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Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 18, 2015    
 
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Halestorm - O2 Academy, Liverpool (UK) - 17th August 2015

The Halestorm touring machine was in Liverpool for the first time tonight since they supported Theory Of A Deadman back in the first half of 2010. This current visit to the U.K. takes in just two dates (London the following night) and are the basis of some intimate self-indulgencies. The show was billed as 'A Wild Evening With Halestorm' and Lzzy Hale's comments about "being able to do whatever the fuck we want" were true in some ways for the first set.

The "Sold Out" signs were needed just a couple of hours after tickets went on sale several months ago and fortunately the queues outside were treated to some nice weather for a change. There was a relaxed feel about proceedings but as the band took to the stage, the temperature inside the Academy was red hot and energy sapping. They opened with a semi-acoustic version of 'Freak Like Me' and it was clear everyone was in something of a comfort zone and the extended mid-song banter and musical dalliances were forgiven because "they can do whatever the fuck they want". Stripped-back versions of 'I'm Not An Angel', 'In Your Room', 'I Get Off' and 'Here's To Us' followed before Lzzy Hale was left alone with the piano for an emotional run through of 'Rose In December', an older song rarely played live.

After the break we were treated to the latest 'Into The Wild Life' album in its entirety. The thirteen songs were played in order and though the arrangements were loose, almost unrehearsed, it was possibly the only time (aside from the next night in London) that any of these songs will be aired live. Anyone familiar with the album will know the song sequence and I think that was where my smallest quibble laid.....we all knew what was coming next. Don't get me wrong, I love the songs and have taken them all to heart and the balance was perfect. The more up-tempo 'I Am The Fire', 'Amen', 'Mayhem' and 'Apocalyptic' sat nicely next to the more reflective 'Dear Daughter', 'The Reckoning' and 'What Sober Couldn't Say'; every person in the crowd knew every single word. Lzzy Hale's vocals were brilliant, Arejay Hale got the chance to do his big sticks routine and guitarist Joe Hottinger and bass player Josh Smith continued to take on the more unassuming yet nevertheless vital roles.

The night came to a close with rampaging versions of 'Love Bites', 'It's Not You' and 'I Miss The Misery'. Just for Liverpool there was also an impromptu (really?) 'Hard Days Night' and I'm sure they would have played for longer if the curfew had not curtailed their enthusiasm.

Halestorm have taken the U.K. by storm (yeah, I said it) in just a few years and yet again I'm so glad to say "I was there".

Dave Bott

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