Fresh in from their last show in Nashville, Tennesee, Halestorm is on their non-stop tour schedule carrying them across the Atlantic to the O2 Academy in Newcastle, and the opening night of their 2014 European Tour.  One of the hardest working bands out there, Halestorm is averaging roughly 300 shows a year.  This is the band’s second full headline European tour.

The gloomy North East weather didn’t stop Newcastle’s hard rock crowd from coming out in force to welcome the return of Lzzy and Company to the region.  As I arrived at the venue the queue was already wrapped around the building by loyal Halestorm fans eager to get a good spot.

The night got off to a flying start with British five piece rock band, The Smoking Hearts, who released their second full album, Victory, last year. Lead singer, Ben Mills, finished their set by rallying the crowd to sing the band’s final track.

They were followed by California’s DayShell, currently on the road with their début self-titled album, leaving the crowd suitably warmed and ready for the mighty Halestorm.

The anticipation in the air was palpable.  The stage lights dimmed to the sound of the crowd chanting, ‘Halestorm, Halestorm …’ as the band took to the stage and launched into I Miss The MiseryLzzy Hale wielded her trademark white Gibson Explorer and donning spiky black knee-high boots that even Gene Simmons would have been proud of. This was swiftly followed by Love Bites [So Do I] from their current studio album, The Strange Case Of…, for which last year the band picked up a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.

Lzzy informed the crowd that tonight is in fact her brother and drummer, Arejay Hale’s birthday. She playfully mocked her little brother throughout the course of the show, insisting that as his big sister, it’s her right to give him hell.

Lzzy also mentioned the band is currently in the process of writing their third record, before performing a cover of Dio’s Straight Through The Heart which was recently featured on the Ronnie James Dio This Is Your Life tribute album.  Arms raised and hands clapping from the audience as the band rocked their way through crowd pleasers, Don’t Know How To Stop and Rock Show dedicated to anyone seeing the band for the first time.

Lzzy took to the keys and told the crowd that Europe is becoming the band’s home away from home before playing Break In as the fans illuminating the room as far as the eye could see with cell phones and lighters.  The crowd hung on to every word of Familiar Taste Of Poison, singing back the chorus to the band.

Birthday boy Arejay followed with an epic drum solo and the crowd, “Are you going to party like it’s my birthday?” He then took the band into Dissident Aggressor by Judas Priest from the band’s latest release ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP.  Lzzy joined Arejay to play the cymbals on the track momentarily before throwing her drumsticks into the crowd and rapidly launching into Mz. Hyde.

Lzzy requested the ladies in the audience to lend their voices as launched into Daughters of Darkness and then into fan favorite, I Get Off, from the band’s début album. Lzzy informed the crowd, “Newcastle, we get off on you”, again the crowd hanging on to every word and singing back the chorus as Arejay Hale stood aloft on his drum kit. The band departed the stage as this song finished Halestorm’s main set.

The band returned to the stage for their encore with the fast and furious new track, Mayhem, showing off a heavier side to the bands sound. This was followed by a rocking cover of Get Lucky by Daft Punk. A birthday cake was brought onto the stage as Lzzy led the crowd into singing Happy Birthday to her brother before bringing their 90-minute set to a close with Here’s To Us, leaving the Newcastle crowd duly rocked and wanting more.

The Pennsylvania rockers’ last visit to these shores saw them take in an arena tour with Alter Bridge and Shinedown. Tonight, the Halestorm faithful got to see their heroes in a more intimate theater setting. This is a band going from strength to strength both musically and their loyal fan base. It won’t be long before they are headlining arenas in their own right. For those who were there, this was a night that Newcastle will not easily forget.

Set List:
I Miss The Misery
Love Bites [So Do I]
It’s Not You
Freak Like Me
Straight Through The Heart (Dio Cover)
You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing
Don’t Know How To Stop
Rock Show
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
Break In
Familiar Taste Of Poison
Drum Solo
Dissident Aggressor (Judas Priest Cover)
Mz. Hyde
Daughters of Darkness
I Get Off

Get Lucky (Daft Punk Cover)
Here’s To Us

Halestorm On Tour
Apr 03 O2 Academy Sheffield Sheffield, United Kingdom
Apr 04 Manchester Academy Manchester, United Kingdom
Apr 05 O2 ABC Glasgow Glasgow, United Kingdom
Apr 07 O2 Academy Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom
Apr 08 O2 Academy Bristol Bristol, United Kingdom
Apr 09 The Forum London, United Kingdom
Apr 12 Muziekcentrum Trix Antwerp, Belgium
Apr 13 Bürgerhaus Stollwerck Cologne, Germany
Apr 15 Debaser Medis Stockholm, Sweden
Apr 16 Posten Odense C, Denmark
Apr 17 LOGO Hamburg Hamburg, Germany
Apr 19 Paaspop Schijndel, Netherlands
Apr 20 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands
Apr 22 Lido Berlin, Germany
Apr 23 Batschkapp Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Apr 24 Theaterfabrik Munich, Germany
Apr 26 Szene Wien Bezirk-Simmering, Austria
Apr 28 Magazzini Generali Milan Mi, Italy
Apr 29 Komplex Klub Zürich, Switzerland
Apr 30 Le Trabendo Paris, France
Jul 18 Rock USA Oshkosh, WI
Jul 19 Rock USA Oshkosh, WI
Aug 01 Clearfield County Fair Clearfield, PA
Aug 15 Iowa State Fair Grandstand Des Moines, IA
Sep 27 Shindig Festival Baltimore, MD

Halestorm online:

The Smoking Hearts online:

Dayshell online:


About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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