Live Review: Halestorm / Nothing More / Wilson – O2 Academy Leeds 05.03.2015


Wilson would definitely win the award for the oddest yet greatest entrance of the night. Vocalist Chad Nicefield enters the staged dressed as an oversized toy solider wielding a marching band bass drum with “Fuckery” taped across the front, simultaneously leaving the audience confused and intrigued. Chad’s curdling vocals, reminiscent of a mixture between Jason Butler (letlive.) and Jesse Leach (Killswitch Engage) cause absolute mayhem on College Gangbang. With their overall good fun party rock it isn’t hard to see how they’ve gained so much attention from the Leeds crowd.

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Next up Nothing More who carry on the blistering bundle of energy that Wilson left. Last time the band were here they supported The Pretty Reckless and as impressive they were on that night, they have certainly stepped up their game again. Their slick efforts of introducing unique usage of their instruments into their hard rock on top of the theatrical nature of their show, involving some impressive drum sequences, certainly has the crowd enthralled. Vocalist, Jonny Hawkins has a flowing, soaring and dangerously aggressive voice that compliments the vigorous tones of the bass and crashing drums. Mr. MTVs ridiculously catchy chorus certainly proves their abilities to take popular culture and flip it on it’s head with their own message.

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The last time Halestorm were in Leeds they headlined a show at the now closed Cockpit over two and half years ago. It’s fair to say their return has been long overdue. Opening with the first single Apocalyptic from the yet to be released album Into The Wild Life it’s clear they mean business. Front woman Lzzy Hale is a force to be reckoned with, her vocals range from raspy and growling to soft and angelic within seconds and her stage presence is second to none. Freak Like Me followed by their cover of Judas Priest’s Dissident Aggressor proves that with or without her signature Gibson, Lzzy is a true rockstar.

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Bringing it back into their Strange Case Of… era Lzzy claims “I’m a crazy bitch” before Arejay Hale’s thundering drums roll right into Mz.Hyde, a song that encases both sides, good and bad, of the vocalist. Even though it’s over a month from the release of their new album, the band proceed with giving the fans a taste of what’s to come with Amen and I Like It Heavy, both are arena worthy anthems with a spin on old school classic rock.

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Arejay Hale is a monster on the drums, his drum solo, not only sounds like absolute mayhem and pure talent rolled into one but is visually enthralling. “Say hello to my little friend” the drummer exclaims before pulling out two of the biggest drums sticks you could possibly attempt to play the drums with. Fan favourites like the Grammy award winning Love Bites (So Do I) and I Miss The Misery are heavy hitting hard rock anthems at their best, the slick guitar riffs, cool as you like bass lines, heavy hitting drum fills and Lzzy’s powerful vocals sound even better live than they do on record. Halestorm are destined for big things and if you ever catch the band live, you’ll see why.

Wilson: Facebook / Website / Twitter 

Nothing More: Facebook / Website / Twitter

Halestorm: Facebook / Website / Twitter

Photos by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK: Website / Facebook

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