TRAVERSE CITY — For most bands, the seemingly endless string of live shows become a blur.
Not so for Halestorm.
The chart-topping rockers from Pennsylvania remember their last time in Traverse City vividly.
"We've only been there once before, and it was the day our first record came out," guitarist Joe Hottinger said. "It was at the same place: April 28, 2009. That was a fun one. It was a good night."
That self-titled album produced four top-40 mainstream rock hits.
Cavo and New Medicine are the opening acts for Halestorm's show Saturday, Aug. 25 at Ground Zero in the Streeters Center. Tickets are $15.
"Last time we were at this venue, it was Trapt and Red and us," Hottinger said. "And this lineup kicks that one's ass."
Halestorm's newest CD — "The Strange Case Of"¦" — was released in April and has already spawned two hits.
In May, the band made history by becoming the first female-fronted act to top the active rock airplay chart with their song "Love Bites...(So Do I)."
"I think 'Love Bites' is one of the weakest songs on the record, so I'm interested to see what the rest will do," Hottinger said. "I'm feeling good about this one. It's a good record, front to back. I think Lzzy (Hale) really came out on this record, lyrically and her personality and her voice. She found a new gear or two in her voice, a new place she had never gone before, like with some of the ballads."
Hottinger cites the tracks "In Your Room," "Break In" and "Mz. Hyde" as some of his favorites, even though "Love Bites" and "I Miss the Misery" are already both in the top 10.
He said the band has come a long way from when it first stepped into the studio to record its first live songs years ago. The band put out three EPs before it was signed to a major label.
"The great thing about Halestorm is that it's all out there," Hottinger said. "From when Lzzy and Arejay started the band and their dad was playing bass and they were spinning Arejay around on the drum kit, you can see it all on YouTube. So you can't really embarrass us. Some of the early songs we wrote after I joined in, those are on our first live EP. They're not the greatest songs. They're cool. It's like a time piece. They bring back memories, but I understand why they would never go on a record these days. Compared to the record we just put out, these (new) songs are just awesome. The lyrics are focused, there's a point to everything, the music is more focused and we can all play better.
Working with siblings — Lzzy and Arejay Hale are the band's two founding members, forming the group in high school — isn't a problem at all, Hottinger said. At one point, their father Roger was the bassist, before Hottinger and bass player Josh Smith came aboard a little later.
"For one, Lzzy Hale is the sweetest person you will ever meet in your life," Hottinger said. "All around, the nicest, most tolerant, patient person you'd ever wish to be in a band with. She gets on stage and she's this turbo badass. She really is 'Mz. Hyde.' It's awesome. And Arejay is the craziest person you've ever been around. It's equally awesome in a totally different way."
Hundreds of shows later they still remember a spring night in Traverse City, one when they were so new to the business that they stood out in the entryway after the show was over and signed autographs and posed for pictures with every fan who wanted one. Lzzy gave away bracelets to some lucky fans that she fashioned out of old guitar strings. Arejay played a song with comically-oversized drumsticks and later made funny faces as he posed for photos.
Those are some of the traits Hottinger said the band wanted to incorporate in their latest album.
"We wanted to get more of our individual personalities to come out," he said. "Arejay is one of the craziest drummers in rock and roll today. To try to get that to come across on the recording, we recorded the drums with two-inch tape. We went to the old sound set sounds. We went to the old VanHalen room in L.A. It was really cool. And I think it sounds better, and he sounds better, because of it.
"It's been a total evolution the last nine years. And I don't know that we even totally nailed it on this record in getting all the personality out there. I'm already interested to see what the next one will be like a few years out."
Rock band plays Saturday in the Streeters Center
TRAVERSE CITY — For most bands, the seemingly endless string of live shows become a blur.
Crisis in Ukraine focus of benefit lecture
TRAVERSE CITY -- When people talk "war" -- whenever, wherever -- it's time to "tune in" and listen, said Jack Segal. Segal presents "Ukraine: A New Cold War?" -- in lecture and Q-and-A format -- Monday at 6 p.m. in Northwestern Michigan College's MilContinued ...
The Accidentals -- all grown up
TRAVERSE CITY -- Blake Elliott first heard The Accidentals at an open mic show she and a friend hosted after a Traverse City Film Festival. "They came down to Cuppa Joe, just 15 and 16," said Elliott, a singer-songwriter, recalling that night three yContinued ...
Arts & Entertainment in Brief 04/18/2014
Fairy Garden fun; environmental documentary; benefit for ISLAND; New Opera Project premiere; and more.Continued ...
New Opera Project looks to the future
TRAVERSE CITY -- Many operas have vocal challenges which make them unsuitable for young performers' developing voices. Scott Skiba, an Interlochen Arts Academy voice and opera theater instructor had that challenge in mind when he called on the AcademContinued ...
Night Life 04/18/2014
Entertainment in the region.Continued ...
- Friday, April 11, 2014
New zombie flick set in northern Michigan
Most days Brian Dawson is a mild-mannered veterinarian. Others he’s a flesh-eating zombie.Continued ...
Life after 'The Voice': Maloney out but not down following cut
Ryan Whyte Maloney is out but he isn’t down. The Traverse City native and “The Voice” contestant was cut from the show Tuesday after making it to the top 20 on Monday.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 04/11/2014
Celebration for Pete Seeger; OTP Studio Theatre stages police drama; Dirt Fest; and more.Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 04/11/2014
New this week — Draft Day: At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams. Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references. (HOR)Continued ...
Grand Rapids band feels 'at home' in TC
Members of Grand Rapids’ Sweet J Band consider Kilkenny’s Irish Public House in Traverse City their home away from home.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 04/11/2014
Entertainment in the region:Continued ...
CNN bringing back Anthony Bourdain's hot travel series
Anthony Bourdain has traveled to all sorts of exotic places over the past couple of years, with none as important as where he’s taken CNN itself.Continued ...
Kiss not first to tell Rock Hall to kiss off
Graciousness is not always high on the list of attributes you find in successful rock ‘n’ roll stars.Continued ...
Interlochen Arts Festival lineup one of biggest in years
Traverse City native Mandy Alexander can’t wait to share the news with her fans. The 31-year-old Nashville performer will open for superstar Sheryl Crow at the Interlochen Arts Festival this summer.Continued ...
- Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Maloney wins handily on latest 'The Voice' battle
Traverse City native Ryan Whyte Maloney survived “The Battles: Round Two” to wind up among the Top 20 contestants on TV’s "The Voice."Continued ...
- Friday, April 4, 2014
'New' country artist tops Cherry Fest entertainment
Academy of Country Music Awards nominee Justin Moore will top the entertainment lineup at the National Cherry Festival in July.Continued ...
Traveling with instruments brings baggage
Deborah Collins cringes a little every time her son, Luke, boards an airplane to travel cross country from the family's home in California to school at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.Continued ...
New TSO season features first outdoor concert
The Traverse Symphony Orchestra will pull out all the stops for its 63rd season.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 04/04/2014
Leelanau players stage readings; smelt dinner; family band performs at Milliken; and more.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 04/04/2014
What's going on after dark:Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 04/04/2014
New this week — Captain America-The Winter Soldier: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.Continued ...
Prom dress shopping perilous for plus-size girls
Maria Giorno has nothing against long gowns with high waists and flowing fabric — dresses that are designed to camouflage curves on plus-size women.Continued ...
'Captain America' superhero role 'epic' for Mackie
For Anthony Mackie, landing the role of the Falcon in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" meant more than inking his dream deal with Marvel.Continued ...
- Friday, March 28, 2014
Pay to Play: Cover songs will cost you
Sing your heart out — as long as your heart contains original, uncopyrighted material, to the exclusion, forthwith, of the same old song and dance.Continued ...
Student photo contest highlights digital technology
Maija Szarapski began taking pictures and riding lessons at about the same time — and fell in love with them both.Continued ...
- Crisis in Ukraine focus of benefit lecture