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HALESTORM / Dayshell / The Smoking Hearts @ 02 Academy, Birmingham, England

HALESTORM / Dayshell / The Smoking Hearts
in Monday, 7 April 2014 at 02 Academy
by Emily Coulter

HALESTORM have not stopped rising to the top of the hard rock scene since there first self-titled album released in 2009 and they have a long way to go yet. On the 5th date of their UK tour the band performed at Birmingham 02 Academy supported by DAYSHELL and THE SMOKING HEARTS which brought crowds in from all over the Midlands wanting to hear some good old American hard rock, all bands had something special about them and all had surprises in store for the crowds.

First on stage is THE SMOKING HEARTS who get better every time you see them perform live, getting heavier and packing so much more energy into every song, despite THE SMOKING HEARTS having a slow start to the night and barely any crowd participation the crowd slowly warmed to them and was bouncing along to songs they barely knew. Bassist Calvin Roffey is the fuel to the bands fire, swinging his bass round the stage at all possible chances whilst giving backing vocals when needed, he really is a special musician you should be watching out for when teamed up with vocalist Ben Mills. THE SMOKING HEARTS are hardworking English guys who do nothing but tour relentlessly and put on an outstanding stage show, there is no reason you shouldn't be seeing them live.

Next on stage is DAYSHELL, for anyone who is familiar with vocalist Shayley Bourget's past in OF MICE & MEN this is a pleasant surprise when you know how good he was his past band but sadly his performance tonight was a huge disappointment. After being warmed up by the tremendous THE SMOKING HEARTS, DAYSHELL is a huge let down compared to what the audience has previously witnessed, Shayley's vocals are barely understandable at most points in his songs and don't fit in with the bland guitars and drum work by the other members, the band had energy but the live music just didn't make it worth it to listen to. DAYSHELL are interesting to hear on CD but live is just a shambles and they really need to work on how they perform in front of a crowd.

15 minutes late with the rowdiest crowd imaginable the American Rockers HALESTORM finally enter the stage with the whole crowd chanting before they kick off there set with ''I Miss The Misery''. Strong voiced vocalist Lzzy Hale is on top form tonight with playing songs new and old with a few covers of FLEETWOOD MAC, Ronnie James Dio, JUDAS PRIEST and Pharell Williams in there too. Lzzy has a voice you could recognize from a mile away, it's the perfect mix of growls and harmonics with some old school Rock in the mix too but the Hale's must have music in their blood with Arejay Hale blasting away on his drum kit and performing a drum solo to envy the best drummers in the world. The crowd went wild for their favourite songs such as ''It's Not You'', ''Love Bites'', ''Familiar Taste Of Poison'' and ''Break In'' with Lzzy Hale playing piano in front of the audience which simply warmed your heart. HALESTORM previewed an unreleased song ''Mayhem'' to the audience from their third album which is being created this year but the crowd really went wild for the song. In the next few years HALESTORM will no doubtlessly be headlining arena's around the world, they get the crowd working up a sweat and have songs which make you want to sing along instantly.

1. I Miss the Misery
2. Love Bites (So Do I)
3. It's Not You
4. Freak Like Me
5. Straight Through the Heart (Dio Cover)
6. You Call Me a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing
7. Innocence
8. Don't Know How to Stop
9. Rock Show
10. Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
11. Break In
12. Familiar Taste of Poison
13. Drum Solo (first two lines of Dam That … more)
14. Dissident Aggressor (Judas Priest Cover)
15. Mz. Hyde
16. Daughters of Darkness
17. I Get Off
18. Mayhem
19. Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover)
20. Here's to Us

Overall the night went down a huge success, with fans lining up to see the bands 2 streets away. THE SMOKING HEARTS and HALESTORM performed with no flaws visible and was worth the ticket money but DAYSHELL did not live up the hype the other bands had about them. 

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