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Halestorm Brings the Thunder to a Sold-Out Baltimore Crowd

Halestorm may not be the most original band in the hard rock scene, but what the group lacks in innovation is certainly made up for in passion and raw energy. Halestorm's sold-out March 19 show at Ram's Head Live! in Baltimore, Md., was clear proof that if you do what you do well, nothing else really matters.

And no doubt about it, Halestorm does its brand of mainstream rock well. The band took a chance by hitting the stage with an unreleased, unnamed and uptempo number that is among the works in progress for its next album. Halestorm then launched into "It's Not You," the popular single and lead track from the band's major-label self-titled debut.

The song, which opened Halestorm's set for many of its shows the past few years, brought a rousing, boisterous response from the crowd. Frontwoman/guitarist Lzzy Hale added to the excitement of the night, mentioning it was the first time Halestorm had pre-sold all the tickets to one of its concerts.

The energy from the audience never let up and Halestorm responded in kind, delivering a solid performance. On display throughout the near 90-minute gig was the dynamic range of Lzzy Hale.

From the softness required to convey the emotions in "I'm Not an Angel" and "Familiar Taste Of Poison," to the soaring highs required to pull off a frantic cover of Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind" and originals such as "Dirty Work" and "I Get Off," the frontwoman proved she has the vocal chops to stand alongside some of the greatest female rock vocalists.

Halestorm is out on the road supporting ReAniMate: The CoVeRs EP, which was released on March 15. The band offered up three of the six tracks from the disc. The standout was a more up-tempo interpretation of Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," including a vocal performance that should make Heart lead vocalist Ann Wilson proud.

The band also rolled out a cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," and while Lzzy clearly forgot some of the lyrics, she never missed a beat and kept things moving rather than stopping and restarting.

And while more could be said about Lzzy's commanding stage presence, much respect needs to be handed down to her bandmates, brother Arejay Hale on drums, who was doing his best to be a showman behind the kit, Josh Smith on bass and Joe Hottinger on guitar. The musicians provided a near flawless musical foundation that allowed Lzzy to shine.

If the group keeps it up, the Red Lion, Pa.-based Halestorm certainly has the potential to do great things. The band members are entertaining on stage and musically the players have demonstrated the talent to draw out the emotion of the lyrics. All Halestorm really needs are for its lyrics to be little less clichéd and that should help Halestorm stand out from the masses.

Halestorm w/ Charm City Devils, Madam Adam and Loving the Lie
March 19, 2011
Ram's Head Live!
Baltimore, Md.

- Gregory Twachtman

Copyright 2011, Brian Heaton. All Rights Reserved.