Halestorm – Gig Review & Photo Gallery 3rd Feb @ The Forum, Melb VIC
The Forum, Melb, VIC
February 3, 2023
Support: Theory of A Deadman
It had been a VERY long time in between visits. Halestorm, a frequent Australian visiting band, were back on our soil and VERY ready to play to the Melbourne Audience at The Forum on Friday.
After getting some insight into what they might play and how excited they were to play for us while chatting to the band last week, I put on my red lipstick and head down to the show to experience the epic evening, over 3 years in the making.
They came out with a BANG, opening with the title track from their latest record, Back From The Dead. With insane flashing lights and lead singer Lzzy Hale rocking red guitar to represent ‘Back From The Dead‘, the energy was electric from the first note. The crowd was such a dynamic mix with ages spanning from 20’s to at LEAST 70’s. What was interesting and incredibly enjoyable from the moment the band began to play was there were no pits! No one was pushing, or frankly moving much at all. As strange as this was for myself (who frequents metalcore shows and can often be found mum dancing on the sidelines), it made for an incredibly enjoyable experience to just watch and absorb. Half of the crowd was just watching and singing alone, the other half were recording on their phones and singing along.
Before anyone had a chance to think after the first track was played, they ripped into ‘Mz Hyde’. The sing-a-long was louder than every instrument and when the band ripped through the huge guitar moment that ends the track, we were treated to A DRUM SOLO? Yep. Second song in and we have a mini drum solo.
“YOU WANT PSYCHO MELBOURNE?” Lzzy proclaimed as they launched into ‘Psycho Crazy’. The only thing that was psycho or crazy was the PIPES ON LZZY during that number. Holy vocals girl!
We were treated to a minute to breathe next. Lzzy had a great chat with the crowd, pointing out that during their last appearance here in 2019, which also happened to be at The Forum, they proclaimed that night they would be back in a few short months. Clearly, the world had other plans. Because of this, they played ‘Rock Show’ next, dedicating it to everyone who waited so patiently through the turbulent years of the pandemic. Arejay set the tone of the performance with his epic drums, the song featured a guitar solo from Miss Hale and the double kicks at the end could be felt in your bones.
‘Mine’, their first and only song they played from the new Deluxe Version of Back From The Dead was next. “Melbourne you’re mine, all mine” said Lzzy. Joey swapped to the most gorgeous sparkly guitar you’ve EVER SEEN, with the song containing one of many epic solos from the lead guitarist. That item was a piece of ART and he played it as such! Despite this being a more experimental, less known and synth-heavy song, it still felt huge. Almost everyone in the crowd had their phone up, just taking the moments in and obtaining some footage to watch back later.
Next, it was time for one of the most epic new Halestorm tracks complete with some epic elongated vocals.
“This is my kingdoooooooom, this is my cathedraaaaaaal! This is my caaaassstttllleee. Melbourne YOU are my people”
With not a silent person in the whole house, myself included, ‘The Steeple’ was the biggest and best moment of the show so far. The best part? This woman knows how to pronounce the name of our city. She’s one of the gang as she launches into a speech about how special Melbourne is after a keyboard is wheeled out at song’s end. As the crowd is commanded to put up all their phone lights. In we launch to a keyboard mashup of ‘Break In’ and ‘Dear Daughter’, including a falsetto that absolutely captivated everyone’s eyes and ears. ‘‘I’m proud to be a rock and roll chick. I’m just proud to be a chick. This one’s for my ladies” she said before ‘Dear Daughter’ was played, before finishing the keyboard moment with ‘Raise Your Horns’. This saw everyone in The Forum doing exactly that, a wonderful crowd moment I expected that did not disappoint.
A slower, yet full band moment followed, with the extended version of ‘Familiar Taste Of Poison’ being played from Halestorm’s very first record. The bass Josh played was about to vibrate the gold awnings off of the 100-year-old venue as the performance briefly turned into a rock opera-esque delight that ran into a mammoth drum solo from Arejay. Now, this is REAL ROCK AND FKN ROLL! He played the solo for a solid 5 minutes and the crowd were frothing every second. We screamed along and tried to clap in time as Arejay annihilated those double kicks like they hurt someone he loves. Just when you think it’s coming to a close, he whips out the biggest set of oversized novelty sticks you have ever seen and smashes the kit like it’s also jumbo-sized. WHAT IS HAPPENING?
‘Freak Like Me’ starts, flowing perfectly like the solo was just a mere intro to the song. Once again every single person is singing so loud it’s nearly deafening. As Lzzy doted on individual members of the crowd next, Joey teases the sexy song with his tuned-down riff as Lzzy tells Melbourne “I get off on you getting off on me” before playing ‘I Get Off’. Look, I know I’ve said this three times already, but they keep outdoing themselves…. THIS is the biggest moment of the show yet.
“You can call me Lzzy, you can call me Vicious, whatever you do….DON’T CALL ME AN ANGEL”
Yepp, they launched into ‘Wicked Ways’. This absolute FUCK YOU to any female expectations is my favourite song off Back From The Dead and it surpassed every expectation live. After a solid hour, it was time for the are-we-done-yet fake out, as the band went off stage.
When they finally came back on stage after what felt like the longest request for an encore, they returned with a tray of shots. Because of course they did. They did a cheers to support band Theory Of A Dead Man, another cheers to each other, finishing on a third cheers to Melbourne, of course, before launching into ‘Here’s To Us’. Classic. ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and ‘I Miss the Misery’ rounded out the nearly 1.5 hours and the biggest ups to all of the members for still looking like they could play another 1.5 hours.
The return of Halestorm to Melbourne was absolutely not to be missed and worth the 3 years. I enjoyed every single second of their set and given the chance, would watch it all over again.
Review by Lili Jean Berry. @lilijeanberry
Back From the Dead
(Lzzy on Piano)
Break In / Dear Daughter
Raise Your Horns
Familiar Taste of Poison (extended version)
Freak Like Me
I Get Off
Here’s to Us
Love Bites (So Do I)
I Miss the Misery
Revisit our interview with Lzzy and Joe prior to their return down under here
Photo Gallery by Clinton Hatfield. Insta: @ampd.agency
Please credit Wall of Sound and Clinton Hatfield if you repost photos.
Theory Of A Deadman
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