The intensity and quality of Halestorm’s live performances don’t change with each visit to San Antonio and South Texas. They simply grow.
And so does the number of witnesses.
Playing its first gig in the Alamo City since winning the Grammy in February for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, and its largest San Antonio concert ever, Halestorm put on another entertaining display at Sunday’s inaugural River City Rockfest on the grounds of the AT&T Center.
Mind you, this is a band that’s supporting only its second full-length album. The sky continues to be the limit for singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale, her brother and drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith. On Sunday, that sky hovered with dark clouds a mere 48 hours after the city was deluged with more than 9 inches of rain that led to three deaths and hundreds enduring damage to their homes.
Fortunately, the weather held. This Halestorm was of the fun variety.
Playing before “a very unofficial 12,000-14,000” fans, according to an AT&T Center spokesperson, Halestorm’s 40 minutes were comprised mainly of songs from latest album “The Strange Case Of . . . “ Changing things up a bit, Halestorm opened with “Freak Like Me” before ratcheting up the energy with what had been serving as its opener since the 2011 Avalanche tour at the Alamodome. The song that morphed into a Grammy: “Love Bites (So Do I).”
Due to mic difficulties, Lzzy Hale’s vocals were scarcely audible by the stage but fortunately, they sounded just fine further back, around and behind the soundboard. If you were up front and were seeing the band for the first time, let it be known that aspect of the show wasn’t a true representation of the band — through no fault of its own.
Leaving the ballads at home, Lzzy was more sultry than in the past with her black top and white fishnet stockings complementing her vocal and guitar energy. Who would’ve known she was battling allergies if she hadn’t said so via Twitter after the show?
Arejay Hale’s stick-twirling and pogo stick-like drum solo was a sight to behold that no other drummer at the rockfest even attempted to match (click video at bottom for the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner’s footage). That was no small feat at a festival that included main-stage headliners Guns N’ Roses and Alice In Chains plus second-stage headliners All That Remains, along with Bullet For My Valentine, Clutch, Skillet, Asking Alexandria and more.
Halestorm has made no secret of its love for Texas, whether it’s Austin, Corpus Christi or San Antonio. Fans all over should hope they continue to pump out more rocking numbers like the ones played Sunday such as “Mz. Hyde,” (click video at bottom; it’s Lzzy, I swear!), “It’s Not You,” and “I Get Off.” And hope that the whirlwind of sophomore-album success, Grammy recognition, TV show “Glee” picking up “Here’s To Us” and even Bud Light spotlighting “I Miss The Misery” for an ad campaign doesn’t prevent them from remaining humble. From this radar’s point of view, such an impending storm shows little sign of development.
So here’s to Halestorm — for frequently making South Texas a stop. And for always putting on a performance that outdoes the previous ones.
To watch the SAMME’s 2010 Uproar Festival interview with the band, click here. For more Halestorm coverage, click on the “Suggested” links in blue at the bottom, and stay tuned for more from the River City Rockfest.
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