Lzzy Hale taking to the mic can best be described as the calm before the Halestorm.
Then the rumbling begins. Halestorm’s frontwoman unleashes her pipes to crowds mixed with adoring fans that have been with the band from the beginning and those being turned on to the group for the first time. Hale bellows. She screams. Her voice makes your hair stand on end.
All before the first note has been played.
Then Halestorm winds blow as she joins forces with her brother and drummer Arejay Hale, lead guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith for roughly 45 minutes of controlled Rock N’ Roll chaos. So it’s only fitting Halestorm will open the Mass Chaos tour May 2 at the Alamodome’s Illusions Theater for co-headliners Staind and Godsmack (buy tickets here).
And they’re bringing a new album along.
Halestorm are no strangers to South Texas. They opened for Stone Sour and Theory of a Deadman last April 8 on the Avalanche tour at the Illusions Theater (reviews here and here). Halestorm also played the Uproar Festival in Corpus Christi on Sept. 11, 2010 (view my tour-bus interview with the band here), opened for Alice In Chains during the Bone Bash at the AT&T Center on Oct. 22, 2009 (review here), and opened for Staind and Chevelle at Austin Music Hall two months before that.
Halestorm’s debut self-titled 2009 album sold 300,000 copies, thanks largely to the no-holds-barred single “I Get Off.”
Their follow-up The Strange Case of . . ., which comes out April 10 via Atlantic Records, takes the band to a more diverse level by drop kicking the proverbial sophomore jinx into another area code. Rockers “I Miss The Misery” and “Freak Like Me” punch you in the gut (in a good way). Then the mid-tempo “Beautiful With You” sets the stage for back-to-back ballads “In Your Room” and the all-piano “Break In” that exemplify the band’s mellower side. “You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing” is the coolest song title of the year thus far and has the chops to back it up. The closer, “Here’s To Us,” received national exposure earlier this month when it was covered by the cast of “Glee” (censoring the song’s F-bombs of course).
That’s right. Halestorm and F-bombs are in the same sentence. Deal with it.
“You’re going to be hearing and tasting a lot of different things,” Lzzy Hale says. “I’m a little brave on this record and decided to go to all extremes.”
That’s demonstrated right off the bat. The album’s opener and first single is the supercharged “Love Bites (So Do I)”, a song that doesn’t settle for going for the throat (click on video box at left). It grabs you below the belt and squeezes hard. Astute listeners who saw Halestorm at the Alamodome last year may recognize it as the tune they opened with (see setlist at slideshow, left).
“You’re right. You did hear ‘Love Bites’ on that tour,” Hale told me. “That was kind of testing it out to see what something like that, a song like that, how it would go over live. So thank you for that. That song, we’re trying to do something different a little bit and that would stick out and on the radio. By us playing it at that show and on that tour, (it) gave us the confidence. So, you know what? We could certainly go and do that again right now.”
Hale, who contributes vocals to Adrenaline Mob’s new debut album Omerta on their cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone,” can’t wait to see what The Strange Case Of . . . and the Mass Chaos tour have in store for her band.
“When we made our first record, it’s our first record, so we weren’t really sure what we were doing, and we weren’t sure who would grab on to it and who we were actually going to be singing to,” she said. “So with this record, we had just a better concept of our fans, and a lot of what we did was inspired by them and the feeling that we put on more live shows. (The new album) is not necessarily the same songs from anything you were used to on the last record. Basically that entire time is kind of cut off, and we started anew. However, there were a lot of risks and small parts that we didn’t even know to consider for the last record but that were written around that time that we were incorporating into some of these.”
Halestorm fans can feel confident they’ll enjoy the ride — on record and May 2 at the Alamodome.
And that’s no illusion.
- WHAT: Mass Chaos tour
- WHO: Godsmack, Staind, Halestorm
- WHEN: Wednesday, May 2
- WHERE: Alamodome (Illusions Theater)
- TICKETS: $42.50-$48.50 plus fees here
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