The face of heavy metal is changing, it has been for a few years, but now more than ever the walls of male dominance are crumbling. And rightly so. Leading the way and evolving the shape of the music scene for the better is Lzzy Hale, the charismatic vocalist and guitarist of Halestorm.
Tonight, in a windswept Birmingham, fans queue around the block to see the band on their sold-out UK tour. Proof, if any was needed, that the newer faces on the rock and roll block have the pulling power to fill major venues and soon enough will be kicking the old guard to the kerb.
The Academy is nearly full early doors, so much so it’s a fight to get in and see opening act Rews, an alt-rock duo of
Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams. Their sound is the perfect fit for Halestorm, high energy hard rock with an edge and a twist. They are the perfect way to kick off the evening, and if you missed them, they’ll be playing throughout the country on their own tour later this year. The Revival recommends you check them out!
Avatar, if you’ve never seen them before, are the ultimate showmen of heavy metal. Their set is as much about the visual imagery as it is about the music. Frontman Eckerström dresses as an old school circus ring master, very much the narrator of the freak show we witness. Musically catchy and visually stunning they are another band not to be missed, and one we’ll look at more in depth on The Revival in the coming days!
The main event though is Halestorm, the room is packed and there is an electricity in the air, and excitement at what we are about to witness. They have no intro tape, no gimmicks and no bright lights. From the shadows at the back of the stage Lzzy Hale appears, alone, and sings acapella a lone spotlight highlighting her face. The segment highlights her stunning vocals talents, the highs she can reach and the notes she can hold. A understated way to start off the show, but in the same breath, the perfect way to begin.
As the set kicks off in full, they start with Do Not Disturb and Love Bites, Lzzy’s stunning vocals intermingled with a wide smile, as she and the rest of the band love every minute. The crowd feed off their energy going wild, singing along with gusto.
A sea of cell phone lights, replacing the old lighters, fill the air as I Am The Fire kicks in, a visual spectacle not to be missed. But the band are not about the spectacle and have shown that throughout the evening. The no frills approach focuses the fan on the music, of which no one can argue is of the highest quality. Joe’s solos mid song are exquisite works of art on the fret board, breaking up the song and highlighting the musical talent on show.
The band mix old and new material throughout the performance, showing just how good their song writing has been throughout their career. The encore of I Miss the Misery and Here’s To Us round out a wonderful evening and send the fans away happy. Tonight, highlights a changing of the guard is coming, and Halestorm are well and truly at the forefront of it.