Halestorm Light Up The Space At Westbury, NY 10-8-17 w/ New Years Day & Starset

Halestorm Light Up The Space At Westbury, NY 10-8-17 w/ New Years Day & Starset

Lazy Sunday or Sunday Fun-day? Book a great Rock show on a Sunday night and regardless of having to get up early for work or school the next day, fans will come out in droves! This was in fact the case on Sunday night, October 8, 2017 when Halestorm’s Halloween Scream Tour landed in New York, visiting The Space at Westbury. Their first visit back to the venue since 2014, as fans wrapped around the building eager to enter the venue, everyone could feel they were in for a treat with no tricks.

Hard working and powerful, Halestorm is without a doubt one of the best bands in Modern Rock today. In support of their chart-topping 2015 album Into the Wild Life, as well as their 2017 cover album, Reanimate 3.0, Halestorm are headlining the Halloween Scream Tour 2017 in between festival gigs, and, oh yea, preparation for their fourth album! In support, their friends New Years Day and Starset are opening the shows, making for an exciting, yet extremely diverse lineup. Beginning in Denver, CO, in late September, the tour has been rolling through cities across the United States and will close out in Sacramento, CA, on October 22nd, but not before this evening with Long Islanders.

Taking the stage first was New Years Day hailing from Anaheim, California. Having paid their dues for over a decade now, the band made a name for themselves through self-promotion via social media beginning way back with MySpace. Eventually landing a record deal with TVT Records, this led to their 2007 debut, My Dear. Making it through hard times, seeing quite a few lineup changes and their original label, TVT Records, going out of business, New Years Day continued to build their success. How did they do it? Like many bands nowadays do, by touring relentlessly. Most notably, the band made several runs on the Vans Warped Tour, building a following along the way. Never giving up, New Years Day kept going, eventually signing with Century Media, releasing 2013’s Victim to Villain and 2015’s Malevolence via Another Century. Throughout the years, the band has appeared on numerous compilation albums in addition to releasing 4 EPs, showing their is no stopping band mastermind Ash Costello. 

As the lights slowly came down, the arrival of New Years Day was marked in darkness. As if they just appeared in some twisted Horror flick, New Years Day – decked out in leather and make-up – took the stage and owned it for the next half hour. Lead Guitarist Nikki Misery, Rhythm Guitarist Jeremy Valentyne, Bassist Frankie Sil, Drummer Joshua Ingram, and the aforementioned beautiful Vocalist Ash Costello broke into the opening number “I’m About to Break You.”

Bringing their brand of Punk infused with Metal, and a touch of Gothic Rock, New Years Day set a really nice tone to the evening. Headbanging through each song, they shattered the audience with songs like “DeFame Me” and “Kill or Be Killed.” Making the mood that much more effective, Costello has a voice fitting for this genre. That said, as she surveyed the audience on who has already heard of New Years Day, Costello discovered that about half already knew her band, while the other half were discovering them for the very first time. Riling up her troops, Costello then encouraged the audience to prove how Metal they are. Insisting on seeing the devil horns up, Costello egged them to air out their lungs, they did just that through the songs “Scream” and “Other Side.”

Capturing the new fans, Costello asked that the audience belt out the chorus, “We’re So, We’re So Contagious!” to the next song, “Epidemic.” Let us just say the audience delivered on that one! Before saying goodbye, Costello offered up a sacrifice to the Metal God, performing their cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile.” Over a decade into their career, New Years Day absolutely made their mark on this night and certainly earned lots of new followers in the process.

Introducing something different to the show, up next would be Columbus, Ohio’s Starset. This quartet is made up of Dustin Bates (lead vocals), Ron DeChant (bass/keyboard), Brock Richards (lead guitar), and Adam Gilbert (drums), while touring musicians Jonathan Kampfe (Cello) and Siobhan Cronin (Violin) also join the group on-stage. Starset bring a different brand of Rock to the table, which is dubbed as Cinematic Rock. Formed in 2013 by Bates, Starset would sign to Razor & Tie Records, releasing their debut, Transmissions, in 2014, followed by their sophomore album, Vessels, this year, helping them reach new heights. 

Making their way on stage, Starset appeared amidst a bastion of smoke. Members DeChant and Richards dressed in costumes consisting of hazardous gas masks, and what could only be described as laser tag vests. With a laptop at center-stage and an array of dramatic lighting effects, Starset opened with “Into the Unknown,” introducing the audience, familiar and unfamiliar, to their compelling Electronic Rock show.

At first, some of the audience might have been left wondering what it was they were seeing, but they quickly came on-board as Starset blasted off into “Frequency,” “Satellite,” and “My Demons.” As their set progressed, more and more of the audience began to appreciate the talents of Starset, and, by the time they reached their closing number, hit single “Monster,” they had gained many cheers from the crowd, concluding a successful set, proving why they are one of the hottest acts on the Hard Rock scene right now.

With two bands complete, as the roadies set up for Halestorm, the entire 1981 Def Leppard album High ‘n’ Dry played over the P.A. in the backdrop setting the mood. As the crowd readied themselves for the main event, soon enough the lights went down, the smoke rose, and the feeling of something big was about to happen came over the room. Indeed it did and Halestorm took the stage to a rousing ovation. Before going further, this was a moment that almost did not happen as Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist Lzzy Hale had come down with a respiratory infection, causing the band to cancel their show two nights earlier in Rochester, NY. Well those attending in Westbury would not have believed it, as Lzzy began a brief intro for “It’s Not You” without the band, sounding simply amazing. Almost immediately, the rest of the band – Bassist Josh Smith, Guitarist Joe Hottinger, and Lzzy’s little brother, Drummer Arejay Hale – joined her in a big way.

Raising the energy of The Space to new heights, Halestorm fired into “Love Bites (So Do I),” whipping the crowd into a frenzy. From there, Lzzy plugged their new cover album, Reanimate 3.0, teasing the audience that she knew the next song was a guilty pleasure they would not admit to, Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night.” Although the opposite was obvious, because no one was unwilling to admit they loved the cut as they went nuts. From there, Halestorm played on, tearing through tracks like “Amen,” “Freak Like Me,” and early hit “I Get Off.”

A performed filled with highlights, one of the boldest came when Lzzy announced the band would be paying tribute to a Rock icon we recently lost, Tom Petty. With that, Halestorm played a near perfect version of the Petty classic “Honey Bee,” striking a chord in the hearts of all his fans in the audience. Then, as the rest of the band left the stage, leaving Lzzy alone with just a keyboard, she performed an incredible version of the Bette Midler classic “The Rose.” Again, showing no effects of being ill, Lzzy wowed the audience, showing off her vocal range with ease.  

After the solo spotlight, the remaining members would return for the touching “Dear Daughter” and ruckus “I Like It Heavy” before another solo, but this time it was Arejay’s turn. Here, the underrated drummer showed off his chops, which were great even when he used oversized drum sticks. Excellent, Arejay brought the audience with him into sing-a longs of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” to cap off the drum exhibit. 

As the end drew near, Lzzy introduced the raw, emotional song “I Am the Fire,” declaring she hates encores and would not do one in typical fashion. Although, she promised the band would just keep playing more songs and the crowd loved that idea. So how would the band end the night, you ask? To start, they would join each other for a drink out of a red Solo cup and perform “Here’s To Us.” Next, they would Rock out with “Mayhem,” and ultimately close out the set with fan-favorite “I Miss the Misery.”

In enough words, Halestorm really blew the roof off The Space. This said, let us not forget New Years Day and Starset, who delivered the goods as well. An early October treat, everyone was thrilled with what they had just seen, universally agreeing the Sunday night show was absolutely worth it! So good at blending Modern Rock with that Classic Rock edge, Halestorm is even more amazing live than they are on their records. So if you are a Rock fan and still have yet to check out Halestorm live, do so, you will not be disappointed! 

Photo credit: Mark Schoen Photography

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Vito Tanzi
vtanzi79@gmail.com

With ’80s Metal and ’90s Punk Rock flowing through his veins, Vito also enjoys many a variety of other genres. Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Music Business, he loves going to as many live shows as possible and experiencing the music first hand.

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