Lacey Sturm Inspires NYC 2-6-17 w/ Palisades, Stitched Up Heart & Letters From The Fire

To say the least, the past year has been a very busy time for the beloved rockstar princess Lacey Sturm. The ex-front lady of platinum selling act Flyleaf, Sturm has juggled family, released her solo debut album, Life Screams, released her book, The Mystery: Finding True Love In A World Of Broken Lovers, before returning to the road again in 2017. Running from mid-January through February, Sturm continues to spread her message of love and compassion, one show at a time.

This time teaming up with a killer lineup of bands including Letters From The Fire, Stitch Up Heart, and Palisades, it could be one of the hottest Hard Rock tours of the early year. With only a few dates left, on Monday, February 6th, Sturm and company arrived at New York City’s Webster Hall, ready to lay it all on the stage in front of devoted fans absorbed in every powerful lyric and note.

A perfect Rock blend of melody and passionate screams, starting the night off was San Francisco’s based band Letters From The Fire. A band that has been pounding the pavement for many years now, after a few lineup changes, they have seemed to settle in comfortably with Alexa Kabazie as their lead vocalist. Fresh off the release of their full-length debut album, Worth The Pain, Kabazie strongly represented the material, singing with passion and powerful intent. As the newest member of Letters From The Fire, she made her presence known with her radiant voice while Drummer Brian Sumwalt, Bassist Clayton Wages, Guitarist Cameron Stucky, and Founder/Guitarist Mike Keller provided potent Hard Rock.

Not allowing their past struggles to conquer recent triumphs, they rocked with precision and purpose, including their latest hit single, “Give Into Me.” A perfect start to the evening, their overall sound was beyond impressive; tight and pristine throughout the set. A new direction for a band fighting to keep the fire burning, Hard Rock fans should absolutely check out what Letters From The Fire has to offer.  

Next up was Los Angeles’ own Stitched Up Heart. Signed to Century Media Records, the band has been extremely busy touring in support of their 2016 album, Never Alone. Difficult to categorize, their Gothic Metal tingling sound immediately ripped through the air with “Finally Free,” the opening track off the aforementioned Never Alone. Jumping right into the dark, “Event Horizon” saw Vocalist Alecia “Mixi” Demner emphasize every lyric with her beautiful voice. In addition, she never missed a beat while headbanging to the heavy instrumentation laid down by James Decker on drums, Merritt Goodwin and Nick Bedrosian on guitars, and Randy Mathias on bass.

Going on to play a set which included their latest single “Catch Me When I Fall” and “Monster,” the audience sang along while enduring the high energy segment. Overcoming some obstacles through the tour, and having to borrow equipment, they certainly did not allow that to affect their flawless performance. The life of a musician is not easy, and no one knows that more than Stitched Up Heart as they dished out their brand of Metal that is dark, melodic, and simply a blast to watch live. Be sure to check them out as they continue to grow in popularity.

Acting as direct support for Sturm, it was time for New Jersey based Palisades next. Fresh off the release of their self-titled sophomore album via Rise Records, Palisades came head strong into their set with the appropriately named “Aggression.” Wasting no time to spark movement on the floor, they went right into their newer cuts such as “Cold Heart (Warm Blood),” “Let Down,” and “Memories.”

Personifying their more mature sound in full, their performance was heavy and intimate while Frontman Lou Miceli gave it his all. Not to be overlooked, backup vocals provided by Guitarist Xavier Adames and Bassist Brandon Elgar added a harmony that brought even bolder passion to each songs’ lyrics. Additionally, Matthew Marshall on rhythm guitar and Aaron Rosa on drums, as well as effects provided by Graves, helped to complete the overall sound of Palisades, best described as Electronicore.

As Palisades continue to grow, so does their music, and they proved that wholeheartedly on the stage of Webster Hall. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, they performed a set that was on point with purpose. With the buzz surrounding their new album, Palisades is sure to continue on a positive path, infecting all who cross their path. 

Bringing the evening to its climax, the moment the crowd had eagerly awaited was just minutes away as Sturm and her band; including husband Josh Sturm on guitar, Ben Hull on bass, and Tom Gascon on drums; took to the stage. Sturm is an individual who holds no reservations about who she is. She has been through rough times, dark times, but found hope in life through music and family. Bringing this very positive outlook with her everywhere she goes, the performance launched fittingly with “Impossible,” the first track of Life Screams. The perfect way to set the mood, there was so much more left to come. 

Never shy of her true purpose, Sturm briefly spoke to the audience of the recent turmoils around the world, urging the room to choose love over fear. A powerful message, after sharing how her own brother is stationed overseas in Afghanistan, she jumped right into the heavy and compelling “Soldier.” In between more uplifting words, Sturm and her band honored more of their newer music with songs including “I’m Not Laughing,” “Faith,” and the latest single, “Rot.” Offering up more surprises, she went on to explain her inspiration behind “Heavy Prey,” a song featured on 2012’s Underworld: Awakening soundtrack. Belting it out with pure, raw emotion, it was an impressively heavy song that the crowd were compelled to sing along with. 

Moving on, her more melodic version of The Police’s “Roxanne” captivated the audience, before she went into Crowder’s “Back To The Garden,” a song that recently touched her heart enough to share with her fans. With so much material at her disposal, throughout the tour, Sturm took to social media, asking her fans which songs from her Flyleaf days she should add to her set list and why. Receiving a huge response, the band honored the older favorites, going into a wonderfully collaborated Rock session, playing 30 seconds of each song picked. In full, they included “Cassie,” “Chasm,” and of course, “All Around Me.”

Despite trouble’s being on the road, including an injury of her eldest son, Jack The Brave, and her dog experiencing health issues at home, Strum impressively gave her fans a touching and real performance. How does she do it? Well, the answer is simple, dedication. Hull quit being a scientist to tour with her; Gascon, who has a newborn baby at home waiting for him; and Sturm herself were sure to share with the audience how utterly grateful she was of all of them.

As for the music, Sturm’s powerful and emotional lyrics are like a breath of fresh air in Heavy Rock, enough to touch the soul and inspire those who have similar dreams. With the tour wrapping up on February 14th, Sturm will soon return home to writing music and enjoying her family. Until more live shows and new music, be sure to look out for her highly anticipated third book, which will be a must have for any Lacey Sturm follower. 

Photos by: Aintellin Photography

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.

Shannon MontalbanoAuthor posts

Avatar for Shannon Montalbano

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *