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HalestormPalladium, Cologne, Germany
14th November 2019
Halestorm + Support: New Year’s Day, In This Moment

Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM, Maria Brink of IN THIS MOMENT and Ash Costello of NEW YEAR’S DAY - three of most powerful female figures in Rock. So it was a pleasant surprise when HALESTORM announced that they would team up with the two other bands for a special tour. These “women in Rock” and their bands came to Germany for four concerts (Cologne, Munich, Offenbach, and Hamburg). NEW YEAR’S DAY and IN THIS MOMENT had new albums to promote, HALESTORM continued their successful ‘Vicious’ tour. We caught up with them in Cologne, where they celebrated their music and power in a tremendous Rock show.

New Year’s Day

NEW YEAR’S DAY was founded in 2005 in the U.S. After many line-up changes the charismatic front woman Ashley Costello is the only constant member. Musically the band has moved from the genres of Punk and Gothic towards Alternative Rock and Metalcore. Their third album, ‘Malevolence’, hit the US charts; their fourth album, ‘Unbreakable’, came out in 2019.

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Music & Performance
It is a difficult task to be the opening act on an evening with three very powerful, but also very different bands. NEW YEAR’S DAY showed right from the beginning that they plan to convince Germany of their music, their performance and especially their new record. Ash Costello not only looked beautiful, but showed her vocal abilities throughout their whole set. With only thirty minutes and five songs to play, there is not much time to show everything the band has to offer, but they did their best and gave the audience a great start for this rock night. They even added a PANTERA cover to their set, although for this short amount of time another song by them would have maybe been more convincing.

01. Come for Me
02. Kill or Be Killed
03. Fucking Hostile (Pantera Cover)
04. Shut Up
05. Skeletons
06. Defame Me

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Light: 10
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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In This Moment

On the first two albums, IN THIS MOMENT could be clearly identified as a Metalcore band. Their style changed with the third album and an adventurous journey began, which lasts to this day and combines elements of Groove and Heavy Metal, all centred on front singer Maria Brink. Her vocal performance ranges from purely guttural to clear vocals, her stage show is a theatre of the absurd with costumes and stage set ups. Their latest long-player, ‘Ritual’, deals with the topic of the burning of witches in Salem in 1692. Visual elements of those times are integrated into their current stage show.

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Music & Performance
The “Lady Gaga of Rock”, Maria Brink, and her band created a creepy, dark atmosphere which lasted throughout their whole set. Burning torches were carried by two ladies in make-up, while the leading lady sang from an altar, which was sometimes covered. The band is now a completely different band than the one who released their Metalcore debut album ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ in 2007. IN THIS MOMENT experiments towards Pop music, which leads to passages that are either hit or miss. The songs have a slow tempo and their focus is rather to underline the mood and the show than to make an audience freak out at a rock concert. Maria Brink herself has probably arrived where she always wanted to be. She stands in the centre, where she can try and act herself out. And she does that successfully, although in some moments it balances on the thin line between awesome and embarrassing.

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Many people in the audience received the band enthusiastically; many of them seemed to have followed them throughout their career. A very interesting show with definite musical highlights that will be turned on again and again.

01. Fly Like an Eagle (Steve Miller Band cover)
02. River of Fire
03. Adrenalize
04. Natural Born Sinner
05. Legacy
06. Big Bad Wolf
07. Blood
08. Whore

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 9
Total: 10 / 10

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The Pennsylvanian twins, Elizabeth “Lzzy” and Arejay Hale, received their first piano lessons at the age of five and soon came into contact with other instruments. Arejay lands on the drums, his sister plays guitar and sings. And she does that very well. They form HALESTORM and together with guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith they tour the U.S. and Europe endlessly while releasing songs and albums. Their 2012 album, ‘The Strange Case Of…’, features the smash hit ‘Loves Bites… (So Do I)’ which earned them a Grammy in the Best Hard Rock / Metal Performance Category. On the 2014 DIO tribute album, ‘Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life’ they covered DIO’s ‘Straight Through The Heart’. They keep getting bigger worldwide, their latest album ‘Vicious’ was released in 2018. As one of the hardest working bands in the music business, HALESTORM have spent most of their lives on the road. The band plays over 250 concerts every year, including several sold-out headliner tours and performances on main festival stages.

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Music & Performance
Almost exactly one year earlier HALESTORM had played in Cologne already. Just like last time they started their set with a number of hits: ‘Freak Like Me’, ‘Love Bites’, ‘Mz. Hyde’ and ‘Vicious’ were played right at the start and made the audience go wild. The band appears honest and hard-working. They have poppy songs, but are at best on their heavier numbers. On their hits they improvise with long, heavy jams that show how good they are as musicians and players. HALESTORM is definitely a live band. Lzzy Hale is in the centre and not only looks like a rock and roll queen, but also sounds like one. She has her voice fully under control and has as much power as hardly anyone. Metal heads are used to screaming in music, but she does it live better than many more famous bands. In comparison to last year, the whole band had much more energy.

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The sound of the whole concert (of all bands) was great. As one member of the audience put it: “So let’s do it again next year right away. And the year after, too. Please let’s do it as long as electricity comes out of the socket...”

01. Freak Like Me
02. Love Bites (So Do I)
03. Mz. Hyde
04. Vicious
05. I Get Off
06. Familiar Taste of Poison / Amen
07. Drum Solo
08. Black Vultures
09. Uncomfortable
10. Chemicals
11. Mayhem
12. Do Not Disturb
13. The Silence
14. Here’s to Us
15. She Won't Mind
16. I Am the Fire
14. I Miss the Misery

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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All Pictures by André Wilms

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