Halestorm – Auckland Town Hall : March 18, 2024 (Concert Review)

Halestorm blew into town Monday night and turned the Auckland Town Hall into their own Church with the assembled congregation throwing horns and worshiping at the altar of this very loud quartet from Pennsylvania.

The last time Halestorm tried to play in Auckland, they got blown out…the show was cancelled to a state of emergency being called due to bad weather, with members of the band and crew being turned around in mid-flight back in January of last year.

HalestormOn this night, the only storm was on stage, mostly in the form of singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale who was screaming like a banshee even before the rest of the band took their places.

Once they plugged in, it was all on.

“The only weather tonight is Halestorm, claimed Lzzy and within minutes the entire room was engulfed in sound.

For the uninitiated, that sound is a combination of classic hard rock and metal, all powered by Lzzy’s voice that sounds as though Janis Joplin and Robert Plant had a baby and it is throwing a tantrum.

In addition to Lzzy, the band consists of guitarist Joe Hottinger, bass player Josh Smith and drummer Arejay Hale, Lzzy’s baby brother who, she told us, ‘has been annoying the fuck out of me since the day he was born”.

Arejay got his own moment in the spotlight with a drum solo that took me back to the good old days of the 1970s when bands like Deep Purple and Rush pummelled away for what seemed like hours while the rest of the band took a tea break.  But, he was entertaining, as he beat his chest and flailed away with a pair of oversized novelty drumsticks. Good fun.


Then it was Back To The Dead…the title track from their 2022 album…backed up by Bombshell and the horns were back up.

Lzzy took a moment to mention International Women’s Day…”I didn’t post much about International Women’s Day because I was busy being woman”…before singing Chemicals, a B-side that addresses depression and suicide.

HalestormThe set proper closed with Do Not Disturb as Lzzy gushed about the Kiwi accent, and then returned to the stage, solo, behind a keyboard, for intimate Break In and Raise Your Horns, and gushing more about spending the week in NZ, standing on a glacier and looking at the stars.

The band was back for two more…Here’s To Us and The Steeple…as arms swayed in the air and maybe a tear or two was shed.

The love was in the room, so much so that when the lights went up and the PA played us out, no one wanted to leave, including the band, who were all still on the stage greeting fans down in front.

The Auckland Town all may not be a church, but on this night, with the massive pipe organ stretching to the ceiling, it felt like rock & roll salvation had taken place.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Azrie:

(Marty missed opening act Black Smoke Trigger but Azrie didn’t)


Black Smoke Trigger:

Halestorm setlist:

  1. I Miss The Misery
  2. Love Bites (So Do I)
  3. I Get Off
  4. Wicked Ways
  5. Freak Like Me
  6. Amen
  7. Rock Show
  8. Familiar Taste Of Poison
  9. Takes My Life
  10. Drum Solo
  11. Back From The Dead
  12. Bombshell
  13. Chemicals
  14. Do Not Disturb
  15. Break IN
  16. Raise Your Horns
  17. Here’s To Us
  18. The Steeple