Badass Women of Rock Tear Up Council Bluff’s Stir Cove

Headliner Halestorm performs the sold-out show at the Harrah's Stir Cove Summer Concert Series in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Photo credit: Robert A. Chadwick

Sara Alexander, Writer
Robert A. Chadwick, Photographer

Halestorm, In This Moment, and New Years Day tore up Council Bluff’s Stir Cove Friday night (August 10). The tour brought something not often seen in rock music, and never to this magnitude: A complete lineup of rock bands led by badass women.

Headliner, Halestorm, kicked off their set with “Skulls,” a track from their brand new album, Vicious. (If you haven’t yet read our interview with the band on Vicious, you can do so HERE.) The band played a total of seven songs throughout the evening from Vicious. (“Skulls,” “Do Not Disturb,” “The Silence,” “Black Vultures,” “Vicious,” “Uncomfortable,” and “Killing Ourselves to Live” in case you were wondering.) Each song translated extremely well live, which was actually one of the band’s intentions while creating the album.

The band succeeded in bringing new life to earlier hits as well. “I Miss the Misery” featured an extended ending with a guitar solo and improvisation you just don’t get on studio recordings. Halfway through, the rhythm section took a break and front woman Lzzy Hale remained with guitarist Joe Hottinger to serenade the crowd with stunning vocals on one of their new songs, “The Silence.”

Drummer Arejay Hale delighted and humored fans during the time when (lets be honest) many people leave to go get another drink: the drum solo. He busted out a pair of drum sticks the size of baseball bats and played just as flawlessly as if they were regular size.

Lzzy gave a shout out to the women of In This Moment and New Years Day, “I’m proud to be a woman and am so proud to be surrounding myself with some vicious vicious ladies,” before ending the night with glasses raised to the sky, “Here’s to Us.”

In This Moment played prior to Halestorm, and brought one of the most entertaining and impressive live productions in all of rock music. Front woman, Maria Brink, who kindly introduced herself as, “I am Maria Brink, and I am madly in love with you,” dazzled concertgoers with Lady Gaga-like costumes, striking theatrics, and masked backup dancers known as the Blood Girls. Their set included an eerily cool cover of “In The Air Tonight” that’d probably make Phil Collins’ skin crawl.

New Years Day kicked off the evening for rock fans. Front woman Ash Costello expressed gratitude early on saying, “I need to thank you guys right here right now for supporting females in rock music.” She owned the stage and even convinced fans to join her in a “ritual to the metal gods,” specifically the late “Vinnie fucking Paul” of Pantera.

Halestorm, one of the most hardest working and frequently touring bands in rock, showed they have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. All three front ladies proved they rock even harder than the fellas (not that that was ever a question).

Look out. The women are taking over.


In This Moment

New Years Day

All images © 2018 Robert Chadwick Photography.