Halestorm-The Pretty Reckless Concert Review Arizona Financial Theater 08-05-22
Halestorm-The Pretty Reckless Concert at the Arizona Financial Theater 08-05-22 Photos and Article by Roc Boyum .
Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless teamed up for the female concert tour of the year, that included the emerging special guest artists, The Warning and Lilith Czar. Just before their encore, Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale summed it up best by stating; There’s a lot of bad ass bitches on stage tonight! Indeed all four bands absolutely rocked the house as each band put on an incredible show.
The night kicked off with Lilith Czar who were then followed by The Warning. I unfortunately missed these bands but those around me couldn’t stop talking about how much these two opening bands kicked some serious ass.
The Pretty Reckless:
The Pretty Reckless are led by the powerful and dynamic Taylor Momsen who, with her band, hit the stage hard with a cover of Soundgarden’s Loud Love ; a song that sits well in the band’s blues based/post grunge style. The band’s set was a culmination of songs from all four of their studio LPs with their latest LP “Death By Rock and Roll” as the album that was most represented at this show.
Momsen is a commanding front woman who seduced the audience with her power and swagger from the moment she and the band arrived on stage. When Momsen commands the audience to raise their horns, fists or whatever, there is no hesitation, with everyone in the venue immediately responding to her commands; which at times were simply visual cues that had the entire audience following her lead.
The band delivered a ripping version of the fan favorite, “Death by Rock N Roll”; a song that has blistering and sexy vocals, nasty guitar lines and a Zeppelin style grinding rhythm that had everyone moving and grooving. Guitarist John Secolo dished out a solo that was a combination of scorching string bending and crazy driving wah, wah that was pure blistering rock n roll!
The song “Witches Burn” began in darkness with a pre-recording from the iconic movie, The Wizard of Oz, with one of the most recognizable and classic lines in modern movies as spoken by Margaret Hamilton, The Wicked Witch of the West with the words; I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too! So FN Awesome!
The song “Going to Hell” was one of the evening’s highlights, and introduced by Momsen with a request for the audience to participate by stating: This is the part in the show where I ask for your participation in this crazy fucked world that we have all been living in. Personally, I think there’s one thing we can all agree on; it’s that we are all going…… TO FUCKING HELL!
At the end of her monologue, she raised a single arm with horns to the sky that ignited a sea of horns throughout the venue. In the middle of the song – the song breaks down with Momsen telling the audience to scream the words, I’m going to hell“! She coaxed the Arizona crowd several times until for the forth time, she demanded that everyone scream the words, “I’m going to hell” . The entire venue belted a deafening scream of the words with their enthusiastic horns high in the air….truly beautiful!
For their last song, “Take Me Down” Momsen said: I don’t know about you, but all I want to do in my life is, fucking rock and fucking roll and play fucking music, and thanks to all of you, I get to do that; and that’s absolutely incredible. So thank you so much from the bottom of our heart, from all of us we love you so much, if you feel the same; sing along; this is called “Take Me Down”. Momsen with her sexy swagger, led the band into their last song with the audience enthusiastically singing the repeated chours lines…….Take me down!
The Pretty Reckless put on one hell of a show and are definitely a must-see band, especially if you’re a fan of blues based rock with tons of sexy attitude.
Get into the world of The Pretty Reckless Here!
The Pretty Reckless set list was:
Halestorm entered a darkened stage with multiple strobe lights flashing all across the stage and all across the venue as the band started with what I would call a grand finale to a show and a reverse musical beginning that was pure genius and what rock and roll is made of! That is to say, they started with drummer Arejay Hale delivering an all out aggressive assault on his drum kit that was similar to what you might hear at the end of a song for a grand finale. At the end of Arejay’s solo, the curtain then dropped and fell to the ground and revealed the entire band who were lined up at the top of the stairs that descended down from Arejay’s drums to the stage. This instrumental beginning was a la Judas Priest, with it’s sweeping guitar harmonies that soared with their rhythmic story while the rhythm section delivered huge whole note crashes with cascading drum fills in between the whole notes. This grandiose beginning led into the title track from their latest LP Back From The Dead with singer Lzzy Hale, dashing down the stairs to grab her mic at center stage to belt out the song’s opening lines…..it really doesn’t get any more rock and roll than this people!
Halestorm ripped up a set of fifteen songs in their main set with seven of those songs from their latest – Back From The Dead LP with the songs; “Back From The Dead, Wicked Ways, Psycho Crazy, Bombshell, Raise Your Horns, Terrible Things, Strange Girl “. Their two-song encore featured; first, the anthem rocker, “Here’s to You” from their Strange Case Of LP and then a blistering extended version of “The Steeple” from the Back From The Dead LP; which we’ll get into later in the review.
Halestorm’s entire show was a collection of one highlight after another. Many times when a band performs a show that is an equal part of new and older material, one can sometimes feel that too many new songs were presented and not enough of their favs were played. But, in the case of the new material from Halestorm’s, Back From the Dead LP, this LP is so brilliant, especially the songs from that LP that appeared in this night’s show that it is clear, these songs are absolutely meant to be played live and definitely made this Halestorm show one of the best, if not the best, Halestorm show you could have ever seen. In fact, if you haven’t caught Halestorm live before, you would have been completely blown away, and if you had experienced a Halestorm show before, you were still, completely blown away by a show that left everyone in attendance with a new standard by which to measure all the future rock concerts anyone would attend.
For the song “I am the Fire” Lzzy Hale introduced the song with a monologue, stating that we’re all the same and asked the audience to raise their cell phones in a show of unity, that had the entire AZ Financial Theater in a wash of beautiful light that was a really moving experience.
Lzzy Hale dedicated the song “Strange Girls” to all the loud girls in the audience, saying that this wasn’t for the shy girls who like to sit it out – which received an enthusiastic roar from the audience.
Drummer Arejay thrilled the audience with one of his blistering drum solos that goes from various rhythmic themes to an all out assault and combination of rapid fire attacks between his drums and cymbals that culminates with a call and answer from the audience. Arejay then grabs the baseball bat size, “Big Sticks” that goes from call and answer to a full drum assault and cymbal attack, complete with stick twirls and finally, he tosses one stick into the air for a final catch and crash which was – all in all – a brilliant rock show drum solo. The last song of the main set was “I Get Off” that was their debut single from their 2009 self titled debut LP.
The band’s two song encore finished with an extended version of “The Steeple” that shredded the audience. The song is a declaration by the band, that music is their life, and playing live is to them as much a part of living as breathing, eating, etc. It’s their life! To that end, it is the perfect ending song to incorporate killer a-cappella vocals, audience participation sing-alongs, with extended blistering guitar solos by Joe Hottinger, and anything and everything else you could possibly imagine thrown in. The song’s finale is a ferocious jam that upon conclusion with it’s heavy crashing chords and flurry ending – is a statement that leaves everything on the floor and a definitive conclusion to a brilliant concert. The lockdown was really hard on many of us and for touring musicians, it was simply hell. The up side to that is, groups like Halestorm who fought and endured the break, ended up creating some of their best music ever! I certainly don’t want another lockdown to get music this good out of our favorite bands, but now that we’re back, enjoy the fruits of their labor, buy the music, go to the live shows and celebrate life!
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The Halestorm Arizona Financial Theater Setlist was: