanding stage presence in a way that is both sassy and alluring, and her insane vocal ability, makes her a genuine leading lady of rock. This band is the perfect storm of musicians, great music, and stage presence with an attitude that isn’t forced, but rather a personification of their music. Their show is a perfect balance of calm before the storm and all out mayhem. They deliver an authentic rock beat that is uniquely HALESTORM where many have flatlined in the process. Being a female in a rock band isn’t a dream many have the guts to go for, much less realize. Lzzy Hale is a femme fatale in that she’s come out on top in a genre where the odds were clearly stacked against her. She is a rock star, not because of an image she contrived, but because she refused to give up on her dream or change who she was to fill someone else’s high heels. When she takes the stage as Lzzy Hale, she has 31 years of experience in being just that. As the frontwoman of HALESTORM, she is surrounded by her dream. As her parents looked on from the side stage Saturday night, I imagine they must have been thinking, “Dear Daughter, you done good.” Look forward to seeing this entire show on a live DVD release very soon!