It may have been frigid outside but the temperature inside The sold-out Armory was hot. Halestorm, In This Moment, and New Years Day turned up the heat for a heavy dose of hard rocking music on December 8th in Minneapolis Minnesota.
New Years Day kicked the evening off with an energetic set that started with “Kill Or Be Killed”. Vocalist Ash Costello kept the crowd involved as the band ripped though a short set that included a cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile”. New Years Day did not give clearance for photographers so I am unable to provided photos from their show. I thought they set the table well for the acts that would follow them and it appeared the fans dug into them.
In This Moment took the stage next. The band managed to deliver a heavy sonic attack while providing a visually stunning theatrical show at the same time. The show revolves around vocalist Maria Brink. She performed choreographed moves, changed costumes, and interacted with her “Blood Girls”. Providing the thunder that accompanied Brink’s vocals were Chris Howorth and Randy Weitzel on guitars, Travis Johnson (bass), and Kent Diimmelon drums.
In This Moment only got nine songs but they made every second count. Opening with “Blood”, then “River Of Fire”, followed by the addicting “Adrenalize” got everyone’s attention. Smoke continued to pour over the stage as they played “Roots” which put a stranglehold on the crowd. With Maria off stage, the band was given the opportunity to showcase some metal classics, which they called “Monster Jam”. The highlight was “Creeping Death” as they had everybody in the Armory chanting, “die”, just as its done at a Metallica show. The haunting “In The Air Tonight”, a Phil Collins cover, sounded fantastic. Brink put her own emotion and twists into the song and made it her own. The band ended with the fan favorite “Whore” and the only complaint I heard was that the set was to short.
Halestorm took the building prisoner from the opening note. They hit the stage with “Skulls” and further kicked up the intensity with “Love Bites (So Do I)”. The stage was completely stripped down with some lighting rigs on each side of the drum riser. Lzzy Hale, lead vocals and guitar, maneuvered the well – oiled machine through a riveting set of music. Flanking her was guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith. Arejay Hale, wearing quite a colorful ensemble, handled the drums.
Lzzy took to the piano for a breathtaking version of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and then “Dear Daughter”. It was a moment in time where you felt how strong the power of music and expression can be. Another cool moment was Hottinger playing acoustic guitar and Lzzy sitting next him as they played “The Silence” which appears on the newest album “Vicious”. Everything they played sounded great. “I Am The Fire” and “Amen” were fan favorites as was “Freak Like Me”. The closing number, “Here’s To Us”, is the ultimate sing – along song as people sang every word.
All three bands brought their own brand to the stage and the diversity between each of them made it a fun evening. I had waited a long time for this tour to reach Minnesota and it was worth the wait as I had a great time
Photos and review by: Jeff Kunze
IN THIS MOMENT