For the last couple of weeks, our concert schedule had been completely flatlining, with no signs of coming back to life any time soon. However, when HardDriveLive 5 made it’s way to New York City, it was as if everything had suddenly kickstarted. It was a high energy show from start to finish, with some exciting and refreshing performances from some familiar and some fresh-faced bands.
The first band to take the stage was Stars in Stereo. The group is relatively unknown and is seemingly just starting to break into the hard rock scene. They started their set as fans were still piling in, but they definitely caught some attention. While their music was unfamiliar to most (their debut self-titled album dropped on April 9th), their energy had expelled into the crowd, getting people to clap and headbang along to the beat of the music. An electrifying cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” had left the crowd in amazement. All in all, Stars In Stereo is definitely a band to keep an eye one, because this band has the potential to be huge. Singer Bec Hollcraft may just be the next female hard rock superstar.
Next up on the lineup was Young Guns. The British quintet had just recently broken into the American hard rock scene as their latest single “Bones” has received a significant amount of airplay on Sirius XM’s Octane and expanding to commercial rock radio. While they were very active on stage, they did not seem to have as much of a grip on the crowd. While each song had a different sound to it, it was very confusing and difficult to find a common element to their sound to unify the entire set.
A lot had changed for Halestorm since we last saw them on their solo tour. This past February, they made music history by becoming the first female-fronted band to win a Grammy in the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal category. With this quantum leap in their career, one would think that they would possibly lose the genuine emotion that they put into their music and live performances. However, it seems as if every time you see Halestorm, their live show just gets better and better. They kept to a heavier setlist – including hits like “Freak Like Me”, “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “I Miss The Misery”. The setlist was shorter as compared to others on this tour, because the band had a special surprise in store for the fans. The only time they had slowed their set was for the heartwarming ballad, “Break In”, and all of a sudden, screams erupted throughout the crowd. For the first time since the Carnival of Madness tour, Evanescence songstress Amy Lee joined Lzzy Hale on stage for a duet. It would be a very tough act to follow for Bullet for My Valentine.
As the lights in the venue began to dim, Queen’s “We Will Rock You” began to blast through the speakers. The crowd already had begun to sway and shove as fans tried to push their way toward the front. Bullet stormed the stage, opening with “Breaking Point” and the band instantly had crowd in their control. With songs like “Your Betrayal , “Riot”, “Temper Temper” and “Scream Aim Fire”, they kept the head banging and moshing going all until the very end.
It’s bands like these that are keeping the spirit of hard rock and heavy metal alive, and HardDrive Radio did an excellent job of bringing the experience to the fans.
You can catch the rest of the HardDrive Live 5 tour throughout the month of May. Following this tour, Halestorm will be touring with artists Adrenaline Mob throughout South America and Alterbridge in Europe. Please visit http://www.halestormrocks.com for more details.