Halestorm - Newcastle Academy, 26/9/2012
Warming up the crowd tonight is Heaven’s Basement. Despite being no strangers to this venue, it is their first visit playing with new(ish) singer, Aaron Buchanan. Dancing around the stage like a young Robert Plant, and ending the set by diving into the crowd, he’s made for venues like this. Starting with Unbreakable, they have everyone on their side until last track Executioner’s Day. With shows like this and a new album out soon, hopefully they’ll be back soon as headliners.
There’s been a lot of hype around headliners Halestorm, much of it surrounding frontwoman, Lzzy Hale. Recently voted Revolver Magazine’s “Hottest Chick In Hard Rock” a lot of this hype is focused on her appearance, but live, she proves there is so much more to her than how she looks. She can play guitar with the best of them, accompanies herself on keyboard for ballad Break In, and is as close to note perfect vocally as any artist I’ve seen. Starting the set with Love Bytes, they blast through a set that mainly features tracks off latest album “The Strange Case Of…" as well as covers of Guns N Roses classic Out Ta Get Me and Judas Priest's Dissident Aggressor. There’s also a drum solo, in which Arejay Hale throws away his sticks and picks up the biggest drumsticks you will ever see to carry on, before proudly announcing that the crowd is as big as it was for the headliner the last time they were here supporting Shinedown. He seems to have an endless supply of energy, climbing around the kit, literally, for the entire set.
Ending the gig with an encore of I Miss The Misery and Here’s To Us, it’s easy to see why the venue is almost sold out, even after being upgraded from the far smaller Academy 2. They’re a talented band, most definitely, and with any luck people will realise they are a lot more than just a frontwoman with a pretty face.