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HALESTORM, The Garage, Glasgow
23 September 2012

Halestorm, photo by David Wilson

The crowd outside the long sold out Garage tonight was huge. I arrived early for interview duties and with a couple of hours until the doors opened there were already quite a number patiently waiting for a glimpse of Lzzy and co.

This gig was originally scheduled for the much smaller Cathouse venue but such was the demand the gig was moved to the Garage and from what I overheard it could have been moved to the next level with little problem.

Halestorm have teen appeal by the bucket load and the waiting queue was made up with said teens and parents on chaperone duty (I have been there many times myself).  Having one of their songs featured on a recent episode of Glee can't have done the band's popularity any harm!

Tonight's show featured a three band bill and kicked off with alt rockers Zico Chain. The three piece played a high energy set which went down well. It was a short set and contained numbers from the band's new album 'The Devil In Your Heart' which proved to be solid alt-rock fare that was well received.

Heaven's Basement, photo by David Wilson

Next up were Heaven's Basement who put in a great half hour set. This was the first time I had witnessed the band, although they appear to be constantly on tour, and I was impressed with what I saw.

The guys play well and have some great, hard rocking numbers which had the crowd on their feet and bouncing along.

Again it was a short, sharp set that the guys used to maximum effect including tracks from their new album 'Fire, Fire' which I may have to investigate further.

Halestorm, photo by David Wilson

That then left the stage clear for tonight's headline act, the one and only Halestorm. This however proved to be a bit of a mixed show. This was only the band's third date on what is their maiden headline world tour and the band appeared to be a bit 'all at sea' with the situation.

Opening with 'Love Bites (and so do I...)' the band played well enough with Arejay providing the theatrics at the back of the stage whilst pounding the drum kit and Lzzy taking centre stage much to the crowd's delight.

Halestorm, photo by David Wilson

The stage was spartan to say the least with just Arejay's kit, a small backline and an electric piano side stage, more on that later, and even the lighting was kept minimal with a light blue hue being the favoured option, not good for photo opportunities. With such a set up it left a lot of space for the band to fill and to me this is where they struggled.

Josh on bass and Joe on guitar both played play well and put in a good shift, but both leave the front of stage for Lzzy to command but for me she struggled with this.

Talking to Josh beforehand though I got the feeling that the band are viewing this headline tour as a big deal and hopefully once they get a few more dates under their belts they will breathe a bit easier and relax a bit more.

Halestorm, photo by David Wilson

The crowd though were lapping up every note. The bulk of the set was taken from the band's latest album 'The Strange Case Of...', but all tracks were treated like old friends as each was turned into a mass singalong.

The pace did drop a bit mid set when Lzzy took to the aforementioned piano for a solo rendition of 'Break In' which she sang well, however with the position of the piano on stage she sang the heartfelt ballad to the curtain sidestage whilst the majority of the crowd stared at her back!

With all the space on stage this could have been much better positioned. This coupled with a lot of dead space between songs interrupted the flow of the gig, although the faithful didn't appear to mind.

This then was a decent gig but one that didn't convince me that Halestorm are ready to take on the world. As they would say on Glee, A for effort, but overall, could do better.

Review and photos by David Wilson

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