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What's Up Magazine

Carnival of Madness Tour Brings Rockin' Women to Pier 6

Aug 08, 2012 06:27PM ● By Anonymous

Before Evanescence, Chicago’s Chevelle reminded fans old and new just how loud a three-piece can really get (unless your love for metal trends more towards stoner/sludge metal such as High On Fire, then you already know how loud we’re talking). The distortive influence of bands like Helmet is present along with some comparisons to bands like Filter, but singer Pete Loeffler’s voice sets Chevelle apart in their own right as a crushing power trio evoking all the sound without all the extraneous limbs on stage. The set was interspersed with vocal samples between songs as the band mixed material both complex and oppressive in its simplicity. Chevelle is a band that lets the music speak for itself.

Setting the bar on this evening, however, was Halestorm. Bookended by opener Cavo and the bands already mentioned,  Like the brothers that formed the base of Chevelle, Halestorm has an element of being a family affair, with siblings Lzzy and Arejay Hale at the core of this non-stop touring machine from Pennsylvania. Cutting their teeth in Central Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Halestorm may be one of the most dynamic rock bands you still have not fallen for. Anyone old enough to remember life before smart phones will remember Fletcher’s in Fell’s Point, and rue the day someone made a back alley deal with the devil to give us technology in our fingertips in exchange for giving up small rock clubs (some great, some not-so-great) where bands who really love to perform could hone their chops as Halestorm has done since 1998. The band thanked this fair city for its part in pushing them to where they are now, having signed with Atlantic Records in 2005 and releasing their second LP, The Curious Case Of… (listen to “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “Beautiful Like You”), earlier this year.

Along with guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, Halestorm pays tribute to a long history of hard rock music. On the drums, Arejay Hale shows off his degree from the Tommy Lee School of Showmanship, flourishing drum fills with the punctuation of stick twirling and tossing. Singer Lzzy presents something compelling for rock music: a frontwoman that powers a band with talent and wit. Lzzy and band are a sign of rock music heading in the right direction on a social level. Young women and men, boys and girls, get to see a female lead in control of her craft without the need to reflect on her looks; that is to say, “Lzzy [and Halestorm] rocks,” not just “she’s hot.” Think Lita Ford rather than Britney Spears, with all of the trainwreck that became of Courtney Love removed from the recipe and replaced with the pop approachability of Pat Benatar. Even if the music itself doesn’t speak to you, this sign of things to come is inspirational. Where Evanescence have shown that female leads are not a gimmick but a marketable success, Halestorm shows that gender does not discriminate when it comes to being pure rock and roll.

The Carnival of Madness rolls through the south and southwest before returning to Pittsburgh and the east coast at the end of August. For more information, visit