September bank holiday weekend in Glasgow was, for a change, fairly clement when it’s usually drab and dreich as we say up here. Not only were we cheered by the weather, we were also treated to a killer set from not just the headliners of the night, Halestorm, but also some top performances from support acts Heaven’s Basement and Zico Chain.
I’m new to all three of the bands truth be told so I was looking to be suitably impressed as they all carry a reputation of having entertaining and relentless stage shows… and thanfully I was.
Zico Chain kicked the evening off in fine style and set the stage and the crowd nicely for Heaven’s Basement. They have a tremendous energy on set and remind me of a mix of Green Day coupled with aspects of Muse that’s delivered live with a raw aggression that pulls you in. Impressive albeit short lived set from this three piece from London.
Heaven’s Basement were a far more straightforward proposition. Great sounding commercial hard rock that comes blasting out of the gates from the off, you can see how comfortable they are on stage given they seem to forever be on the road. Vocalist Aaron Buchanan throws himself around stage, making the crowd an integral part of the show wherever he can as the rest of the band crack the tunes out in support. Highlights for me included the current single “Fire, Fire”, new track “Nothing Left to Lose” and their huge finale “Executioner’s Day”, replete with Buchanan crowd surfing his way through the end of the song and the set. You can understand completely why these guys are such a hot talent on the UK scene given their energetic performance tonight and the great news is they’ll be back in Glasgow again real soon so if you missed them this time they are definitely ones to see next time around.
Heaven’s Basement Set:
Can’t Let Go
I Am Electric
Nothing Left to Loose
Reign on my Parade
When Halestorm took to the stage the crowd by this point were full of nervous anticipation and excitement. A storming introduction to the set with the blistering “Love Bites” just served to stamp their authority on the night saying that this was their tour, their show and their fans and from there on in we got everything that Halestorm could throw at us. Arejay even had time to show off his considerable drumming capabilities with a superb piece of soloing that at times in gigs can come across as entirely self-indulgent but here was more of an entertaining piece of showmanship that just added to the set.
Throughout the set we were treated to not just some fantastic musical ability from all four members of the band but in particular they have a standout front woman in Lzzy Hale who had the crowd eating out of her hands from the very first note. She can belt them out when she wants and she can also produce stunning moments of intimacy and emotion, especially throughout “Familiar Taste of Poison” and moreso “Break In” which was suitably atmospheric throughout, so much so you could hear a pin drop in the Garage.
I have to cut away here and say that it frustrates and angers me here in the UK when the phrase of “girl power” is shouted out, especially surrounding manufactured pop crap that’s based on an image above all else. How anyone could see these fake floozies as role models when you look at the hard working and incredibly talented Lzzy Hale not just musically but vocally it makes you want to scream at the world to sit up and take notice of genuine musicianship achieved through a lot of dedication.
Anyway, rant over, my apologies… back to the gig and after the emotion of “…Poison” and “Break In” we were kicked back into overdrive for the remainder of the set, we were even treated to a tremendous cover version of Judas Priest’ “Dissident Aggressor” which suited Lzzy’s vocals down to a tee before the set was rounded off with “I Get Off”. But of course, through the cheers of the crowd they very quickly returned with a bottle of every Glasgwegian’s favourite tonic wine, Buckfast, and a rousing end to the night with the anthemic “I Miss the Misery” and a toast to the crowd with “Here’s To Us” closing.
For my first time seeing all these bands perform live I have to say they were all great, but in all honesty it truly was Halestorm’s night in Glasgow and fittingly so with this tour being their baby. I’ll be in line the next time they return that’s for sure.
It’s Not You
Freak Like Me
Familiar Taste of Poison
You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing
I Get Off
I Miss the Misery?
Here’s To Us