Halestorm + Nothing More + Wilson
The Roundhouse, London
10th March, 2015
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Inty Malcolm
It’s 10th of March, 2015 and we’re in London, England. It’s 7pm and the the weather outside is typically grim and chilly. It’s also a Tuesday night, which means that you’re already exhausted from the week that appears endless, yet still have a long way to go til Friday.
However, the closer we get to London’s Camden Town, the more we feel the undeniable excitement and buzz that fills the air as countless rockers are heading for The Roundhouse to catch one of the most popular and talked-about modern rock band of our times.
Tonight’s the night when Grammy winners Halestorm are in town to present their up and coming album Into The Wild Life and go a little crazy with all the London folks who’ve braced the cold outside in exchange for some good old rock’n’roll action.
The Roundhouse is still one of the most welcoming venues with it’s captivating history, sound quality and accessible bar areas and tonight we arrive just in time to catch the first band Wilson who’ve come all the way from Detroit, USA. Without much fucking about, these guys get straight down to the point and kick off the party with a full-on rock’n’roll show to shake the crowd within the first few minutes.
With bass-fuelled and ‘heavy as hell’ riffs, yet the good old classic rock’n’roll groove very present, the band make sure to charm even the most stand-off participants of tonight’s shenanigans. With a ‘tongue in cheek’ attitude and sort of ‘naughty’ approach to their performance, Wilson make sure to keep all eyes focused in the direction of the stage.
Combining spectacular technique and musicianship with a great dose of positive attitude, it is purely refreshing to watch a band that seem to have immerse amount of fun performing and are not taking themselves too seriously while doing it.
Its clear to see that ‘partying is their business…’ And as we all know… ‘Business is good!’
‘’We wrote a song for you today, London. If you know it, sing along,’’ goes Chad Nicefield – the singer of Wilson just seconds before the band burst into ‘’Back In Black’’ by AC/DC. So if nothing up until now managed to convince you that Wilson guys rule, then this surely does the job.
The ever-so-mind-boggling question is still there – ‘Who and where are the bands to replace Maiden, Metallica, AC/DC, etc once they’re all gone? Who are the next festival headliners?!’ Well… We tell you now that you should not look any further than here, as Wilson might be just THE band.
Clearly, they’ve still got a long way to go to make it anywhere near the big guns, but they’ve already making a name for themselves and even if their approach and performances seem funny as fuck, these guys are damn serious about what they do and believe in.
There seems to be no place for whining with Wilson. There seems to be no ‘’we gotta look like this or we gotta sound like that to please whoever.’’ There’s just pure energy and fuck-load of attitude. And that’s rock’n’roll, my friends.
Next up are Nothing More, returning to London after their appearance at Download Festival and Metal Hammer Awards in 2014 and it only takes few seconds into their set for Nothing More to assure us that it’s worth sticking around for the rest of their set.
Bringing along energetic performance, musical technicality and few surprises up their sleeves tonight, Nothing More make sure to get the already packed-out Roundhouse swinging. Packing a lot of intensity, emotions, musical complexity and effects into each song of theirs, Nothing More performance is a storm that either pulls you in, or leaves you out unharmed. And if you do get in… You’re in for one hell of a ride.
Kicking off their set with the ultimate hits ‘’Christ Copyright’’ and ‘’Mr. MTV’’ off their latest and self-titled album, Nothing More set the standard for tonight’s show pretty high up. However, the bar is raised soon after by no one else rather than themselves, when the whole band comes together for a single bass solo showing just how technical and creative these guys can be.
Not necessarily your rock’n’roll party band, but who even cares about that when you get to see an opening band with such polished and technically polished sound?!
…and a band so specific like Nothing More sure gets people talking. There will always be the ‘nay-sayers’, but simply as Nothing More is not your traditional sounding ‘average rock band’, they are just not for the ‘average rock fans’.
And they also ain’t a book to be judged by it’s cover. Nothing More singer Johnny Hawkings might appear like just another Brandon Boyd lookalike, but really is a performer worth keeping an eye on. With a vocal range out of this space, ability to work the crowd and play plenty of different instruments himself, he surely deserves some recognition.
With a sound that incorporates technicality of djent and prog, melodics of emo and alternative rock, grooviest of riffs and electronic effects, Nothing More prove themselves to be the ultimate modern rock band we’ve all been waiting for to hit the scene.
When it’s finally time for Halestorm to hit the stage, The Roundhouse is absolutely rammed and buzzing with excitement. As mentioned before – today is Tuesday, however the fans here tonight make it a Friday night as no one really seems to care too much about having just one beer too many and singing along a little too loud.
Halestorm take the stage with ‘’Mz. Hyde’’ and instantly kick off a party where the ones closest to the stage go crazy within the first chords. It’s clear from the very beginning of their performance that the band is in excellent shape and they are here to give it their best.
Presenting their latest material from the upcoming Into The Wild Life, Halestorm perform tracks, like ‘’Amen’’, ‘’Apocalyptic’’ and ‘’Mayhem’’ that are not only greatly accepted by the crowd, but sound like something that could go down in history and maybe earn the band another Grammy Award..? Whatever the hell happens, the upcoming album sure get’s people excited.
To those who have seen Halestorm live before, it is no secret that Lzzy Hale runs the show and is the ultimate leader of the band, however when it’s time to really kick-start the ball, she makes way for her brother Arejay Hale and allows him to steal the show from time to time.
Arejay has always been one of the most exciting drummers to watch and his drumming skills and style is simply unique. It’s always amazing to watch a technically great and professional drummer deliver a spectacular performance, but it makes a totally different and hell of a lot more fun performance to watch when a professional drummer goes absolutely mental over the drum-kit whilst delivering an exceptional performance, yet still having tons of fun with it.
And FUN is the word Arejay seems to base his performance and drum solo around, as he not only likes to climb all over his kit and take over the mic to get the crowd involved, but he also manages to pull out drumsticks the size of a baseball bat and goof around with them.
And when it comes to Lzzy Hale herself… Well, if there are still people out there moaning that there are no room for female-fronted bands in rock’n’roll, it is about time they introduce themselves to Halestorm and Lzzy in particular. It doesn’t happen too often when you go and watch a show by a rock band where the singers vocal performance is better than on the record. And hardly ever their vocals stay spot on throughout the whole performance. But it sure happens at a Halestorm show.
To be honest, you don’t even have to be a fan of female vocals in particular to embrace and admire Lzzy’s performance, as she’s a true talent and does her job with great passion. … and balls. Oh, and she also rocks the shit out of her Custom Gibson Explorer.
The sound quality in London’s Roundhouse is as superb as ever, and it’s a pure joy to be watching and hearing (!) Halestorm tear up the sound system of such a historical venue. With their biggest hits, like ‘’It’s Not You’’ , ‘’I Get Off’’, ‘’I Miss The Misery’’and the Grammy winning “Love Bites (So Do I)”, Halestorm make sure our throats will be sore and ears ringing for a few days on.
After performing at The Roundhouse before as support act for other bands, Halestorm really seem to be the band who’ve earned this headline slot and an opportunity to gather all their craziest UK fans under one roof with lots of hard work.
It is an absolute pleasure to watch a relatively ‘new’ band, like Halestorm, grow professionally and expand their fan-base with every performance. And for the hard working band that they are, tonight’s successful performance is an achievement Halestorm deserve a long time.
Here’s to Halestorm, friendship, and powerful women in rock’n’roll!.
It’s Not You
Freak Like Me
You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing
Daughters of Darkness
Hate It When You See Me Cry
I Get Off
Love Bites (So Do I)
I Miss the Misery
I Like It Heavy
Here’s to Us