Review: Halestorm/Sick Puppies & 10 Years

This show would have been better off as a two hour headline concert of Halestorm only! Halestorm invaded Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, N.Y. Friday, August 9, 2013,  and that’s all who should have showed up for this show.

The two opening acts added nothing to the show but boredom. I was trying not to fall asleep during the first band.

7th Squeeze is the first band of the night, and nobody really cared that they were there. You could barely understand and hear lead vocalist, Nick. For some reason his mic was really low and, to me, he was trying to act like Lajon from Sevendust but came across more like Milli Vanilli.

Highly Suspect were up next and, although they were better than the first band, the life was sucked out of the venue and everybody just wanted Halestorm to come on. Besides the first band putting everyone to sleep, the venue was overcrowded and really hot inside, and everyone just wanted Halestorm. I do give Highly Suspect credit as they did try hard to get the crowd back into the show and ready for Halestorm.

Finally, Halestorm hit the stage to save the night. The crowd is just nuts now. The whole band seemed really pumped up for this show and had a lot of crazy energy. Joe was just insane on guitar. He was really feeling the mood and the crowd was eating it up. Lzzy was awesome and better than the first time I saw her perform. When she sat at the piano and played the song “Break In“ it was amazing. Halestorm sang all their hits and more. They even sang some of the tracks off their cover album, and Lzzy also paid tribute to Ronnie James Dio. Arejay has one of the best drum solos ever, and it’s a show of its own. He goes from regular drumsticks to bare fist. Then, when you think he’s done, he pulls out drumsticks the size of baseball bats and starts jamming with them to perfection!

Even though Halestorm came on and saved this show with a great two-hour-long performance, this had to be one of the worst concerts I’ve been to this year, besides Bon Jovi.

Even though I saw Sick Puppies exactly a week earlier at 95X Fest in Syracuse, N.Y., I was still pumped to see this show on a more intimate stage at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park N.Y., Sunday, August 11, 2013.

The opening band for the night were locals Fort Rooster. They were decent, but you can tell that they are very green still. They put on a good performance, though, and are pretty good musicians.

10 Years is the second of three bands of the night and, as usual, they kicked @$$! Lead vocalist Jesse Hasek is f’in sick live. I love the way this guy sings. His style and voice are so unique it just takes you over. One of these days, though, Jesse is going to give himself whiplash with the head whip move he does. Jesse had a white cross painted on his face for this show. Jesse at the end of the set brought out a yellow blow up pool mattress and crowd surfed on it all the way to the merch table.

This was my second time seeing this band live, and I can’t wait until the next time. Don’t miss these guys if they come around your town. Tons of energy from this band, which is what I like to see from a band live on stage.

Sick Puppies closed out the show with another great performance. Yes, they were good a week earlier, but this was a lot better. These intimate venues are awesome for bands, and I think the bands put on better shows in these type of environments. Lead singer Shimon Moore is like a big kid on stage and loves to talk to the crowd a lot. He has so much energy and drive.  Speaking of energy, Emma Anzai is just all over the place on stage. Emma is so fun to watch play live, and not just because she’s hot, but because she kicks @$$. She is in her own world up there on stage, and it’s awesome to see. The band played all their hits and a lot of new tracks from their brand new cd “Connect”.

This was a good show. 10 years and Sick Puppies are two bands that everyone should experience live at least once.

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