Review Contributed by Casper
What an interesting evening awaits at the Corner Hotel in Richmond for the first show of Halestorm’s Australian Tour. Interesting for many reasons but leading the charge is the fact that Halestorm have been eagerly awaited by those who saw them for the first time in December 2015 and those who heard about their magnificence after the fact. And the crowd here represent a 50/50 ratio if both.
Being admirers of Lzzy and Arejay back to their teen and ten-year-old beginnings respectively, we from STM were thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm awaiting Halestorm for only their second time in Melbourne.
But we are also keenly anticipating our first exposure to Devilskin playing live. Having listened to their recordings and uploads, but simultaneously hearing tales from across the ditch of ‘you haven’t heard them until you’ve seen them live’, we couldn’t wait to bear witness.
As Devilskin tuned into action, we finally had an understanding of what this exciting band were capable of. Paul Martin and Nail were as skillful and simultaneously brutal as promised from the country afar, we hereby dub “Land Of The Long Red Beard”. Relentless riffing from one side of the stage and pounding bass rhythm from the other, these rockers are as talented musically as they are animated.
Nic at the kit needs no frowns from the front, nor a paternal scanning to maintain his discipline. Being accomplished very young, Nic paves his own and the hold the band to the beat. I’m certain Paul is nothing more than proud to be playing along with his talented offspring.
And as for Jennie Skulander you may well inquire. What a dynamic delivery with a vocal capability surpassing all expectations. Dirty vocals to angelic offerings, she is all one can desire from a malevolent metal maiden, but so much more. Absolutely captivating and in perfect precision to highlight the integral components of the live show that is Devilskin. Sadly, a show that was over all too quickly. We cannot wait to see Devilskin performing live and hope they will not be strangers on the West Island. The highlights for yours truly was their performance of an obvious crowd favourite in Little Pills and a superbly performed Voices. Just astounding.
With a little adjustment and careful preparation, our ‘year and a bit’ long wait for Halestorm is over and how appreciative we are that they are back so quickly to the land of Oz.
As Lzzy took to the keyboard, a serene opener in God Bless The Beast was a welcome calm to a hot and heated venue. But with all blessed with the realisation that her voice was better than all ok. Arejay, Joe and Josh take to the stage with a warm, wailing welcome. Full steam ahead and into the Halestorm favorites of Apocalyptic, Mrs. Hyde, Love Bites and I Get Off. A dream realised to see Lzzy pounding out licks and lyrics as powerfully as ever before. And all performed just for me, surely, because she is a crowd engagement maestro. I know I wasn’t alone in feeling that sentiment. Rock Show was perfectly placed for those in the front row before small mid-set list adjustment most welcome in The Still Of The Night. Nil desperandum because we true Halestorm aficionados regularly toast the band with a Here’s To Us, but with slightly slurred vocal delivery.
A verbal description of parental support, coupled with maternal intent from Lzzy before weaving her beautiful voice through Dear Daughter. I little more Lzzy lead crowd persuasion and we are re-joined by the band for a timely rendition of I Like It Heavy. Fists to the sky and the throwing of horns brought the crowd to new heights of celebration before really testing Lzzy’s recently ill throat with I Am The Fire. In typical Halestorm fashion, Lzzy left nothing she had in reserve and gave all for an adoring audience. Mayhem was a most appropriate ending to a show and a crowd with no desire to finish. We had enjoyed the Arejay’s big stick display (no double entendre intended) along with his soaring 10-minute solo display. We enjoyed the bass brilliance of Josh who made the journey for us, probably with a longing desire to be on the home front instead watching a growing tum. We appreciate it very much, Josh. Joe Hottinger played and performed sensationally with not a lick out of place and, most remarkably, every note and every guitar highlight from each track recording, included perfectly for the live show. Very rare indeed. And our dearest Lzzy….just astonishing. How Halestorm aren’t booked for Rod Laver Arena remains a mystery to me, but if they will do us the honour yet again, there’s always next year. Thank you, Halestorm and thank you Devilskin. Performances like tonight are those difficult to bet on witnessing, but with Halestorm, and I now certain Devilskin, you’re safe in the knowledge that you’re in for a hell of a show. Travel safely dear friends.