Halestorm Turned The PNC Bank Arts Center Into Their Steeple While On The Summer Tour
For anyone who says women can’t rock. Prepared to have your teeth kicked in by a star studded lineup, led by the Queens of Rock & Roll. Lzzy Hale and Taylor Momsen have been crushing stages around the world and leaving a huge impression on their fans at every stop. This time around, they’ve added the hard hitting and high energy of the countesses in Lilith Czar and The Warning to their royal army as they storm the gates at The PNC Bank Arts Center.
Leading the charge is the heavy riffs and soaring vocals of Lilith Czar. This band has become quite the road dogs over the last year. Playing some of the biggest festivals in the country and wasting no time jumping on multiple tours and always putting on a killer set. And today would be no different. The band would storm the stage and make way for Lilith Czar herself as she confidently strides to the mic, in stunning black leather and lace. They would lead it off with the heavy tones of Feed My Chaos of their latest record Created From Filth and Dust.
They just pull you in right away. Drummer Lindsay Martin absolutely crushes it behind the kit and is the locomotive that drives the show and never shies away pumping up the crowd. Guitarist Evan Potter’s energy only boosts his playing while he and Bassist Justus Dixon lay down their vocal power on backups. You can’t go wrong with any of Lilith’s original material. But every show, it’s always her absolutely stunning cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic Edge of 17 that blows me away. Her voice is so strong and angelic that she does not only the song itself justice. But it can certainly hold a candle with Stevie Nicks herself.
Speaking of original material. Lilith Czar would roll out her empowering anthem King. The fury and emotion was pouring off of the stage and is always a high point of their set. Wrapping it up would be Lilith Czar’s single that has been lighting it up on the radio and streaming services with their addictive hit Anarchy. It’s almost impossible not to join in at any point in the song with its powerful lyrics and compelling chorus. Every time Lilith Czar performs, the fans will always get a killer show and that is what brings us back tour after tour.
Feed My Chaos
100 Little Deaths
Edge of 17
Next is the sister rock trio from Monterrey, Mexico The Warning. Having that tight family bond has been the key to success in so many bands over the years. The Jackson 5, Stevie Ray & Jimmie Vaughn and even a high profile rock band that may or may not be headlining this very tour. Just to name a few. The Villarreal clan walk on onto the stage to an overwhelming ovation. With smiles still on their faces, they jump right into the ominous cries of Dust to Dust.
One thing that was obvious right out of the gate, was the amount of energy they put out. Within just the first few songs, it was like they were shot out of a canon. With Dany headbanging away while shredding solos, Paulina raging behind the kit and Alejandra sprinting the stage, they showed the crowd they are a force to be reckoned with.
Over the fans’ cheers, Dany asks “Any Metallica fans out there?”, only amplifying their response. In 2014, The Warning made waves with their unique and fresh version of the iconic Enter Sandman. Though the pace varied from the original, their reimagined verses and rhythmic build ups keeps you guessing to what’s next. Until the final breakdown where The Warning unleashes that legendary main riff that we’ve all known so well.
The band would keep up with their fast paced thrasher style with three ragers off of their new record ERROR. First up would be the catchy hooks and driving guitar work of title track from the album before they transition into the soaring momentum of Deciple. But The Warning would save their heavy hitter for last. EVOLVE had the fans going in the seats and even produced some activity on the outer lawn. The song’s in your face pace had the adrenaline going in the crowd with devil horns waving proudly in the air. This band was no doubt a perfect fit with this tour and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of them moving forward.
Dust to Dust
Queen of the Murder Scene
As the smoke starts to fill up the stage, the enormous banner of The Pretty Reckless towers above. Soon, Jamie Perkins, Ben Phillips and Mark Damon emerge through the machine made clouds. While greeting the screaming fans, the iconic blonde locks of Taylor Momsen start to float towards the edge of the stage to a wave of cheers. They would kick things off by throwing out a deep cut cover from Soundgarden’s 1989 record Louder Than Love with Loud Love. The soulful rendition set their set off a really high note.
From the second she graced the fans with her presence, Momsen soaked up their undivided attention with her powerful and seductive vocal delivery. She works the stage like she owns it and her bold confidence as a singer commanded the attention of every set of eyes in the crowd. It wouldn’t be long before The Pretty Reckless dropped some of their biggest tunes on the fans with hits like Only Love Can Save Me Now and their rock anthem Death by Rock and Roll. It’s amazing to sit back and think that with only four records under their belt, this band has still managed to produce so many notable songs.
And they kept the hits coming with rocking tracks like Make Me Wanna Die, Miss Nothing and Witches Burn. But after the laundry list of crunching guitar riffs and fist pounding numbers, Taylor and Ben would let off the gas a bit and deliver a more intimate and moving performance with the acoustic ode Harley Darling. Their vocal harmonies created a heavenly atmosphere as lighters and cell phones began to light up the venue. The moving performance really made this a high point not only during their set, but for the entire show.
With a stellar setlist up to this point, The Pretty Reckless still had a few more up their sleeve that would raise the level of excitement. The fans got a personal invitation for Momsen herself to join the band for one night and help out with this next song “Sing this next one at the top of your lungs. This one is called Heaven Knows.”. The only thing that was more impressive than the overwhelming level of vocal enthusiasts out there, was the amazing solo by Guitarist Ben Phillips. And of course, The Pretty Reckless would close it out with the single that launched the band into stardom with their hit Take Me Down. Anytime you see this band live, you know you’re going to get a hell of a rock show from start to finish. And tonight was no exception.
Since You’re Gone
Only Love Can Save Me Now
Death By Rock and Roll
Make Me Wanna Die
Going to Hell
Take Me Down
As the large black curtain hangs over the stage, it creates a sense of mystery as to what awaits behind it. When the house lights go out, the thunderous sounds of drum fills pulsate through the venue. And as it peaks, the curtain falls, revealing Halestorm in all of their glory and they stand on the stairs of a massive stage setup as they tee off the title track from their new record Back From the Dead. Lzzy would be front and center with her token black leather jacket and sporting an eye-catching pair of red knee high boots, matching perfectly to her new Gibson signature Exlporerbird.
With the incredible lighting and just how explosive they came out, it was an amazing way to start their time on stage. Halestorm would fire off with a flurry of crushing tunes like Wicked Ways, Apocalyptic and I Miss the Misery. But as heavy and high octane as they can dish them out, they can also tame the fire as well. And a great example of that would be the middle part of the set. Break In would have Lzzy take to her battle worn piano to serenade the fans with an incredibly soulful vocal performance that could literally take your breath away.
She would carry that momentum and feel right into another emotional ballad with Raise Your Horns. Next, she would be joined by fellow guitarist Joe Hottinger high up on the stairs for a heartfelt acoustic aria that had the entire crowd filling up the building with vocal ascendancy. Lzzy’s brother Arejay would have his chance to finish what he started before the curtain came down. Hale’s lightning quickness around the kit could only be outdone by his showmanship. And the only thing that was bigger than his performance, were the giant pair of drumsticks he broke out at the end of his percussive spectacle.
When the rest of the band reconvene they hit the crowd hard with songs like Freak Like Me, Bombshell and their classic I Get Off. What would normally look like the end of the show, didn’t have these fans fooled for a bit. When Halestorm return to the outbreak of cheers, they come with full Solo cups in hand to toast the fans for a great night.
They’d kick off their encore round with a hit to the feels with a moving rendition of Here’s to Us before Lzzy and Joe break the big guns with dual Gibson Double Necks for a blistering performance of I Am the Fire. As the fans’ cheers still hang in the air Lzzy looks out over the crowd and says “We are Halestorm. This is our church. And Jersey. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE!” as they dive bomb right into their latest chart smasher The Steeple. Fans lose their minds but collect themselves enough to scream every single word back to the band.
Halestorm rocked the PNC Bank Arts Center from the second they hit the stage and never took their foot off the gas. Their presence on stage was nothing short of incredible and once again, they proved why they are one of the best bands in the world. Something else that they’ve always excelled at, is bringing an amazing list of talent with them on the road and giving the best possible show to their faithful fans.
Back From the Dead
Love Bites (So Do I)
I Miss the Misery
Raise Your Horns
Freak Like Me
I Get Off
Here’s to Us
I Am the Fire