Halestorm, Villainy @ The Gov, Adelaide 9/12/2019

There are few finer voices in rock music than Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale. Being able to display a roar that sends shivers down the spine to a husky whisper to seduce the soul, Hale’s range is mesmeric. Place that on top of music that is vibrant, edgy and ferocious and you have a rock band that is everything you want. Tonight, after four long years, Adelaide echoes to the sound of Halestorm again.

Black Stone Cherry had to pull out of the tour due to a family emergency and stepping up to the plate in lieu is New Zealand’s Villainy. It’s hard to categorise Villainy as their musical style fluctuates from genres within songs. Is it a rock groove, is it punk, is it industrial? Imagine putting your iPod on shuffle and this is what you get. It’s refreshing and exciting and you don’t know what’s next. Villainy pull it off with an energy off a band that truly believes in what they’re doing, as you should too.

The crowd are here though for Halestorm, and it’s a lively crowd. In what is generally a male dominated culture, the venue, which is sold out, is mostly females tonight. They are all inspired and uplifted by Lzzy Hale’s no bullshit rock n’ roll attitude as they open with Black Vultures from their fantastic last album Vicious. They rock like a M-F, with grooves that get everyone’s pulses racing and heads banging in unison.

Hale is dressed like a rockstar, heels as high as the sky, open shirt off the collar, guitar slung low as she takes the first break to build rapport with the fans. It’s clear she is humbled by the support and in return the fans adore her back. Hale likens the show to a one-night stand before going into the sultry and seductive I Get Off On You.

Love Bites (So Do I) continues to showcase that voice as the lyrics are venomously delivered. Hale gets a close to the fans as possible aware that playing venues like The Gov are near impossible stateside due to the bands enduring popularity.

Halestorm are more than one person though as a drum solo, which at one-point features some ‘Big Fucking Sticks’, showcases the other Hale in the band, Arejay, talents as the tricks, twirls and swings entertain and give the rest of the band a breather before the next sonic onslaught.

A beautiful rendition of Silence is dedicated to love and loss with the crowd singing that back louder than Hale herself in a touching moment of intimacy. Freak Like Me, Killing Ourselves To Live and Chemicals are delivered with the attitude you want from a rock band; a touch angry, in your face and with sexual energy.

The band finish with an epic display of musicianship from all quarters during I Miss The Misery which has the room quaking with jubilation. The dual solos from Hale and Joe Hottinger incinerate the stage. Reminiscent of classic Priest dual guitar attack, they are tight, loud and laser precise.

Halestorm are a band that loves their fans, the energy back and forth’ exalts their shows to another level. They understand that they are fans too and how much it means to be wrapped up together in that moment of music that’s transcends barriers. To prove the point further, there are no over priced meet and greet tickets. This is a band that came out and spoke to their fans after the show, thanking each and every one for blessing them to watch them perform. Halestorm, we were the ones who were blessed.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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