with In This Moment and Sacred Mother Tongue
@ The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London
8th March 2013
Review by Soozi Q
Photography by Graham Hilling
Touring machines Halestorm are on yet another European tour at the moment, and for tonight’s show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden they are supported by no- frills British metallers Sacred Mother Tongue and metal act In This Moment, who are fronted by Metal’s answer to Lady Gaga- Maria Brink.
Sacred Mother Tongue whip out a very brief set lasting just 20 minutes and consisting of four tracks from their upcoming album, ‘Into the Darkness’ which is out in April.
First up is ‘Demons’, on which vocalist Darrin’s seductive tones can be heard. Andy James on guitar shows off his shredding skills on songs ‘The City Is Crying’ and ‘Seven’; this guy is clearly a very well developed and confident player.
The band as a whole plays an incredibly tight set, and considering there are just four of them they produce a rich and wholesome sound. A great start to the night!
Watching In This Moment is like witnessing some sort of tame burlesque act at times.
Frontwoman Maria Brink doesn’t just belt her heart out; she stands up on her platform as though she is presenting herself to the audience, for all to bask in her womanly glory, and seduces them with her confident, ballsy performance.
To kick off their set, Maria shows us what she can do vocally by belting out ‘Rise With Me’, the intro track off their latest album ‘Blood’.
New single ‘Adrenalize’ is up next, a punchy, sexy number that really excites the crowd. Drummer Tom resembles the Muppets character Animal, while he violently attacks the drums with his hair whipping all over the place.
For third song ‘Blazin’’, a tall rectangular box with a white sheet draped over it appears onstage, which Maria perches herself on top of donning a cape and something resembling a Dunce Hat… she soon whips this off her head and uses it as a megaphone to continue screaming the song at the giddy-with-lust audience.
ITM put on a solid set but the music isn’t all that technically adventurous; with guitarists Chris and Randy sticking to straightforward riffs and bassist Travis just enhancing the depth of what is being played by Chris and Randy as opposed to funking things up.
Rather than being entertaining in a musically impressive sense, their show is visually captivating; At one point Maria’s cape is used as a screen that she sashays behind in a titillating manner, flaunting her curves yet again.
For closing song ‘Blood’ she resembles an air stewardess whilst she performs a little ‘arms up, out to the side, out to the front’ routine. This is accessible pop-metal with a stage show fit for arenas. I have a feeling that commercial success is just on the horizon for ITM.
Tonight’s headliners Halestorm take to the stage and drummer Arejay demonstrates his exuberant, flamboyant style with a flashy drum solo to open up their set.
First song of the night ‘Freak Like Me’ is a fun, bouncy number injected with attitude thanks to frontwoman Lzzy’s fierce and almighty vocals. Latest single ‘Love Bites’ from their album ‘The Strange Case Of…’ is packed full of pop-punk attitude with plenty of funk thanks to bassist Josh’s frolicsome riffs.
Lzzy interacts with the audience as if we are old friends of hers; she knows exactly how to please her fans and clearly appreciates how important they have been to the success of the band. To lead into their next song, Lzzy informs us that she needs us to do her “dirty work….bounce for me!” and they throw themselves into, surprise surprise, ‘Dirty Work’. Arejay really lets loose on this song, throwing his sticks up in the air, confidently pulling off some one handed drumming and generally getting experimental with intricate riffs.
According to a die-hard fan I get talking to, Arejay learnt a lot of his ‘tricks’ from Black Stone Cherry drummer John whilst Halestorm were on tour with them. Guitarist Joe and Lzzy, who mostly plays rhythm guitar, attempt a ‘solo duel’ whereby Lzzy cracks out a solo and Joe retorts, proving himself to be the better player of the two. But what Lzzy lacks in guitar playing she makes up for in her singing abilities; this woman has a phenomenal range and can alternate between sickly sweet falsetto to husky and rich tones.
Halestorm triumphantly cover songs by Dio (Straight Through the Heart) and Guns and Roses (Out Ta Get Me); Arejay compliments each cover with sophisticated drum flairs whilst chucking his sticks about aplenty and Lzzy and Joe do a great job of riff harmonising on ‘Straight Through…’.
However, something about the guitar ‘duel’ during ‘Out Ta Get Me’ didn’t sound quite right… Halfway through their set, all but Lzzy exit the stage, leaving her with just her keyboard for ‘Break In’, a compelling ballad sang from a bitter heart.
There is no mistaking Halestorm’s infectious intensity, they are overwhelmingly passionate and enthusiastic about what they’re doing.
To me, they sound like something like a blend of Paramore but with more of a tragic, ballsy attitude with the pop-punkiness of Green Day. But not as fun; despite the good ol’ wholesome American joviality, Lzzy’s lyrics paint a picture of a misunderstood, angry-at-the-world-for-no-real-reason, feisty woman. It all seems a little bit false.
Tonight, they they put on an enjoyable enough show, but there is something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on…
Freak Like Me
Love Bites (So Do I)
You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing
Straight Through the Heart
Familiar Taste of Poison
Daughters of Darkness
Out Ta Get Me
(Guns N’ Roses cover)
It’s Not You
I Get Off
Here’s to Us
I Miss the Misery