At The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 9, 2022

HALESTORM (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 9, 2022)
Photo: Mick Burgess

There’s something inherently gratifying to watch a band grow over the years from playing in small clubs to a few people to packing out theatres and arenas. Ten years ago, Philadelphia Rockers, Halestorm played down the road at the O2 Academy and have come on leaps and bounds since then through a combination of sheer grit and determination with a serious musical talent that has seen them grow in stature with each of their four albums and a fifth on its way.

Tonight, was something of a special show. Billed as “An Evening With Halestorm”, this was pure 100% Halestorm, no support, no guests, just Halestorm across three different set-ups with each night of the tour being a different, totally unique experience of their music. Some nights songs were performed acoustically, others full on electric and each night featured a different selection of songs from their catalogue.

First up was lead singer Lzzy Hale, alone behind her keyboard with just her voice with a beautiful rendition of “Break In” from their breakthrough second album and an inspiring “Dear Daughter” dedicated to the previous day’s International Women’s Day. Very, very classy.

For the second section, on came the rest of the band including drummer and brother Arjey, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith for a special acoustic set and what a real treat this was with reworked renditions of “Mz Hyde” and “I Get Off” sounding re-energised when stripped of their Hard Rocking outer coat.

Each night, Halestorm deliver a song by a local artist in tribute to the area and this evening we had a song by Dunston’s finest, Brian Johnson, with AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long, a song Lzzy proclaimed, probably hadn’t been performed acoustically before.

Lzzy Hale certainly knows how to connect with her audience and a personal dedication of “Rock Show” to a young fan at only her second ever show gave that girl something to tell her friends at school the next day.

Following a short interval and a swift costume change, Halestorm were well and truly ready to Rock and delivered big time with a towering, confident, energetic set of some of the best Rock music you can hear today.

With new songs “The Steeple” and “Back From The Dead”, a real heavyweight bone crusher, standing proudly alongside the classics “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “Freak Like Me”, Halestorm have the songs to go the distance.

Hale’s voice was phenomenal. A real powerhouse of passion and fire, a metal fist in a velvet glove that could caress and punch with one blow with Exhibit A being “I Am The Fire”, an astonishing tour de force that marks Hale out as one of the best of her and indeed, any generation. There’s few that can match her. She is the complete package. The voice, the image, the song writing and she plays a mean guitar.

With “Here’s To Us” bringing band and crowd together as one, it was left to “I Miss The Misery” to bring the show to a close. Except it didn’t, as the ovation was so loud and so enthusiastic that an extra encore caught out the guitar tech who was packing up, leaving Hottinger guitarless for a couple of minutes before returning for a suitably titled “Mayhem.” The City Hall has witnessed some great shows over the years and this was certainly right up there with the best of them.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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