Sometimes in life you experience something that justifies your actions and feelings. I had an experience like that last night at a packed House Of Blues Cleveland.
The mighty Halestorm was in town for the big Rock Show supporting their juggernaut The Strange Case Of… record, as well as the newly released ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP. They kicked things off with a blistering version of ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and just never let up. The setlist overall touched on all eras of the band’s recording history, mixing in a few deep cuts among the more well known songs.
Being a fairly new fan, I was curious as to how Lzzy’s voice would compare to the amazing vocals on record. She MORE than surpassed my expectations, absolutely nailing the screams that punctuate many of Halestorm’s songs. She crushed it on the cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Dissident Aggressor,’ as well as “I Miss The Misery” which was part of the encore. Guitarist Joe plays absolutely perfectly to fit each song, with no overplaying. His stage presence is incredibly strong and engaging (and on a personal note, I would like to thank him for the picks, since I was directly in front of him!). Bassist Josh holds down the low end and plays some really intricate stuff, while adding great backing vocals. But Halestorm has a secret weapon that puts them over the top into the upper echelon of hard rock bands, and his name is Arejay.
If Arejay Hale is not already on the cover of every drumming magazine on the newsstand, he damn well should be. He is ridiculously entertaining to watch, and he has an absolute perfect balance of power and finesse to his playing. He is worth the price of admission alone, but instead, you get a killer band with amazing chemistry that is clicking on all cylinders right now.
Going back to what I said at the beginning, the Halestorm show reaffirmed for me exactly why I have spent the last 27 years or so attending 350+ shows. When a band puts out killer records, can back them up with an amazing live show, AND shows a genuine appreciation for their supporters, there is nothing in the world better to me. Halestorm is that band, and I urge anyone who is reading this to go out and support them if you ever get the chance.
By the way, if anyone happened to see me at the show last night, I just wanted to clear something up. When Lzzy performed ‘Break In’ solo with her piano, I had something in my eye, I swear! Don’t you judge me…