Halestorm, In This Moment and New Years Day raged their way into The Albany Capital Center in Albany, NY on August 3rd, 2018.
Review and Pictures: Tara Lakatos
Halestorm is out supporting their new release “Vicious” that dropped on July 27. This long awaited follow up to 2015’s “Into the Wild Life” is everything I hoped it would be and more. The new material flowed seamlessly into their set list and added an element of raw rock and roll to the mix. In This Moment has been out supporting their release “Ritual” solidly since its release in 2017. New Years Day is out supporting their 2018 EP “Diary of a Creep”. Each of these bands have large, loyal followings that are selling out huge venues across the country. These leading ladies are proving that rock is not dead.
New Years Day
New Years Day led by the Queen of Goth, Ash Costello (vocals). The band includes Nikki Misery (guitar), Frankie Sil (bass) and new comers Austin Ingerman (guitar, vocals) and Brian Sumwalt (drums).
I’ve seen this tour package several times over the last few months. NYD has gone through some lineup changes and continues to do so, with that being said their performance this time around was quite strong. They performed a six song 30-minute set that included two songs from their EP “Diary of a Creep”, “Disgust Me” and a Pantera cover of “F**king Hostile” which they dedicate to Vinnie Paul who recently passed away. Both songs were jam packed with energy and Ash’s vocals were on point for the night.
Last time around, the set was filled with awkward choreographed moves that have gone away, making for a much more genuine rock show. Nikki and Frankie both put in solid and fun performances. Austin is the newest touring member of NYD;he was stellar and fit right in. This is Brian’s second round of touring with NYD and he has settled in to be a heavy hitter with a ton of passion for what he does. I’m happy I got a chance to see them again and the kinks of first leg of the tour have been worked out.
In This Moment
In This Moment is led by Maria Brink (vocals), Chris Howorth (guitar), Travis Johnson (bass), Randy Weitzel (guitar) and Kent Diimmel (drums). In This Moment this time around had a bigger stage set up, Maria’s onstage dressing room as tucked away from sight and there was plenty of room for each band member to shine.
They opened the show with “Blood”, Maria hit the stage wearing a robe and pointed crown, her backup dancers followed wearing robes and masks, hiding their faces the entire night. This provides a bit of mystery and leaves the focus on Maria. In This Moment’s performance is a mix of raspy metal vocals, tight musicianship and theatrics. Each song that is performed is like its own act in a musical; many of the songs including “Blood” have a dark religious tone to the performance mixed with a bit of black magic.
“Big Bad Wolf” is a personal favorite. Maria and her dancers came out in wolf masks. The dancers pranced around the stage and seemingly made the security guards a little nervous when they got too close to them. This song is just fun to listen to and the visuals add to the excitement of the performance. Maria also pulled out a haunting performance of Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight”; it really broke up the set and added another layer to the show. Mid-set Chris, Travis, Randy and Kent got to shine with a blazing instrumental performance that featured both band performance as well as solo work from each member. This portion of the show really displayed what incredible musicians they are, it’s definitely a show highlight for me.
In This Moment also hit on fan favorites during their 11-song, one hour and fifteen minute set. They performed “Adrenalize”, “Sick Like Me” and closed out the night with their biggest hit “Whore”. They really stepped up to the plate for the second leg of this tour and knocked it out of the park. The band did not disappoint and gave the audience a great show.
Halestorm is led by the Queen of Rock, Lzzy Hale (vocals, guitar), Joe Hottinger (guitar, vocals), Josh Smith (bass, vocals) and Arejay Hale (drums, vocals). The band celebrated their 21-year anniversary this week, Lzzy and brother Arejay have come a long way since losing to a tap dancing cowgirl at the Schuylkill Country Fair in 1997.
Halestorm’s new album “Vicious” dropped a week prior to this show. You would think they would ease new material into their set list but they went full on and played 7 new songs in a 15-song set. Many bands would not take this risk since it might slow the pace of the show for the fans that were not familiar with new material but Halestorm embraced the challenge. The joke seemed to be on them since most of the audience had already absorbed all of the new lyrics in 7 days. “Vicious” is the first album to seemingly capture their live sound and energy in a recording and I was excited to hear how these songs translated to the stage. Halestorm is notorious for blowing away their recorded material with their live show, and no matter how good “Vicious” is recorded; their live show still blew away the album. The bands energy and Lzzy’s vocals literally cannot be harnessed in a recorded form.
They opened their set with a new track named “Skulls”. The band admitted that it was a difficult one for them to learn to play live, with that being said you’d never know it. Lzzy raps out the first few lines of the song, the guitar riff comes in, a few drumbeats then in true Halestorm fashion Lzzy belts out a huge Skulls… with a great rasp to her vocal. It may have been a risk to open with a new track, but it’s so huge live, the guitar riff is funky and Josh’s baseline has a heavy groove to it that just makes people bounce.
They then played 3 fan favorites from their album “The Strange Case of…”, “Love Bites”, “Mz. Hyde” and “I Miss the Misery”. Each of these songs brought tons of energy and the fans went crazy throwing horns and singing along. Next up was another new track, “Killing Ourselves to Live”, it’s truly a rock and roll anthem. This is probably the best track on the album. The guitar riff is buzzy, the drums are tight and the chorus is huge; Lzzy’s vocals open up to some serious passion. The bridge is really something special; Lzzy starts with clean vocals that lead into an angry rage, which build up, to Joe’s best guitar solo of his career.
Next up was a little sex to go with the rock and roll. “Do Not Disturb” is based off of a true story of a threesome while on the road in Europe. Lzzy embraces sex as a part of rock and roll and an enjoyable part of her life. The song has a slow groove, sultry vocals and probably makes a few moms in the audience blush with the suggestive lyrics. I was not initially drawn to this song on the album but live you just can help but be sucked in by it.
In years past Halestorm has included piano ballads on their albums, this time they mixed it up and threw on a few acoustic guitar tracks instead. They hit pure gold with “The Silence”, which was performed this night with Lzzy and Joe sitting on a riser right in front of the audience. This song will melt your heart. Lzzy has kept her long time relationship under wraps until recently and this song is an ode to the love of her life. Her vocals were sweet, sincere and powerful. Not many rock singers can pull off a raging tune like “Love Bites” then sit down and belt out clean, crisp vocals. Joe’s acoustic guitar playing compliments this amazing song with a riff he’s been holding onto for years waiting for the perfect time to use it.
Halestorm also included “Black Vultures”, “Uncomfortable” and the title track “Vicious”, each of these songs were blazing live. They claimed to have made a heavy album and when you experience these songs at a show you can definitely feel the vibe that they were going for. Without a doubt, the new material solidifies Halestorm’s reign as the best live rock band around. This show was great front to back with New Years Day and In This Moment turning out great performances. This tour runs through the end of this month and starts up again in November, check it out if you want to be blown away.