With a orderly queue stretching the length of Abbey Street, the Halestorm crowd are a mixed bunch of old and young, donning multi coloured hair styles and a vast selection of Metal / Rock / Punk t-shirts ranging from Slayer to Blink 182. To say that this is a diverse looking crowd is an understatement. Halestorm are in Ireland and about to make their live debut performance to a visibly excited crowd who bubble and fizz with anticipation to see the Grammy winning Pennsylvanian four piece do their thing.
Fist up tonight are the self confessed party monsters, WILSON who are lucky to be here this evening due to a nightmare journey from their hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Bringing the good times to the Academy for the now packed main floor, sees WILSON unleash their “Full Blast Fuckery” on the unsuspecting crowd, who lap up every beer soaked moment of their set. Vocalist, Chad Nicefiled commands the stage with ease and confidence, showing moments of his inner Neil Fallon (Clutch) from time to time.
WILSON sound immense and smash through their set regardless of the technical difficulties that bassist James Lascu is experiencing which see’s him fumbling with his powerless bass head for the duration of two of the bands songs. This does not dampen the spirits of the band, who proceed to wreck the venue and put on one hell of a show that see’s Chad jump from the stage into the sweaty crowd to get up close and personal with his new friends! WILSON are fucking awesome tonight and considering this is the bands first ever show outside of America, it kicked all kinds of ass! 4/5
As the crowd builds up and the house lights fade to black, a roar of excitement rings around the venue before Halestorm drummer Arejay strides over to his drum kit and kicks things off with “Mz. Hyde“. Lzzy Hale is every bit the Rock Goddess, as she stands center stage with her Gibson explorer in hand wearing a pair of killer high heels. As she belts out “It’s Not You” and the radio friendly “Freak Like Me” the venue is clearly captivated by the power of her vocals and her ability to rip on the guitar.
With the live debut of “Amen” going down a storm, the band seem to be relaxing into the environment and are clearly having a blast on stage. Lzzy addresses the crowd and thanks them for the support and expresses their excitement of finally playing on Irish soil before they launch into “Innocence“. Drummer Arejay lives up to his hyperactive personality by jumping up on his kit at every possible moment, as well as his non stop habit of tossing his drum sticks in the air throughout each song.
Halestorm prove their ability to put on a solid Hard Rock show from start to finish with all four members visibly connecting with each other on stage, exchanging laughs and trading good energy. The bands new material “Apocalyptic” and “Mayhem” from the forthcoming new album “Into The Wild Life” goes down a storm, like they been part of their set for years. Guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, hold the show together with outstanding fret work which allows for the Hale siblings to do what they were born to do.
With a solo performance from Lzzy and a hectic drum solo from her brother Arejay, which included the worlds biggest drum sticks, the band smash through the rest of their set incorporating “I Get Off” and the Grammy winning hit “Love Bites (So Do I)“, Halestorm bid their farewell to the rapturous crowd. Returning for an encore that consisted of “I Like It Heavy” and “Here’s To Us” saw the four piece close the show with heartfelt thank you’s and smiles all round.
Halestorm “Into The Wildlife” will be out on April 3rd via Atlantic Records.
Setlist – The Academy, Dublin 27th February 2015
2. It’s Not You
3. Freak Like Me
4. Amen (live debut)
6. Daughters Of Darkness
8. Rock Show
9. Break In
10. Familiar Taste Of Poison
11. **Drum Solo**
13. I Get Off
14. Love Bites (So Do I)
15. I Like It Heavy
16.Here’s To Us
Check out the full gallery from the show below.
Words – Oran O’Beirne
Photography – Steve Dempsey: Down The Barrel Photography