Rock bands Halestorm and In This Moment have been touring North America together for the vast majority of the last year. In July, they announced the addition of a third leg to the tour, which finally made its way to Florida over the weekend. The tour was packaged Orlando rock radio station WJRR’s ‘Not So Silent Night’ show at the downtown Amway Center.
Another female fronted rock band called New Years Day kicked off Friday evening in Orlando. Though the crowd didn’t seem overly familiar with the band, it didn’t take long for vocalist Ash Costello to get some energy flowing through the room, wiping her long, half black and half red hair everywhere. New Years Day played a short six song set, which included a cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile.”
A curtain was draped over the stage to conceal a quick set change, but the crowd stayed attentive and was having fun singing along to In This Moment’s pre-show playlist, which included classic rock hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’“. The atmosphere quickly changed when the kabuki dropped, revealing Maria Brink and her Blood Girls (dancers/performers) on a platform in the middle of the stage.
Anyone who has seen In This Moment before knows that their live show is just as much of an art form as their music is. The production is top notch and stays fresh, with their setlists evolving on every tour run. Most of the songs played on Friday were in support of the band’s 2017 album release ‘Ritual,’ but they opened with “Blood” and made sure to incorporate a few of the older fan favorites. With costume changes and various props swapped in and out throughout their set, it’s impossible to sum up an In This Moment show with just a few words. Suffice to say, whether it’s admiring Maria Brink’s vocal and visual performance or rocking out with the bands monster jam, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.
Halestorm released their fourth studio album ‘Vicious’ in July this year and the current tour is in support of that release. Their set kicked open with the album’s second single “Black Vultures.” Lead single “Uncomfortable” came shortly after, which seemed almost celebratory as the song was just announced as Grammy Nomination for next year’s Best Rock Performance category. Vocalist Lzzy Hale delivered a flawless performance on the song, but arguably, her full vocal range and control doesn’t get showcased until softer songs that allow her voice to shine over the music. “Dear Daughter” was the first instance of that, and later on guitarist Joe Hottinger brought out an acoustic guitar and sat together with Lzzy on a stage monitor for a very intimate and heartfelt performance of “The Silence.”
Surprisingly the band’s popular and first RIAA Gold Certified single “I Get Off” wasn’t on the setlist for Orlando, but numerous other fan favorite songs from The Strange Case Of… and Into the Wild Life were tossed in the mix. Drummer Arejay Hale took over the spotlight for a drum solo during “Skulls,” which also included a fun snippet of him leading a sing-along to The Offspring’s “Why Don’t You Get A Job.” Halestorm closed out their 13 song set with “Here’s to Us,” thanking the crowd and tossing bracelet, drumstick, guitar pick and setlist keepsakes to a few lucky fans.
Although Halestorm has been active for over two decades, they only released their debut album in 2009. Their follow up album came in 2012 and the lead single “Love Bites (So Do I)” won them their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance… it’s been nothing but up for the band ever since. The current tour concludes on Sunday, December 16th in St. Petersburg, Florida, but Halestorm is known for their non-stop touring and has already been announced as part of the inaugural Sonic Temple festival lineup next year, so keep an eye on their official website for more upcoming tour dates.