Halestorm’s army of UK freaks (as their fanbase are so affectionately known) has been growing rapidly year on year ever since the release of the superb 2012 album The Strange Case Of… Three years on, it’s little surprise to find them tonight headlining the Camden Town Roundhouse in London, a venue where they were supporting Shinedown not that long ago. Add into the eclectic mix the genre defying Nothing More and Detroit party rockers Wilson and it seemed Rock Sins was in one very interesting evening.
First up are the Motor City’s latest rock n roll export Wilson (8). Whilst some will find the band name curious, they (and frontman Chad Nicefield in particular) instantly set about showing why they have a reputation for being a live force to be reckoned with. From his appearance in a drummer boy costume to playing his portable drum in amongst the first few rows, those in attendance couldn’t take their eyes from Chad for fear of missing something. The tunes were pretty damn good too, with a selection of Wilson originals supplemented by excellent covers of AC/DC’s back in black and Turbonegro’s All My Friends Are Dead. Their twitter account is titled @wilsonparties. Now London knows why.
San Antonio natives Nothing More (8) took up exactly where Wilson left off, launching into the swelling masses in the Roundhouse with a huge early salvo of Christ Copyright and Mr MTV. The entire band was on top form, led flawlessly by the shirtless Jonny Hawkins who skirts the line between a frontman who is crazed yet in complete control expertly. Nothing More are at their best when they are truly in harmony, such as when three of them (drummer Paul O’Brien being the odd one out) all played bassist Dan Oliver’s bass attached to a stand simultaneously or when all four members were drumming in mesmerising fashion during the closing Salem. Penultimate song This Is The Time remains a true show stopper in the flesh and the 45 minute set time evaporated in what seemed like a few minutes. A headline tour surely beckons for one of THE breakout bands of the last twelve months.
After those support bands, a lot of headliners might struggle. Halestorm (8) on the other hand took it in their stride thanks to the glorious Lzzy Hale’s effortless command of her stage. Whether interacting with the audience of blasting out an opening selection of songs including Mz Hyde, It’s Not You and new song Amen (which was very well received) Lzzy showed why she is the best frontwoman in rock today. A solo run through Hate It When You See Me Cry only further endeared Miss Hale to the adoring collection of Freaks in the Roundhouse, though momentum was momentarily lost by Lzzy’s brother Arejay’s overly long drum solo (the oversized sticks were a nice touch though).
Another of the new Halestorm songs from the upcoming Into The Wild Life, Mayhem, gains a far greater impact when hearing it in the flesh, fitting in nicely alongside established favourites like Rock Show and I Get Off. Love Bites (So Do I) just about blew the roof from the Roundhouse, and was followed by fellow “The Strange Case Of” favourite I Miss The Misery to close the main part of the set in spectacular fashion. Another (extremely well received) new song called I Get Heavy opened the encore, before one final mass singalong to Halestorm’s breakthrough hit Here’s To Us sent their Freaks out into the cold London air with very large smiles on their faces.
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable evening with three very different bands who are all near or at the top of their game. It will be very interesting to see where Halestorm go from here when their third album Into The Wild Life is released next month but a UK return is unlikely to be too far away. As for Nothing More and Wilson, they’re both welcome back any time. All three bands put on a great live show that everyone should see at least once (and that is likely to be enough to get you hooked!).