Halestorm + Heaven’s Basement – Glasgow Garage

Heaven's Basement
Heaven’s Basement (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)

[Links to pictures on Flickr: Heaven’s Basement / Halestorm]

Due to silly things like needing to eat and put a young boy to bed, we made it to the Garage about half way through Heaven’s Basement‘s set. Now, I swear I’ve heard their name before and might have seen them opening for someone else but I don’t remember. They’re not bad – confident, professional and definitely capable of warming up a crowd for the headliners.

Any band which can have the lead singer stagedive at the end then be surfed around without being covered in beer or dropped on the floor has obviously made a good impression.

From a possible up-and-coming success to a band that’s managed to get its foot firmly on the stepladder – the brother-and-sister fronted Halestorm. I first missed this act when they opened the Taste of Chaos tour in 2010, finally saw them earlier this year opening for Shinedown and bought tickets for their headlining Cathouse gig the day they went on sale. Which was a good thing as they were upsized to the Garage and promptly sold out.

Halestorm have had a fairly quick rise, but this is well-deserved. The band are all talented musicians, especially the core of Lzzy and Arejay Hale. All four members are great on stage, too. Josh Smith looks meaty and moody as any bassist should, Joe Hottinger is a good-looking guy who poses and bounces around on guitar, Lzzy Hale is stunning and incredibly talented vocally and musically, while Arejay Hale is one of the funniest and most entertaining drummers you will ever see playing live.

“Lzzy, this is a bottle of Buckfast – hi.” (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)

It’s also very, very obvious watching them that they’re loving every moment of being up there. All too often you hear bands telling the crowd how awesome they are and how it’s the best place to play. Halestorm go that little further and mention that it’s simply being on stage and being able to tour that means so much to them. You know, I’d rather be classed in with every fan who’s helped them get there than be complimented because “[insert city here] is just so great and we always want to play here, and you’re the best crowd and blah.” Lzzy does tend to gush a little about this, but it just emphasised the sincerity – they’re incredibly fortunate to have this life and they appreciate it.

With nothing but a light show and their talent to carry the performance, the quartet did splendidly. Halestorm have a range of songs from rock anthems to ballads and all the stops were pulled out, including a passable cover of Judas Priest‘s “Dissident Aggressor” (yes, Slayer covered this on South of Heaven as well). Lzzy’s vocals work well to hit Halford’s infamous high notes!

With a bassist who also plays keyboard, a singer who does guitar and her own keyboard duties and a drummer who’ll happily perform a solo using his hands, feet or  umbrellas to play his instrument of choice you know you’re in for some top end entertainment and Halestorm certainly didn’t disappoint.

The set ran for roughly an hour and a quarter and covered both albums plus the aforementioned cover song. “I Get Off”, “A Familiar Taste Of Poison”, “Love Bites (So Do I)”, “Mz. Hyde”, “Rock Show”, “You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing”… and more. Every song thoroughly lapped up by the audience who punched the air, bounced and waved their arms depending on the tune.

Arejay with “gift” (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)

With the ever-present curfew, the band didn’t take more than a minute to walk off before their curtain call and as the deadline hit them they ended with a toast to the audience… including their first taste of Buckfast. Oh dear. Arejay left with a lovely souvenir of his visit to Glasgow, too – a pair of rather frilly knickers thrown at him by (one hopes!) a female audience member.

The only disappointment with the gig was that we couldn’t take Little Miss. There are very few “all ages” gigs in Glasgow as most venues are licensed so they tend to have an “over 14’s only” policy, even when accompanied by a parent. Having said that, a crammed Garage isn’t really somewhere an eleven year old girl would have been happy, I don’t think, and this show was sold out.

Halestorm are a band who would not be out of place on a much larger stage. They have the presence and the charisma to carry it off, and I’m sure they’ll keep on going. Best of luck to them, and we’re really looking forward to seeing them again – hopefully at a more spacious, youngster-friendly venue!

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Tagged: A Musical Exercise


I was tagged by The Random Within for this one. Git.

By reading this you are also tagged, and you must answer all the questions below using song names from one artist/group. You are not allowed to use the artist/group I have chosen.

Post a blog link to your attempt in the comments section.

Pick your artist: Slayer

  • Are you a male or a female? Sick Boy
  • Describe yourself: Aggressive Perfector
  • How do you feel? God Hates Us All
  • Describe where you currently live: War Zone
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go? South of Heaven
  • Your favourite form of transportation? Drunk Drivers Against Mad Mothers
  • Your best friend is? Criminally Insane
  • What’s the weather like? Raining Blood (or Flesh Storm or Metal Storm)
  • Favourite time of the day? Witching Hour (or At Dawn They Sleep)
  • If your life was a TV show, what would it be called? Temptation
  • What is life to you? Seasons in the Abyss
  • Your fear? Necrophobic
  • What advice is the best advice you have to give? Read Between The Lies
  • Thought for the day? Evil has No Boundaries
  • How would you like to die? Die By The Sword
  • My soul’s current condition? Blood Red
  • My motto? Fight Till Death

I confess I “cheated” and used a couple of songs by other artists that Slayer have covered. All released on proper commercial albums, though.

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Who said metal is for the uneducated?

Well, my parents for two. Anyway, there are numerous reasons to say that this is rubbish – other than the fact that I like it an I iz ded smart, like.

I could point you in the direction of Iron Maiden‘s back catalogue. They’ve got a 13-minute opus based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Alfred Lord Tennyson‘s Charge of the Light Brigade inspired “The Trooper“. Sci-fi is embraced with “To Tame A Land“ (Frank Herbert‘s Dune).

Let’s not forget that singer Bruce Dickinson is (as well as a qualified commercial airline pilot and near-Olympic standard fencer) a history student. As a result, a large number of their songs are about historical events and characters. “Alexander the Great”, “Run To The Hills” (the genocide of the American Indians), “Where Eagles Dare” though based on a film and novel is set during WWII – as is “Aces High”.

Anthrax went for the more simply-titled Indians in their work about the destruction of the native American population. Their song “Among The Living” is based on Stephen King’s novel The Stand. “I Am The Law” is based on literature, though that’s the comic book character Judge Dredd! “Black Lodge” was inspired by David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks and which the series’ score conductor Angelo Badalamenti helped write.

Metallica got in on the act with songs such as “For Whom The Bell Tolls” based on the work of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. Slayer are well known for documenting serial killers and war-related atrocities in their songs. Megadeth have tackled freedom of speech.

These are just well-known examples.

Now, however, I give you something new. To me, anyway. Thanks to Andy for sending me the link to this new way for children to be taught Shakespeare – using the power of MMEETTTAAALLLLL!


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And in music today…

The "devil's horns" symbol that Dio ...

A few things music-y popped up today so I thought I’d bang a post up rather than just raving about them on Twitter.


As well as being overjoyed at getting a ticket to see them at Glasgow Barrowlands in November, I’m well impressed with the title track they’ve started streaming from the new album (World Painted Blood). It’s available from their MySpace page so you’ll have to put up with formatting that looks like it was dreamed up by a 6 year old with spatial awareness issues, but it’s worth it.

Much as I adored the ball-out utter thrashing heavyness of God Hates Us All, I was underwhelmed by Christ Illusion, it seeming like just more of the same. This new title track shows a lot more variety and a touch of the cleaner sound harking back to the likes of South of Heaven. If the rest of the album holds up then I’m very excited indeed.


One album I’m no longer waiting for is Hatebreed’s Hatebreed, their fifth album. It’s superb, and the first real change in tone I’ve heard from them in their history. Not quite as in-your-face heavy as… well, everything else they’ve ever released. There’s even an instrumental on it.

This will be on repeat play in the car along with…


Got ahold of the new Mustaine & Co album Endgame last week and that’s been looped to death already. Definitely their best release in a long time, though I still think The System Has Failed was pretty good.

And finally… a 4 year old on the drums

Yeah, this is rather cool. I can’t include the video as they’ve disabled embedding, but head over to YouTube and check out this immensely talented kid. The prime video to check is the one of him drumming to Harvester of Sorrow (check out around 5:20 for some real skill), though he’s got loads more on his YouTube channel.

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