US hard rockers Halestorm have worked long and hard on their way up the rungs of the rock and roll ladder. They take another step higher with a European tour through November and December, culminating in a headline show at London’s prestigious Wembley Arena on 9 December 2023. MetalTalk’s Ian Sutherland caught up with frontwoman extraordinaire Lzzy Hale to discuss the tour and all things Halestorm, and for Ian, this is a real treat.
I tell Lzzy I have been following Halestorm since 2009, when they played in Glasgow, supporting Theory Of A Deadman. “That was our first time over in Europe,” Lzzy remembers. “We were travelling in a refurbished bread truck, or maybe it was a mail truck. Nobody got any sleep on that tour, but it was amazing.”
All these years later, Halestorm will be back again at Wembley Arena on 9 December 2023 at the end of their European tour. “It’s amazing, a rite of passage,” exclaims Lzzy. “Mainly because it’s the UK, and it’s where rock ‘n’ roll was born, rock ‘n’ roll still lives. To be accepted into that community from years ago when you first started listening to us to now is just amazing. It’s not lost on us that that doesn’t happen for every band. So we’re very excited and grateful for it.”
With almost all the 12,500 tickets sold, the Wembley show is shaping up to be the band’s biggest-ever solo headline show. Looking ahead to the show, the charismatic performer smiles broadly. “It should be a fantastic night,” Lzzy says. “We’ve begun rehearsals, and we’re talking about production. We’re really trying to make it special. Not only unique for this tour but unique for that specific show. I’ve been telling a lot of people and a lot of our super fans who are coming to multiple shows you can come to anything that you want in Europe, but make sure you do London. London’s getting extra! We want it to be a celebration.”
Halestorm are well known for swapping set lists around when they’re on tour, and no two shows are the same. “We usually decide on the day what we’re gonna do,” says Lzzy. “There are certain things we will keep in the setlist as launch points or moments that we know we wanna hit. So there’ll be a little bit of calculated control somewhere. But then we put in all of these sections in the set that are just kind of like chaos. It’s kind of a free-for-all. You jump out of the aeroplane, and you hope that the parachute opens, and that’s where it’s the most exciting thing that you can do in front of people.
“Something that I think makes us unique as a band is that we still do everything in a very old-school way. We don’t play with a click, and we don’t have tracks running. It’s literally the four of us singing and playing every night.
“I’m not knocking anybody that wants to use tracks or anything, but for us, it would lose some of that excitement if we just kind of do the same thing every night or if we’re dancing around like it’s karaoke. I think that for us, it’s about depending on each other.
“Usually, in our routine, we have mandatory jam sessions an hour before we go on stage. We have some practice amps backstage. All four of us are in there. We pick a key, say A and go, who has got a riff? Let’s learn it. So we start talking in that musical language and start getting on that same wavelength with each other.
“Then you go out on stage, and now the only anchor that you have to keep the train on the tracks is listening to each other. Depending on what song and who’s leading, who’s in the front of the train, you know, leading the charge. That’s who we’re gonna be focusing on, and then we kind of lob it back and forth.
“It just makes it exciting because every single night will be different than the last, and you’re always chasing it. If you had a great night, you’re saying all right, let’s do the same thing tomorrow. But it never happens that way. It’s always something different. So it makes it fun for us.
“But then I think that it also makes it really fun for the fans and also for all of you crazy people that I love so much that decide they’re gonna come to eight Halestorm shows in a row. We feel, personally, that even if it’s only a handful of people, we can’t give them the same show that they just saw last night. It keeps us on our toes, too.”
The remaining few tickets for Wembley are available from here.