By Dan Williams
Hard rock four-piece Halestorm returned to the central Pennsylvania area and slammed into Diamond Credit Union Theater at the Santander Arena earlier this month. Leading off the fully booked show were Stitched Up Heart and New Years Day, both from the L.A. area.
“CATCH ME WHEN I FALL”
While chatting with MIXI backstage between songs, she tipped me off that she would be crowd surfing during the fifth song, “I Can’t Breathe.” And much to the delight of the crowd, she did. Their finale was the fine “Finally Free.” I undoubtedly admired Stitched Up Heart. While delivering hard driving rock as advertised, the heart of their tunes are well-crafted and melodic. They are memorable and could be covered by artists in other genres. They’ve been together since 2010, and they have a bright future in their field.
Goth-Metal made its appearance in the form of New Years Day led by Ash Costello in her long black & red hair and powerful vocals. Standing on a small-railed platform, Costello leaned into the crowd launching into “Kill or Be Killed,” a hard-driving classic metal number.
Costello is a very engaging performer, chatting up the audience between songs and encouraging participation. Early on, she thanked the audience for supporting Goth Metal and in particular, women in rock. During one song, she yelled “Get your horns out!” and the house was full of outstretched arms with fingers pointing skyward. Toward the end of their set, she instructed the house to turn the lights on for their phones and hold them up causing the entire theater to sparkle like diamonds. Their six-song set included a Pantera cover “Fucking Hostile,” “Kill Or Be Killed” and finished with “Defame Me.”
These bands are at the top of the class in musicianship and performance skills. I was not able to catch the entire show but what I did see was mind-blowing. The bottom line is that this genre is alive and well. The packed house was entirely engaged and loved every minute.
Photos By Dan Williams