“We weren’t sure about doing this whole Kumbaya thing,” admits Lzzy Hale, as her band kick off A Wild Evening With Halestorm with a short acoustic set.
It’s a little shambolic, but the crowd do much of the work, and the rousing Here’s To Us is a triumphant, arms-around-your-friends, we’re-all-in-this-together climax… except that we’re just 20 minutes in. It’s like viewing the DVD extras before you’ve watched the blockbuster.
Into The Wild Life was exactly the album that Halestorm needed to make – a coruscating mix of spit and polish – but playing it in order, from start to finish, is a gamble. At just five months old, the tracks simply don’t yet carry the same emotional weight as those on The Strange Case Of…, and the set, by its very nature, is predictable.
But we’re in safe hands. Everything tonight is delivered with enormous gusto: a mix of savage riffs, elegant balladry and potty-mouthed cheer-leading. “They’re going to tell you how to live,” warns Lzzy. “Fuck ’em.”
The one small surprise is a live debut for Jump The Gun, but the audience roars along as they do with every other number, and the atmosphere ratchets up further as Freak Like Me and I Miss The Misery round off a jubilant evening.
Halestorm’s upwards trajectory continues.