With tons of great rock and metal tours making their circuit around the United States at the moment it's been tough trying to choose which show to spend your hard earned cash on. The Hard Drive Live tour made that decision a bit easier with a lineup featuring two of the biggest names in the genre, as well as two of the biggest breakout artists of 2012. Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm, Young Guns, and Stars in Stereo brought the tour to Worcester, MA on Wednesday night to a packed full Palladium.
As early as 9am diehard fans were lined up outside the Palladium to secure their front row spot. By the time opener Stars In Stereo started off the night Worcester was more than ready to get things started. Like Halestorm, Stars in Stereo features a female vocalist. I can honestly say that I'm usually not a huge fan of female singers in rock. Bec Hollcraft, however, blew me away with her powerful vocals.
They played through quite a few tracks from their self titled debut album, gaining more and more support as the set moved forward. Halfway through the set they truly got the crowd going crazy with a cover of Aerosmith's "Dream On". Never before have I gotten chills as a concert before. They made the cover their own while staying true to the original sound. Bec hit all of the high notes and kept them going while the audience gasped for breath in between screams.
London's Young Guns kept the night going soon after. While this may be the biggest US tour the band has done to date, they are clearly no stranger to playing for a big audience. Singer Gus Wood had everyone jumping by the end of the first song, telling everyone to start a pit and start crowd surfing. I don't think Gus's request was necessary; Worcester loved every second of their set.
The band were literally all over the stage giving it their all on each song, feeding off of the crowd. They closed out their 45 minute slot with "Bones," the title-track from the band's sophomore album. When the chorus hit, the entire Palladium chanted "Bones" back and forth on the catchy single, the loud voices drowning out the band on some parts.
Next up were popular rockers Halestorm, lead by frontwoman Lzzy Hale. Many in the crowd had shown up just to see Halestom, and as is the usual case with Halestorm, none of them were disappointed. Halestorm played through several of their hits, including the Grammy winning "Love Bites (And So Do I)" showing tremendous stage energy throughout their set.
Drummer Arejay Hale was a focal point of Halestorm’s time on stage. He displayed his usual maniac energy behind the kit from start to finish, often proving to show more energy than some entire bands. By the time Hale was done with his drum solo even those in attendance who had never heard of Halestorm before were in amazement.
Finally, right around 10:00pm, headliners Bullet For My Valentine took the stage for the moment the crowd had been anticipating all day and night. Opening with the track “Breaking Point” off of their latest album “Temper Temper” Bullet wasted no time in getting the crowd whipped up into a frenzy.
Bullet did a spectacular job of mixing in new songs and their most popular tracks from their back catalog. Favorites like “Your Betrayal”, “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” and “Scream Aim Fire” had Bullet fans shouting the lyrics right back at frontman Matt Tuck. Even the new songs such as “Riot” and “Temper Temper” seemed to fit perfectly in their place on the setlist.
During a performance of another one of those new songs, “Dirty Little Secret”, Halestorm vocalist Lzzy Hale came out to join Matt Tuck in a vocal duet of the song. The crowd was blown away by the strong vocals displayed by both artists. Bullet For My Valentine closed their set with a high energy performance of what many consider to be their most popular song, “Tears Don’t Fall”.
With one last chance to show their appreciation, the Worcester crowd moshed and crowd surfed their hearts out until the final notes stopped ringing. By the end of the night it was near impossible to find anyone who would consider the night disappointing, 4 great young bands, with a lot of potential put together a night of music that captivated, thrilled, and astounded the Worcester crowd.