By Lisa Tagaloa
Date / Venue: Saturday December 5th, 2015 - The Powerstation, Auckland
From the fuelled intensity of the VIP meet & greet to the last resounding echoes of Lzzy's vocals, every song gave rise to Halestorm's beast level bad-assery, whipping all freaks into a frenzy.
Local band Setting Fire To Stacey kicked off the night with vigour, performing hits like SOS and No Way Outto the rapturous response of the audience - I even spied Chris Morgan and members of the I Am Giant Army assisting the lads backstage. A birdy tells me they managed to ‘accidentally' wander into the wrong room and lucked their way into meeting Halestorm, #HowVeryOpportune.
It was a slick production from the outset, right down to the efficiency and friendliness of the crew - there was a cheer from the crowd every time one of the instruments got sound checked. The anticipation mounted with every passing minute until the lights dimmed and a roar spilled as Halestorm hit the stage, dedicating their first song to the late singer Scott Weiland and other rockers recently lost.
Hells no, was this reviewer going to stand at the back to bear witness, moving right up the front with the rest of the VIP hard-outs head banging to all the faves: I Get Off, I Miss the Misery, Love Bites, Apocalyptic, I Am The Fire and Mayhem to name a few. My personal favourite was Familiar Taste of Poison: I swear, my heart stopped beating and time froze as the music washed over me.
Other highlights included Lzzy exiting and guitarist Joe melting the masses with a solo backed by the boys. Josh seamlessly taking over on keys while Lzzy swapped from keys to guitar and rocked a solo on Dear Daughter making way for Arejay's energetic drum solo.
As the band left the stage, he had the crowd marvelling at his chops before enticing us to chant and sing along, all while smashing the skins and jumping around like there was no tomorrow. The set was tight and heavy on groove. Lzzy had everyone eating from the palm of her hand, whenever she sang or talked - she definitely made us Kiwis feel special.
It's not just the music that makes them amazing. Talk to them and you get a sense of how humble and close they are, even after years of touring the world together. The spirit of the band feels genuine, born from a love of music and people, all of this makes fans keep coming back for more. In a word? ‘mutha-f*ckin-worldly'. Oh, and they give awesome hugs too.