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Halestorm Kicks Off Stir Concert Season

Story and Photos: Audrey Wright

Driving down to the venue I didn’t know what to expect. I have shot shows before at the Stir Concert Cove in Council Bluffs, IA before but never the first one of the season. It was really exciting. The Stir Cove is nestled in the back area of the Harrah’s Casino. I made my way inside to grab my pass and ticket for the evening.

Knowing I was probably going to burn like a tomato, I made sure to put on a plethora of sunscreen. Don’t mind me, I’m just a ginger. I was nervous to go outside in the heat, but it actually wasn’t too bad. I saw a bunch of fans filing in as I walked out of the double doors. To my left were all the tour buses and the venue on the right. Summer is the best time for concerts, especially at this venue. I had some time to sit down in the shaded grassy area, relax, and get my gear together. I made my way down to the stage around thirty minutes before the show started to get a look at the crowd and catch up with some fellow photographers.

The first band to play was Black Stone Cherry. I had heard of their music before, but hadn't yet seen them live. They were fantastic! There were plenty of hair flips and very high energy coming from the guitarist, Ben Wells. I even took a picture of his signature high kick move that he threw down a few times. They really got the crowd riled up for Halestorm and it made for some fantastic shots. After the first three songs in the pit, I walked around the venue and watched the crowd enjoy themselves.

Up next was Mammoth WVH. Now just before they went on, a fellow photographer in the mix said to me, “this is Wolf Van Halen’s band” and I had a fan girl moment. I had absolutely no idea. They were phenomenal. It was really great to see Wolf carry on his dad’s legacy with something new and refreshing. That dude can sing! Their songs are extremely well written, sound great live, and set a great tone for the evening.

I had about thirty minutes before Halestorm went on, so I went and relaxed up in the grassy seating area and people watched. Everyone was enjoying themselves and that’s something that I will never get over as a concert photographer. Music brings people together to celebrate. I made my way back down to the photo pit just before Halestorm made their appearance. The house lights dimmed and some dark red lights came on, and the band gracefully walked out on stage, the crowd cheering.

I had heard Halestorm songs on the radio before but I never avidly listened to them. Listening to Halestorm live is a whole different ball game. Their stage presence is not only excellent, but so is their overall performance. Their lead singer, Lzzy Hale, belted every note with grace in those stilettos she wore on stage. Lzzy saw a little girl in the crowd with a sign, and acknowledged her. She made that little girl’s day. They played some of their newer songs and some old, including their number one single "I Get Off" which debuted in 2009. As a woman, it was really great to see another woman representing the rock scene and doing what she loves with no fear.

I would like to thank the Stir Cove, and the Halestorm team for having me out on such a beautiful evening. You can catch the rest of their tour on these dates below!

May 17th-Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE

May 18th-Columbus, OH @ Kemba Live!

May 21st- St Louis, MO @Pointfest

May 22nd- Daytona Beach, FL @ Welcome To Rockville

May 24th- Evansville, IN @ Ford Center

May 25th Tulsa, OK @ Tulsa Theater

May 28th Moorehead, MN @ Bluestem Amphitheater

May 30th Missoula, MT @Kettlehouse Amphitheater

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Mammoth WVH

Black Stone Cherry

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