Halestorm + In This Moment + New Years Day @ Alexandra Palace, London

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Halestorm + In This Moment + New Years Day

 @ Alexandra Palace, London

28th November 2019

Review by Kira Levine
Photography by Rebecca Bush

London’s famous and historic Alexandra Palace played host to three female-fronted US bands on Thursday evening, with hardcore fans queuing up hours before doors opened in the cold to secure a spot as close to the stage as possible.

“We’re New Years Day from LA, California and this song is called ‘Come’.” The first very special guests wasted no time introducing themselves and got straight on with their set, lead vocalist Ash Costello even adapting lines of the song by singing: “London, you think you know me but you don’t know my kinda crazy!”

Lead singer Ash is very hyper-active on stage and extremely entertaining to watch, with her half-red, half-black hair flashing all about the stage as she sings and screams lyrics.

After describing New Years Day as “your Los Angeles weirdos!” Costello asked for a show of hands of people who had not seen them before, which garnered the response “Okay, so all of you!”, gaining a few laughs.

They announced that their third song was in dedication to Dimebag Darrell and Vinny Paul, in the shape of a cover of Pantera’s ’Fucking Hostile’. It still sounded like a NYD track, with Ash’s female vocals bringing a whole new dynamic to the song. They really made the cover version their own.

Ash asked for the women to make some noise, and after they do, a wolf whistle is played on guitar. When the men are asked to do the same, a revving engine could be heard.

“I wanna connect with all of you … get those hands up because I wanna see deep down in those bones of yours. I want you to show me those beautiful skeletons of yours!” After ‘Skeletons’, In This Moment and Halestorm are thanked for having New Years Day out on tour, Ash Costello added that she felt “very lucky to be surrounded by strong and talented women for so long.” This warrants a short but loud round of applause.

“If you haven’t noticed, we’re very heavy on audience participation.” The audience are asked to get their hands up “like this!” by the vocalist, waving her left hand from side to side in time with the intro of ‘Scream.’

A very high energy performance from New Years Day. Ash Costello and co. definitely got the party started on a high note at Ally Pally.

New Years Day setlist:

1. Come for Me
2. Kill or Be Killed
3. Fucking Hostile [Pantera cover]
4. Shut Up
5. Epidemic
6. Skeletons
7. Scream
8. Defame Me

The penultimate set was delivered by In This Moment. The band performed in front of a black hut with a crescent cross on its roof, where lead vocalist Maria Brink would change in between songs with altar candles at its entrance. As Maria emerged from her onstage changing room a male attendee screamed “Maria! Oh my god!”, clearly very excited seconds into their performance.

Keeping up with the theme of cover songs, their first performed song was ‘Fly Like An Eagle,’ originally by Steve Miller band. For this song Brink was cloaked in white wearing a spiky headdress flanked by two women, also head-to-toe in white (with their faces covered). The rest of the band wore black outfits.

‘Adrenalize Me’ saw the leading lady adorned in claws and a spiky white mask. Her dancers lined up behind her at one point, posing their limbs artistically, making her look like a six-armed deity.

After ‘Natural Born Sinner’, Maria told us: “We are so honoured and excited to be here with you tonight. To be here with you tonight… to be here with our brothers and sisters in Halestorm and New Years Day.”

‘Walk With Me’ was dedicated to Maria’s grandfather. She asked everyone to give her some light by holding up lighters and torches. At one point the dancers clapped, swinging from left to right either side of her, their movements reminiscent of a gospel music performance.

Maria posed a question to the attendees at Ally Pally. “What would you like to hear next?” while standing behind a white podium reading WHORE in red horizontal lettering that had been bought on stage.

Everyone screams the word emblazoned on the front of the stand. Brink goes on to speak about being told that she will never amount to anything as a little girl, explaining that the the song ‘Whore’ was about reclaiming insults.

Black and white balloons, each printed with a crucifix, pentagram and crescent were dispersed above the crowd, bouncing into the air throughout the song.

During the last chorus, the front-woman took off her “WHORE”-cap, and held it facing towards the audience as they sang along to the last chorus.

Hosting the most visually creative instalment of the evening, In This Moment made sure that they would not be a band anyone would be forgetting any time soon.

In This Moment setlist:

1. Fly Like an Eagle [Steve Miller Band cover]
2. River of Fire
3. Adrenalize
4. Natural Born Sinner
5. Legacy
6. Big Bad Wolf
7. Blood
8. Whore

Then it was time for main act Halestorm to take centre stage. They got things going with ‘Do Not Disturb’, guitarist and lead vocalist Lzzy Hale tailoring its lyrics by singing “Oh, London? I love your accent!” which was a nice personal touch for the venue, met with cheers of approval.

“Freak family say, hell yeah!”, to which they do. Lzzy wanted to know how much “fresh meat we have in the house”, and everyone seeing Halestorm for the first time responded with cheers.

She described the fans as “a family” that “lift each other up”. “I think it’s time we move this relationship forward. It’s time to get acquainted… London, ‘I Get Off’ On You!” she smiled before they played that song.

Introducing ’Black Vultures’ Lzzy demands “Get those horns up, London! This song is about survival,” and All Pally happily obliges.

During ‘Familiar Taste of Poison’ Lzzy is alone onstage singing a cappella at the start of the song, until the rest of the band joined her later on. The song featured fantastic guitar solos from both Joe Hottinger and Lizzy Hale, with all standing musicians crowding Arejay’s drum kit at one point.

The seventh performance of the night by Halestorm came in the form of a bass and drum solo (by Josh Smith and Arejay Hale, respectively). The crowd cheered throughout as well as at the end of it.

This was swiftly followed up by a drum solo by Arejay. Cheering and whistling could be heard, then Arejay pretended to think while pausing dramatically, then continued to lay down some more sticks before launching them off the stage into the amazed audience. “I feel like we have a lot in common,” Mr. Hale said. “You guys have Big Ben, and I have my…” there was a lot of hysterical laughter before a male voice shouted “…big dick!” and the drummer continued “…big sticks!” just ahead of revealing two massive drumsticks he finished off his solo with.

“This next one is for the ladies,” Lzzy lets the fans know who cheer in response. “Women of London, let me hear you scream!”, which of course we do. Next she told us that she wanted us to “wear whatever you wanna wear and kiss whoever you wanna kiss. I want you to make the world… ‘Uncomfortable!’”

“We celebrate our differences because we are all weirdos,” Ms. Hale stated before the band commenced with their latest single, ‘Chemicals.’

“I wrote this song to let me know everything’s gonna be okay … that I am my own hero … I am my own fire. Tonight, Ally Pally, you are the fire!” while holding her lighter up, much of the crowd following suit as ‘I Am The Fire’ began. After singing the first chorus, Lzzy says “You’re beautiful, London”.

After about a dozen songs, the band left the stage and the lights dimmed, prompting their fans to shout “Halestorm!” over and over, clapping until the front-woman reappeared with a keyboard and the words “The legend of Ally Pally – so many of my idols have played here. Tonight, you’re making our dreams come true … Not only am I proud to be a musician tonight, I’m also proud to be a woman.”

She played a solo medley of a few songs, completing it with a cover version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You,’ singing “sweet London, you” in place of the original line of the song, which is greeted with polite applause.

New Years Day and In This Moment walk on stage momentarily and are thanked by Halestorm for joining them on tour. Referring to rock ’n’ roll, Lzzy shouts “Raise your horns! It’ll never die! No matter what Gene Simmons says!”

Hottison emerges on the stage with a guitar sporting a Union Jack flag design for the last few songs, which does not go unnoticed, one onlooker commenting “Oi, look – it’s got our flag on it!”

During the “tell ‘em to fuck themselves” portion of the song in ‘Here’s To Us’, Lzzy Hale points her mic to towards the audience as they shout the lyrics. At the end of the track, she gushes “We love you, you’re fucking crazy. Here’s to you, London!”

“Thank you, London we are Halestorm and I am Lzzy. And I -ahem!- Ohhh, ‘I Miss The Misery!’” Lzzy gets the crowd to singalong to a series of “whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh’s” from the song after she does by screaming “London, now it’s your turn!”

Just ahead of the band departing from the stage for one last time on Thursday evening, they flung picks and frisbee’d drumheads into the crowd, who looked and sounded very pleased with the show that they were just given.

Indisputably the most musically and vocally successful artist of the night, headliners Halestorm ended their UK 2019 tour with a bang and showed everyone at Alexandra Palace why they are a Grammy-awarded act.

Halestorm setlist:

1. Do Not Disturb
2. Love Bites (So Do I)
3. Mz. Hyde
4. I Get Off
5. Black Vultures
6. Familiar Taste of Poison / Amen
7. [bass & drum solo]
8. [drum solo]
9. Freak Like Me
10. Killing Ourselves to Live
11. Uncomfortable
12. Chemicals
13. I Am the Fire
14. Rock Show / White Dress / Dear Daughter / I Will Always Love You [medley]
15. Here’s to Us
16. I Miss the Misery