by Reggie Edwards
One thing that sets metal fans apart from fans of other genres is that they will go out on any night of the week to see their favorite bands play live.
This year’s Fort Wayne pit stop of the hardDrive Live 5 tour is a prime example with Bullet For My Valentine headlining with Halestorm, Young Guns and Stars in Stereo on a beautiful Wednesday night.
Bullet For My Valentine and Halestorm have developed fanbases comprised of some of the most diehard fans in all of music.
The support for this tour, though, comes thanks to LA’s Stars in Stereo and UK’s Young Guns- a band who is picking up some serious steam in the United States after making their mark overseas.
Stars in Stereo kicked things with an energetic show which showcased an impressive taste of their debut album. Stars in Stereo are an up-and-coming band who show the tenacity and charisma to make it if they keep up the momentum and continue to tour with bands of this caliber.
Carrying on the pandemonium of the evening was Young Guns, based out of the UK. Young Guns latest album, the sophomore Bones, charted in the top five on the UK Billboard 200, as did their debut. They have developed a huge following at home and are trying hard to break through in the US.
Their live show equips them with everything they need to make this happen. Their dynamic, energetic and spirited set got them over with the crowd very quickly- despite some early audio problems.
They ended the set with their monstrous hit, “Bones,” which the crowd screamed and sang along with at a high volume for an opening band.
Next up on the evening was Halestorm, who need no introduction.
Drummer Arejay Hale marched on stage adorned in marching band apparel and a skull bandana covering his mouth, pounding on one single hand drum. As he took his seat behind the kit the rest of the band took the stage destroying the crowd with “Freak Like Me.”
They roared through a set that included hit after hit and took the crowd on a ride that gave them a metal orgasm. They rocked the crowd with an amazing combination of songs from their self-titled debut as well as last year’s The Strange Case Of…
“I Get Off,” “It’s Not You” “Familiar Taste of Poison” all found their way into the setlist with Lzzy Hale playing a spine chilling piano solo to kick off “Familiar Taste of Poison.”
Halestorm have always been a band who put out great studio material but their live show is where it’s at. This tour is a prime example- not one person was sitting or not singing along. Lzzy Hale and the rest of the band had the crowd wrapped around their fingers and had them hooked from the beginning.
Capping off the night was the larger-than-life Bullet For My Valentine, who’s light show was top notch and who’s stage performance was stellar.
As the house lights went down, blue lights immersed the stage. The back curtain slowly dropped, revealing a backdrop of the band’s latest album cover Temper Temper.
They kickstarted their set with “Breaking Point” from the new album followed up by “Your Betrayal” and “Waking the Demon.”
As a whole the band sounded better than ever, firing on all cylinders. If fans wanted a set where Bullet played something from every record, they got it. Whether it’s The Poison, Scream Aim Fire, Fever or Temper Temper, fans got something from all of them.
Over the years, Bullet have not lost a beat, not one step. They almost sound better than they ever have.
Then end it all with “Tears Don’t Fall” Lizzy Hale joining them onstage for \”Dirty Little Secret\” and hardDrive Live 5 is an experience for any fan of these bands. There’s still some time left in the tour so make sure to get out and catch a show- you’ll be blown away.
Pre-show interview with Young Guns\’ Simon Mitchel
Pre-show interview with Bullet for My Valentine\’s Padge and Moose