Photos and Review by Jeff Palmucci
I like to crank it up, make it thump, and lead on to the chord
Head bangin’ in the pit and throwin’ my horns
And just like old school Sabbath, Zeppelin and Lemmy
I need to drop it down low and make it heavy
I like it heavy
— Halestorm – I Like It Heavy – Into the Wild Life (2015)
OK, I should probably explain why I am starting a Halestorm review for last week’s show in Boston with a quote from a 7-year-old song. As a somewhat older person living in the suburbs of Boston, there aren’t all that many people in my orbit that are into metal. God knows my wife doesn’t. She cannot stand a lot of my music and makes it clear to me that she thinks it’s crap. She’s awesome in other ways, so she gets a pass. Others kind of piss me off.
I remember when my daughter was much younger, picking her up at some school function while wearing a Motorhead t-shirt. One set of parents looked at the shirt and asked “Oh, do you like that kind of music?” “Yes, yes I do.”
So when I first heard I Like it Heavy shortly after that, my reaction was a bit unexpected. I got a little teary-eyed and verklempt. It was good to know that someone felt the way that I did and was eloquent enough to put it into words.
Anyways, this is the first time I’m writing about Halestorm since then so I wanted to put this out there. On to the show.
The Leader Bank Pavilion is a great place for a summer concert, and the current Halestorm tour packed a lot of music into that hot summer night with 4 excellent female-led bands.
Lilith Czar was first out. Although I haven’t heard her before, I did some pregaming and listened to the Anarchy video on YouTube and was kind of blown away. Give it a listen. It convinced me to show up early to be sure not to miss their set.
The Warning was out next. These three sisters first got noticed for their cover of Enter the Sandman they did as young girls on YouTube. The video has 23 million hits! Although older and playing their original music now, the band is still the three sisters. They sound like a much bigger band. Daniela and Paulina handled the vocals while simultaneously wailing on their instruments at breakneck speed. Of course, they played their Enter the Sandman cover again as thanks for getting them started.
The Pretty Reckless was next, and I’m a huge fan of the band. They played a ten song set with about half off their newest album Death by Rock and Roll and the other half older hits. I was a bit bummed that they didn’t play my favorite track off the new album, Rock and Roll Heaven. But then I put a link to it in this article and I felt better. One cool moment was during And So It Went, when the audience could clearly be heard taking the place of the choir in the final choruses of the song.
Halestorm topped off the show, playing quite a long set. One thing that impresses me a lot with this band is their raw musical talent. Lzzy has an intense voice at times and goes clean and sweet at others. Sometimes in the same song. In addition to her vocals, she plays guitar throughout the show and that night played a beautiful two-song solo on the piano with Break In and Raise Your Horns. Arejay is incredible on the drums in that not only does he play some very difficult sets, he does it with a lot of flair. During his extended drum solo, he brought out his ridiculously large sticks for fun. What struck me in that moment was that even though the sticks were HUGE, he was still wailing away pretty quickly. Those things looked heavy!
So there was a point a couple of years ago when I was driving in my car with my oldest daughter, mentioned above. Unlike my middle daughter, she’s not so much into the heavier side of music. She’s a musical theater major and is very much into the clean vocals that entails. We were listening to I Like It Heavy and she made the comment: “Geez, doesn’t that hurt her voice?” My answer could’ve easily applied to any of the bands at the show that night. “Well,” I said, “I guess she likes it heavy.”