JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

October 6, 2016
Gas Monkey Live!
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Andy Laudano

Halestorm - Halestorm, Lita Ford

Girl Power Rocks Gas Monkey Live

It was a passing of the rock and roll torch when female rock pioneer, Lita Ford opened for Halestorm at Gas Monkey Live in Dallas. Where Lita Ford broke down barriers with The Runaways in the 70's and as a solo performer in the 80's, Halestorm's Lzzy Hale has picked up that gauntlet and ran with it.

Halestorm is a band with plenty of crossover appeal. Their music is heavy, edgy and modern enough to attract a younger crowd while still having enough old school influences to attract previous generations. Having songs with guitar solos, catchy choruses and great big hooks sets them apart from many of their contemporaries. Then you add the powerful, ballsy, hard rock voice of Lzzy and you have an unbeatable combination. Not only does she possess a voice on par with powerhouses of the past like Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar, she's a damn good guitarist as well. Together with her "little brother" Arejay Hale on drums, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, they tore the roof off of the jam packed Gas Monkey Live.

The show opened with one of their biggest songs to date, "Love Bites (So Do I)," which earned them a Grammy for best hard rock/metal performance in 2013. With the exception of two songs from their self titled debut, the set was a combination of songs from their latest album, Into The Wild Life and the album that really put them on the map, The Strange Case Of ... Newer songs, "Amen" and "Apocalyptic" fit in perfectly with old favorites "Mz Hyde" and "Rock Show."

A huge grand piano was rolled onstage and Lzzy played a beautiful, stripped down version of "Dear Daughter" on it. Another highlight was Arejay's drum solo following "I Like It Heavy." After a traditional solo, he came out from behind the kit playing drums attached to him with a harness. As he took center stage, Lita Ford's drummer, Bobby Rock got behind his kit and played with him. Ever the showman, Arejay finished his solo by returning to his kit and playing with huge drumsticks that looked to be three feet long!

Following another great new song, "I Am The Fire," it was time to pull out the big guns, "I Get Off" and "Freak Like Me." The set came to a close with Lzzy toasting the crowd with a heart felt speech about how if you have real talent and work your ass off you can make your dreams come true before playing "Here's To You." Instead of leaving the stage, the band tore into a great cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" before belting out arguably their biggest hit to date, "I Miss The Misery" to send the crowd home happy. This was a great performance by one of the best bands in the U.S.