By Lethbridge Herald on February 4, 2018.
Female vocalists show they belong on centre stage
It may have only been February but music fans witnessed a veritable Halestorm at the Enmax Centre Thursday night. Halestorm, along with co-headliner Stone Sour and openers The Dead Deads, took the chill off a frigid night with three dynamic performances.
Corey Taylor, who fronts both Stone Sour and Slipknot, is highly regarded as one of the best singers in rock music today.
But Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Meta Dead, also known as Leticia Wolf, of The Dead Deads showed an appreciative audience they may have two of the best voices in music period.
Neil Portnow, president of the Grammys, recently created controversy when he said female performers need to step up but he obviously hasn’t heard these two dynamic vocalists.
While many in the rowdy audience were at the show to see Stone Sour, that band was vocally overshadowed by a pair of women and their bands. Opening act The Dead Deads, like the other two bands making their first appearance in Lethbridge, were a revelation. Part hard rock, part punk, part metal, if this band had emerged in the 1970s, it would have been an influence on a generation of musicians. Yes, The Dead Deads are that good.
The four-piece band, comprised of three women and one dude, played eight raucous tunes from its discography and had the fans cheering from their opening chords.
Meta’s vocals and guitar playing were both superb and as the set wound down far too soon, those who caught their performance had to be in awe.
But it was Hale and her band which includes younger brother Arejay on drums, who had the audience spellbound. Mixing a dazzling light show with soaring vocals and guitars, Halestorm was a true force of nature, cranking out one metal blaster after another in its 14-song set, the lone respite being Hale’s touching performance of the empowering “Dear Daughter,” a ballad she put every ounce of her being into while sitting in front of a piano.
The band interrupted its blistering set of originals with a cover version of Whitesnake’s 1987 classic “Still of the Night,” a tune that showed the roots of the band which has shared bills with some of the biggest names in rock from Lita Ford to Seether and even Ronnie James Dio, the late rock god who died in 2010 less than a year after Halestorm filled in as opening act on what turned out to be his last performance.
They opened with new tune “Black Vultures” and after the stage was set for a showcase of Hale’s vocals, proceeded into such power anthems as “Love Bites (So Do I),” “It’s Not You,” “Amen” and others.
At one point, Hale thanked the fans for showing up on a cold Thursday night.
“You could have been staying home, watching Netflix with your cats but instead you chose to come to a rock show.” By the time Halestorm dove into “I Am The Fire,” Hale had the audiences in her hands, the momentum reaching a screaming climax with the songs “Mayhem” and “I Miss the Misery.”
Somehow, Taylor and company managed to maintain the momentum, his stunning showmanship worth the price of admission alone.
Early on, he told fans he’s been dealing with a throat issue but refused to cancel Stone Sour’s first performance in Lethbridge.
He talked constantly to the audience in between songs such as “Knievel Has Landed” and “Say You’ll Haunt Me.” Early in the set, he expressed his sadness at the absence of guitarist and band co-founder Josh Rand who is missing the tour due to a medical issue.
And he led the audience in a birthday tribute to bassist Johnny Chow.
The band’s set included songs from its extensive catalogue including “Made of Scars” from the Come What(ever) May album and “Rose Red Violent Blue” from its newest recording “Hydrograd.”
Taylor, who also plays a mean guitar, told fans he was dedicating the show to the spirit of rock and roll: “you come to experience a show, you come to lose your goddamn minds.” And from greybeards to teenagers, the audience did as beers flowed and the aroma of marijuana wafted heavily in the air.
As the set neared its end, Stone Sour performed its huge hit and audience favourite “Through Glass.”
But While Taylor’s performance will be remembered, on this night it was the searing performances of two incredible women who will leave attendees forever in awe.
Lzzy Hale and Meta Dead, take a bow. The women owned it on this night, absolutely owned it.
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.