Here's to Halestorm, here's to love

As much as I like writing and as much as I like concerts, I’ve never written a concert review before — because honestly, I’ve never been so moved by one that I felt the need to write about it. But last night’s Halestorm show at Starland Ballroom, the same venue at which I watched my very first concert? Well, let’s just say that I’m not surprised they sold out the first day tickets went on sale.

First, a brief word about the openers, The Dead Deads and New Medicine. While I didn’t entirely love The Dead Deads’s music, I was pleasantly drawn to their character: a couple of girls from Nashville, Tennessee who formed a rock/metal/punk band with X’s drawn over their eyes, a necklace of lights on the lead singer, and a surprisingly not-out-of-place daisy in one guitarist’s hair. It was all very unexpected, and yet they were fresh, so it was nice, you know? Next up was New Medicine. They came on strong, and finished stronger. If I wasn’t saving up my cash to buy a Halestorm t-shirt at the end of the show, I probably would have bought one of their CDs (and then used that as an excuse to take a picture with the sexy-in-a-humble-way guitarist who is now my new phone background, which is not creepy in any way). One of the best parts of their show was when they played “Race You To The Bottom” and actually brought out two cups of beer and, well, raced each other to the bottom. Props!

Anyways, after two openers that actually really psyched me up for Halestorm, lead singer Lzzy Hale walked on stage with a dramatic but beautiful acapella performance of “She Won’t Mind.” And then the night really began. Halestorm played the badass rock songs that they are so known for, such as “I Miss the Misery,” “Freak Like Me,” and “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing,” all of which had me fist pumping, screaming, and feeling as if I ruled the world — but the crazy thing is that what really got me was the mellower songs they mixed into the set, such as “In Your Room” and “Break In.” It’s truly amazing how versatile Lzzy’s voice is, how she can have you raging like a rock star one second and close to tears the next. Not to mention she’s even more gorgeous in real life than in her pictures and music videos, which I didn’t think was possible. I kind of really want a red leather jacket now, if only so can have a tiny bit of her edgy, wild charisma. I also enjoyed how Halestorm brought The Dead Deads on stage for “Daughters of Darkness” (it’s just too fitting) and how the drummer of New Medicine joined Arejay Hale during the drum solo — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a drum duet in my life before, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome. They ended their set with “Love Bites (So Do I),” which temporarily made me lose my voice. And of course, Halestorm encored with “Here’s To Us.” Despite the freezing cold weather, the line for the show not only wrapped around the building but around half the parking lot, with characters ranging from college kids like us to rockers in their 40s to scary biker dudes in leather jackets to kids that looked like they were still in middle school — yet as we all sang along to Halestorm last night, it felt like we were one and the same. Here’s to us, here’s to love, all the times that we messed up. Here’s to you, fill the glass, ‘cause the last few days have kicked my ass. If they give you hell, tell ‘em to fuck themselves, here’s to us.

After the concert, we scoured the ground for picks that got thrown out into the crowd, but eventually had to give up empty handed. Luckily, I have enough sick memories of the concert that I don’t think I’ll need a souvenir pick to remember the night. Thanks for stopping by Jersey, Halestorm — this has been my favorite concert yet.

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