It may sound trite to say it but it feels like only yesterday Halestorm set the O2 ABC ablaze. In fact, it’s been eleven months. Since then, the band fronted by Lzzy Hale have travelled the world and recorded a new album which is due next month. This time, the band have sold out Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland Ballroom on a Friday night so people are ready to kick off the weekend in style with some rousing hard rock.
After a night of seeing some old faces in the pub and then more once inside the Barrowlands; it was time to catch Nothing More. I’d seen them once before, opening for the Pretty Reckless but it was only the last song which was a lot of choreographed drums. It was different and made some entertaining viewing. This time, I got the full experience of a short set. Entertaining most of the crowd, they didn’t do much for me, sounding reminiscent of white noise. Admittedly, I clapped because they’d left the stage.
After a short wait, the lights dropped and Halestorm exploded onto the stage with “Mz Hyde” and hammering through a handful of songs before treating us to new single “Amen”. Certainly a song which grows over time. As well we had the usual hits like “Rock Show”, “Freak Like Me”, “I Get Off” and “Love Bites (So Do I)”. The band also gave us some new songs from the upcoming album like the massive “Apocalyptic” and “I Like it Heavy”.
Also given another live outing was “Mayhem” which was debuted at last year’s Glasgow show. Since it’s been released as a single, it’s not one of Halestorm’s finest songs but in a live setting, it far outstrips it.
Given Halestorm are back on the road just after some shows in the US, this was a band running like a well-oiled machine. Lzzy Hale’s guitar and vocals were on top form, once again proving her lungs must be made of cast-iron metal to stand up to vocal somersaults night after night. Arejay Hale displayed how a drum solo should be done. Not overly long, interacted with the crowd and most importantly, it was fun. Throughout the night, despite my view being obscured by the monitors, the finesse that man displays in his drumming is nothing short of spectacular. If it wasn’t for Lzzy’s voice, his drumming would be the star of the show.
Josh Smith on bass duties doubled up on backing vocals, sticking to the background for the most part to provide some brilliant, meaty bass lines, pulling the songs forward to their end point.
The band as a unit showed they were at the top of their game but there were some sound issues. I was stood off to one side so that factors into it obviously but it felt that the second half of the set, someone at the sound desk decided to turn up Lzzy’s vocals so we could actually hear what she was singing. Despite it being a great show and I’m eagerly waiting the new album, I’m still not sold on the Barrowlands as a venue. The bands I have seen there in the past were never firing on all cylinders and the atmosphere that people talk about still wasn’t there. Perhaps it just can’t live up to the hype people build it upon. Or maybe it’s better being on the hype than the flooring.
So that’s another rip-roaring performance from Halestorm for the books. Next time they’re here; they’ll have a new album to show off in all its glory. When that is, is anyone’s guess between an upcoming US tour and booked for many of the European festivals. I have a sneaky feeling it’ll be before the year is out.