Halestorm – Solus, Cardiff 10/03/13

This is my first time seeing british metallers Sacred Mother Tongue and I was suitably impressed with the bands set of melodic, catchy and technical metal. Singer Darrin South did his best to get the crowd going and actually succeeded, the bands set witnessing the only circle pit of the night. They have a new album due for release in April and I will be definitely checking it out.

Next up were In This Moment a band I have loved for some time and was very excited to see. The set kicks off with, quite frankly incredible, vocalist Maria Brink stood centre stage, on a raised platform, surrounded by skull columns, singing the intro to ‘Rise With Me’, the band joining her moments later to power through the track. The show was very theatrical, the band were all in make up and with Maria going through numerous costume changes and scenarios, including a dance behind a large sheet. The set was mainly taken from latest album ‘Blood’ with songs like ‘Adrenalize’ and ‘Whore’ sounding amazing. I was a little disappointed no older songs were played but the short set was well received and set closer ‘Blood’ went down a storm.

This is US grammy winning rockers Halestorm first trip to Wales and the packed crowd were well up for it, chants of Halestorm ringing round Solus before the band take the stage, and when they do they burst straight into ‘Freak Like Me’ much to the delight of the large crowd. What followed was a masterclass of rock music from a band who are quite clearly at the top of their game. Singer and guitarist Lzzy Hale had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the first notes she sang, she is such a great frontwoman, instantly likeable with an outstanding voice.

The set really was tune after tune after tune, ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’, ‘Rock Show’ and the cover of Dio’s ‘Straight Through The Heart’ all played brilliantly. Lzzy was left alone on stage to play piano ballad ‘Break In’ and it was an amazing moment, so many lighters and phones in the air and her voice was absolutely spot on.

The song ‘Daughters Of Darkness’ contained an awesome drum solo from Arejay Hale, who, it has to be said is one of the best drummers I have ever seen live, and involed him playing with his hands at one point and then bending down and coming up with massive four foot sized drumsticks which he proceeded to bash the hell out of his kit with, absolutely brilliant!

‘I Get Off’ from the bands first album finished the main set, and after a short break during which the crowd didn’t stop chanting, they returned to the stage brandishing a Welsh flag and preceded to play the final two songs with it draped on the drum kit. ‘Here’s To Us’ definitely wins crowd singalong of the night and latest single ‘I Miss The Misery’ closed the show.

All in all a fantastic show from one the best rock bands around at the moment.

9/10

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