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Halestorm + New Years Day @ House of Blues Anaheim – October 20th 2017

Two dates away from ending a perfect tour, Halestorm brought the love and the passion to one of Anaheim’s newest venues House Of Blues (which is newly remodelled). Sitting atop the Anaheim Gardenwalk, HOB now rests in its new home right down the street from its former nest (Disneyland). The interior of the venue feels like it holds more people than the previous building which has lead to a better experience for the crowd and performers. Kicking off the set was our hometown rockers New Years Day. Expectedly this band kicked the crowd on their asses for a hell of a show. Their setlist consisted of music from their albums Malevolence and Epidemic which the fans seem to really enjoy. Before introducing their last song of the set lead singer Ashley Costello introduced the crowd to a ritual that the audience understandably were second guessing (as she referred to the upcoming act as a “sacrifice”) by explaining that they would be offering up a song to the metal gods from a well-known group titled Pantera. Closing out their set with Fucking Hostile, Nikki Misery and Jeremy Valentine lost all control on their guitars while bassist Nikki Sil and drummer Joshua Ingram raised some hell of their own on bass and drums. Needless to say, Ashley mesmerized the crowd with her flawless vocals and nailed the Pantera cover to complete another perfect set in the book of New Years Day shows. Following up with popular rockers Starset who had the popular song My Demons from their 2014 debut album release Transmissions have continued to push through the music industry with massive strength and detail. Why detail? Because vocalist Dustin Bates who formed the band in 2014 created the storyline that the group was put together by the “Starset Society” whose purpose was to alert the public about the contents of “the message”. Since starting the group the band has stayed true to their roots and have rarely broken the fourth wall. Starset’s setlist mainly consisted of songs from their 2017 album release Vessels but was not afraid to reach back a few years and pull out some classics from their original album. The onstage set up that the gentleman had was 2nd best to the music as all members (with the exception of Bates and the violinists) were wearing space suit styled clothing and headwear (which was lit by led’s and lights) meanwhile smoke consistently filled the stage and sometimes shot out at the crowd as graphics danced behind the band keeping the audience’s attention for the entire set. And lastly the god of all bands Halestorm. Halestorm is no strangers to the music scene as they signed their first record contract with Atlantic Records in 2005. They had success in the Grammy’s as being the first female-fronted band to win the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category. The group has released a total of three studio albums since 2009 (all three years apart) most recently releasing Into the Wild Life. During the live set the band played I Get Off, Freak Like Me, I Like It Heavy, and much much more. But no other song compared that night to seeing lead singer Lzzy Hale perform I Will Always Love You on piano. I was already aware of the singer’s natural ability, but what was happening during that song could only be described as two words: God-given. Halestorm’s entire set was electric as drummer and brother of Lzzy consistently stood up on his drum set and got the crowd hyped, guitarists Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith both really got into the set as well as they jammed through I Am The Fire, Mayhem and Miss Misery which completed the groups set.

Overall the Halloween Scream Tour had a perfect stop at the House of Blues Anaheim location and did an amazing job presenting the female talent as much as the male talent in the concert scene. Many concertgoers were blown away by the visual effects and natural elements that each live band had to offer and of course who can complain about an eighteen song setlist from Halestorm? Definitely not me. I look forward to seeing what each band has to offer going forward on their separate journeys and if both Starset and New Years Day can continually live up to the annual expectations of their audiences as they’ve been doing thus far.

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