November 27, 2018 Halestorm & In This Moment Shock NYC 11-24-18 w/ New Years Day
Early 2018 saw the incomparable Halestorm announce a huge co-headlining tour with two more stunning female fronted acts – In This Moment and New Years Day. Beginning April 27th, these striking bands hit the road to take over venues all over the US throughout the remainder of the year. Even better, Halestorm turned up the heat on July 27th when the band released their fourth studio album entitled Vicious. Not just any new record,Vicious received massive critical acclaim for its louder, harder, faster attitude and Halestorm’s most powerful offering to date.
Only two days removed from Thanksgiving, the classy trio of Halestorm, In This Moment, and New Years Day rolled into New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday night November 24th with one purpose – to give thanks for Rock-n-Roll. Partaking in this evening of Rock candy, a capacity crowd poured into the Hammerstein Ballroom to witness one of the best bills of the year.
Kicking off the show, Anaheim, California’s New Years Day hit the stage to a barrage of cheers welcoming the band back to the city that never sleeps. As the face of New Years Day, Vocalist Ash Costello let it be known, New Years Day aimed high to loosen up the crowd for In This Moment and Halestorm. A fiery frontwoman, Ash reigns alongside Guitarist Nikki Misery, Bassist Frankie Sil, Drummer Brian Sumwalt, and Guitarist Austin Ingerman. Together, New Years Day have formulated a red hot Alternative Metal/Gothic Rock machine. Not to be forgotten, New Years Day dropped the new single “Skeletons” on November 9th. Along with the new track, fans can look forward to New Years Day’s upcoming album to be released in early 2019.
Wasting no time, New Years Day put the peddle to the floor on the opening number “Kill Or Be Killed.” Before moving on, Ash declared this moment in time is all that matters and inspired the crowd to leave their inhibitions at the door, raise the devil horns, and scream at the top of their lungs. As expected, the bold New York City fans responded in kind.
Back in June, Heavy Metal lost one of the greats, when former Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul passed away at the age of 54. To pay tribute, Ash dedicated New Years Day’s cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile” to the man she called a “Metal God.” Bringing life to the room, New Years Day went on to thoroughly liven up the New York City crowd via “Epidemic,” “Skeletons,” “Scream,” and “Defame Me.”In true form, the vitality of New Years Day gave this night the spark that it needed to launch a triple threat billing of this magnitude. A must see, showing up early to catch New Years Day is one resolution worth keeping.
Co-headlining with Halestorm, In This Moment was next to consume the Hammerstein Ballroom and attendees could not wait for the action. One of the most alluring acts in recent memory, In This Moment have scratched their way to the top of the Metal universe over the last few years. Getting better with time, In This Moment’s fifth album, 2014’s Black Widow, marked the band’s major label debut and highest charting album to date. In 2017, In This Moment released their sixth LP, Ritual, continuing to build a fierce reputation as one of the most mesmerizing live bands out there.
That in mind, the stage set was draped by a white curtain bearing the image of a black spider and as the lights went out it sparkled in the illuminated lighting. As portions of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” played over the P.A., fans screamed in anticipation. Finally, the curtain was raised and In This Moment were in full force. A highly visual band, In This Moment’s Chris Howorth (lead guitar), Randy Weitzel (rhythm guitar), Travis Johnson (bass), and Kent Diimmel (drums) all bore ghoulish face paint and costume. As for the stunning and unpredictable Maria Brink (vocals/piano), she appeared masked, standing on an alter surrounded by crosses, and a fury of smoke.
Joined by two dancers, Maria Brink received overwhelming cheers as she powered through In This Moment’s opener “Blood.” Delivering a performance which dazzles the eye, In This Moment wowed the Hammerstein Ballroom via “River of Fire,” “Adrenalize,” and “Roots.” A real treat for metal-heads came when Maria introduced the band, who then went off playing instrumental covers of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and “Creeping Death.” Later, In This Moment’s most climaxing performances were of “Big Bad Wolf” and “Oh Lord.” Amidst the chaos, In This Moment closed with an ever so daunting rendition of “Whore” alongside troves of smoke and over-sized balloons which consumed the room.
In stellar form, In This Moment brought one of the most unique Metal performances to the New York City stage. At the end of it all, the crowd was enamored by this showing and flooded In This Moment with a cavalry of cheers and devil horns. If you want to truly experience something different, check out In This Moment live.
Overflowing with fandom, the Hammerstein Ballroom held an immense amount of electricity in anticipation of a band who is certainly at the top of their game. After a short wait, the centerpiece of the lineup, Halestorm appeared before a lit Saturday night crowd. A tight unit, Halestorm is Vocalist/Guitarist extraordinaire Lzzy Hale, Bassist Josh Smith, Guitarist Joe Hottinger, and Drummer Arejay Hale. To a score of resounding cheers and true Rock spirit, New York City welcomed the band back to the Hammerstein Ballroom stage as Halestorm struck lightening on openers “I am the Fire” and “Love Bites (So Do I).” As always, Lzzy and the boys started off pitch perfect and sounded better than ever.
Coming off what is arguably the band’s best album, Halestorm dug into Vicious early in the set via the forceful “Black Vultures” and a naughty “Do Not Disturb.” A trademark of Halestorm’s set is always the showcasing of Lzzy’s stellar vocal ability by way of a solo performance. This time around, a grand piano grabbed the eyes of all in attendance as Lzzy slayed a cover of Whitney Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” One of the most impressive things about Lzzy Hale is her ability to take a song which most Hard Rock fans would not be into and make it universal. That said, it is virtually impossible to not love a performance by Lzzy Hale no matter the song.
Going back to the new album, Halestorm broke down barriers on “Uncomfortable” before showing an even more “Vicious” side of the band. Totally killing it, Halestorm headed towards a point in the show which really inspired a connection between the fans and the band alike. There was the crowd pleaser “Freak Like Me,” which celebrated anyone who dares to be different and could care less about what others think. Then, Halestorm moved mountains on two of the best tracks off Vicious. “Killing Ourselves To Live” was a perfect deep cut. This was followed by the duo of Hottinger on acoustic guitar as Lzzy belted out a tear jerker in “The Silence.”
Not skipping a beat, Lzzy cranked her vocals to full blast as her screams engaged “I Miss the Misery.” Solo cups in hand, Lzzy now invited members of New Years Day and In This Moment on stage for “Here’s To Us” as she toasted New York and all the bands who helped make this tour a success. After an exhilarating evening of music, Halestorm closed out the show the way all Rock fans want it on “I Like It Heavy.”
A powerful showing, New Years Day, In This Moment, and Halestorm left it all on the stage. By the end of the night, New York City had been graced by a diverse lineup of Gothic Rock, unrestrained Metal, and Rock-n-Roll ecstasy. As the doors of the Hammerstein Ballroom let out, the rain was falling, and nobody cared. Why? Because these die hard Rock fans spent Saturday night taking in one of the best tours of 2018. All this said, the North American leg of the Halestorm/In This Moment/New Years Day tour runs through December 16th when it concludes in St. Petersburg, Florida before going oversees in March. For fans of all three acts, don’t be left out, get your tickets now!
Photo credit: Andrew Fiero Photography