Halestorm @ Wellmont Theatre, 12/29/2012

Halestorm picTo say I’m an old curmudgeon stuck in his ways would be an understatement. I rarely, if ever listen to any new bands and go out to see them play live. But I did venture to my local Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, N.J. at my buddy Tony’s urging (and buy the tickets for us) for P.A.’s own, Halestorm.

This wasn’t your typical Halestrom show, opening as they did with an hour acoustic set. “I’m Not An Angel,” “In Your Room” a surprisingly solid read of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and “Rose in December” were featured. I’m not sure Lzzy Hale’s go-to-the-scream-every-time-she-gets-intense works in a quieter setting, and I found myself wishing she and especially her brother drummer Arejay would kind of shut-up and just play, but overall this was an entertaining way for this band to open for themselves.

But the full balls-to-the-wall electric blistering sees Halestorm in their element and after a fifteen minute set change, the show opened with Arejay in skeleton mask and hat pounding out a furious drum solo, then the band hit the stage for “Love Bites (So Do I)” “Mz Hyde” and my personal fave “Freak Like Me.”

I might be an old guy but it would be hard to miss that the focal point of this band is the vocal point and Lizzy with her screaming (working much better in the guitar assault of her and Joe Hottinger) and the gams she does very well showing off are really what everybody was focused on.

I’m not sure “Rock Show” worked all that well (ironic seeing as Lzzy kept assuring the crowd that we were at a ‘rock show’ pretty much every chance she got) but the triple assault ending tunes, “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing,” “It’s Not You,” and the stellar “I Get Off” ripped the roof off the Wellmont before a two-song encore, where “Here’s To Us” worked wonders.

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