Halestorm whip up a musical storm in the Highlands

Halestorm brewed up a storm in Inverness’ Ironworks this weekend with an incredible live show which had the capital of the Highlands rocking.

That the Ironworks attracted a rock band who boasted a fully sold out solo tour just last year to the Highlands speaks volumes about the esteem the venue is held in.

The band are a huge draw and lured a large contingent of Hebridean music fans to brave the wrath of the fearsome weekend weather and cross the choppy Minch to pile into the Ironworks to see Halestorm on Saturday night.

Joining a packed out crowd was this writer, Isles-FM’s The Metal Gridner Show host Lewis Macleod and ace Lewis musician Willie Campbell.

And each of us was treated to a night to remember in the capable hands of the Pennsylvania rock band.

‘Here’s To Us’ brought the curtain down with a sing-a-long favourite but before the epic finale they had taken aim and unloaded sixteen slabs of guitar infused rock.

Halestorm are the perfect musical storm, pardon the pun, of weighty guitars, frenetic drumming, choruses and hooks which burrow deep into your head and refuse to leave and the voice.

Little needs to be said about frontwoman Elizabeth ‘Lzzy’ Hale’s voice. Her range and power are unrivalled by few across any musical genre as she effortlessly nailed every note and pitch change.

Words don’t do her voice justice and she packs the kind of vocal punch that has to be heard to be believed - particularly in a live setting. She remains a frontwoman of huge talent but refreshingly short on attitude or strops.

Opening with ‘I Like It Heavy’ from forthcoming album ‘Into The Wild Life’, the band dipped in and out of their first two records with most of the big anthems rolled out including ‘I Get Off’, ‘It’s Not You,’ ‘Rock Show’ and ‘Familiar Taste of Poison.’

Peppered throughout the set was a taste of their forthcoming record as Lzzy, drummer Arejay Hale who as always unleashed his inner Animal, bassist Josh Smith and guitarist Joe Hottinger cranked up the volume on new tracks ‘Amen’ and ‘Apocalyptic.’

Both tracks have been released as a pre-album appetiser by the band ahead of the album’s scheduled release date of next month. The twinning of new and old songs meshed together perfectly.

The two-song encore of ‘Mz Hyde’ and the mega-popular ‘Here’s To Us’ prompted a surge back towards the stage as all crammed into the Ironworks joined in with the fist-pumping, hip-swinging, boot stomping finale and a sing-a-long the envy of football grounds around the country.

As Hale sung in their closing hit: ‘Here’s to us, here’s to love, here’s to us (Wish everybody well),’ sung Halestorm songstress Lzzy Hale and it felt as if she meant every word to all those who had packed into the venue for the show.

I’d urge anyone who isn’t familiar with the band to check them out and if there is a better singer in rock music than Lzzy then I’ve yet to hear it.