Tonight, was all about female-fronted rock, with an epic line-up consisting of New Year’s Day, In This Moment and Halestorm, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
New Years Day (8), the first on this evening, opened their explosive half an hour set with their hit Come For Me. The audience is littered with red and black hairstyles, probably following the iconic style of the band’s frontwoman Ash Costello. Formed back in 2005 in Anaheim, the American hard rockers solidly pave the way for the rest of the night to come, with the highlight of the set personally being their cover of ‘Fucking Hostile’ by Pantera.
Next up, it’s In This Moment (9), who humorously come onto the tune of Don’t Stop Believing and go straight into a cover of a Steve Miller classic Fly Like an Eagle. The stage shows the LA- based shock metal pioneers put on are famously theatrical. With each song, frontwoman Maria Brink sports a different eccentric outfit, followed by her backing dancers, lovingly known as the blood girls, adding an extra dynamic. I feel like I’m following individual stories through each song’s unique staging, such as Legacy’s blue ambient lighting and candle-lit staging, then the blood-red feel and wolf costumes for Big Bad Wolf.
Due to the extra time required for the setting up each ‘chapter’ of the set, the only critique is that it may feel like it is taking away time that could be used to hear more of their well-known hits. Nonetheless, the band end with their dramatic renditions of Whore, with Brink closing with an empowering statement about rising above people’s expectations towards being a woman.
Lastly, but most certainly not least, it’s the time for the headliners of the night, Halestorm (9) to take to the stage, and it was a serious spectacle. Halestorm, originally from Red Lion, Pennsylvania have recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary since the release of their debut album in 2009. The band is comprised of lead singer and guitarist Lzzy Hale, her brother Arejay Hale on drummer, bassist Josh Smith and Joe Hottinger on guitar. Tonight, they open with Black Vultures, a song off their most recent release, Vicious. As soon as Lzzy’s vocals begin, I knew we were in for a mind-blowing experience. Next up was Love Bites (So Do I), throughout which I was stunned at just how badass Lzzy Hale really is.
Their monumental twenty-song setlist covers hits which span their career, and each song was always prepped with a short anecdotal story relevant to the song’s backstory. Midway through, Arejay performs an impressive yet fun 10-minute drum solo, joined by members of the previous bands. Lzzy herself also showcases her incredible vocal abilities in a solo-piano version of Dear Daughters and cover of Journey song Separate Ways (World Apart). More than anything, I loved Lzzy’s feminist messages she gave throughout, opening anti-patriarchal hit Uncomfortable with a speech about female sexual liberation, constantly reminding the gals in the audience how we could, and should be whoever and whatever we want to be, regardless of our sex.
The show ends with an extended version of I Miss the Misery. Apart from a few minor sound issues throughout the gig, I really couldn’t find a way to fault the performance, they’re a band well worth seeing. Being a female in metal, I left this incredible concert feeling incredibly empowered and more than ever, super proud to be a woman.