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Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
8th February 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


American rockers Halestorm are the band that never stops. Famous early in their career for regularly managing to do 200 plus shows a year they are now reaping the rewards of their hard work but still tour incessantly.

Fresh from a UK arena tour with Black Stone Cherry and Shinedown they are straight into a headline tour on mainland Europe starting with this sold out show at the 2000 capacity hall in the modern Tivoli Vredenburg.

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Support act Wilson are a US modern rock act who work hard to get a responsive crowd on their side and succeeded for the most part. I couldn't find a thing to really remember myself though and the growly vocals certainly weren't to my taste.


I finally lost interest when they added in a risible cover of Nazareth's 'Hair Of The Dog'. The rest of an admittedly much younger audience seemed to disagree with me though.

Halestorm hit the stage after an overlong interval between bands and are greeted like conquering heroes by the sold out crowd. The first five songs in the set are from latest album 'Into The Wild' but from the reaction you would think this was a greatest hits selection.

'Sick Individual' hits the right groove straight away while 'I Like It Heavy' is all pure rock anthem. The place is literally jumping and the crowd and the band cheered on a guy crowd surfing in a wheelchair.


When they hit the back catalogue the reaction in the hall gives me goosebumps during the unifying bitching rifferama of 'Rock Show' and the pounding groove of 'Mz Hyde'.

A traditional part of any Halestorm show is a drum solo from Arejay Hale and the crowd absolutely love his antics. This is a shame for me as I think drum solos are a tedious waste of time and would like to see them consigned to history. However with this band it's a necessary evil it seems.

The real star of the show is big sister Lzzy and her performance is a master class in fronting a rock band. She has the whole venue in the palm of her hand from the start and whether issuing eye watering screams during 'Love Bites' or bringing it down to sensitive balladry in 'Dear Daughter' her vocals and presence are immense. She is a rock star, it's that simple.


Another band ignoring the tired encore scenario Halestorm simply play their set all the way through, finishing with a frantic 'I Miss The Misery' complete with a seventies style jam session to finish.


This was a triumphant start to this European tour. The band were stunned by the audience reaction but showed they can work a room as well as anyone in the business right now. There seems to be no stopping these four old school style rockers and judging by tonight's reaction they are only going to get bigger and bigger.

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