Halestorm – Live at Wembley Review

Halestorm's Live Performance: A Showcase of Vocal Power and Energy...

Released by: Atlantic Recording

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: https://www.halestormrocks.com/liveatwembley

 

Line Up:

Lzzy Hale 

Arejay Hale

Joe Hottinger

Josh Smith

 

Tracklist:

I Miss The Misery
Love Bites (So Do I)
I Get Off
Wicked Ways
Freak Like Me
Amen
Terrible Things
Rock Show
Familiar Taste Of Poison
Takes My Life
Drum Solo
Back From The Dead
Bombshell
I Am The Fire
Break In – Shatter Me
Raise Your Horns
Here’s To Us
The Steeple

 

 

By their own admission, the band, led by the Hale siblings, questioned in their early inception whether they would ever follow in the footsteps of their idols and play across the ocean in London. From their beginnings, Lizzy and Arejay dreamed of performing on the global stage, far from their native Pennsylvania. Although they started the band in 1997 at the ages of 13 and 10 respectively, they didn’t release their first album until 2009. Joined in 2003 by guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, they formed the current incarnation of the band. To date, they have a catalogue of five studio albums, but the most impressive aspect of Halestorm is their live performance. Few artists possess the vocal power of Lizzy Hale, and to truly experience Halestorm, one must see them live.

In their past ventures to this side of the Atlantic, they have performed at smaller festivals such as Ramblin’ Man, as well as more mainstream events like headlining the second stage at Download. Having attended both festivals in person, I was eager to see them headline their own show at Wembley. I was curious to see whether this live album could adequately capture the essence of their headline performance.

Lizzy commences the show with an audible barrage at the beginning of the opening track, “I Miss the Misery,” which translates well from stage to recording. From the outset, the crowd can be heard joining in with the chorus and applauding when Wembley is mentioned. The band then transitions seamlessly into the popular track “Love Bites,” where increased audience participation is evident. By the end of the first two songs, Lizzy thanks the crowd, captivating them completely. The audience hangs on her every word and responds enthusiastically to each comment. She then launches into fan favorite “I Get Off,” where towards the end, she holds a note showcasing her vocal mastery. The high energy continues through “Wicked Ways” and “Freak Like Me,” with the crowd actively participating.

The audible delights continue through five more tracks, including Hottinger’s solo on “Amen,” before reaching an interlude where Arejay performs the traditional drum solo using oversized drumsticks while the rest of the band retreats to the wings. The second part of the show resumes with high-octane performances of “Back from the Dead,” “Bombshell,” and ultimately “I Am the Fire” before the five-track encore. The final track, “The Steeple,” demonstrates the full repertoire of the band, from Hottinger’s guitar talents during his solo to Lizzy’s exceptional vocals, supported by Arejay and Smith.

The album as a whole is almost a greatest hits record, which is precisely what most fans desire from a live performance. There are few exceptions, with their most popular tracks included, adding to my positive response to the album.

Despite the evident talents of the band, certain elements of the night have not fully translated to the recording. Listening to the album in isolation will satisfy many Halestorm fans and give those who have never had the privilege a taste of the band’s live experience, without fully immersing them. Lizzy Hale may have the best voice live relative to studio recordings that I have ever heard, and I hope that this live album encourages more people to see the band in person.

 

Score: 8/10

Reviewed by: Dave Martin

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