Dorothy, Lita Ford and Halestorm at the Egyptian Room
Three distinct phases of the powerfulness of women in rock were presented at the Egyptian Room of the Old National Centre in Indianapolis on 4/30/16. Dorothy, the newcomer, Lita Ford, the trailblazer and Halestorm, fronted by Lzzy Hale, the reigning Queen of rock, were on hand to show that women can rock just as hard as anyone in the largely male dominated world of rock n’ roll.
Dorothy opened up the show exuding the confident swagger of a seasoned veteran as she ran through her thirty minute set of a bluesy rock set featuring “Dark Nights”, “Gun In My Hand”, “Wicked Ones”, “Woman”, “After Midnight” and “Bang Bang Bang”. With her first full length album not due out til June of this year, Dorothy Martin is going to be an act to keep an eye on. Mesmerizing and charismatic, much in the way Stevie Nicks has always been, most eyes stayed on Dorothy as she strutted her way around the stage. Her band however, were no slouches either. Guitarist Mark Jackson shredded as bassist Gregg Cash (who was wearing the sickest Suicidal Tendencies shirt I’ve seen, instant credibility with me) and drummer Zac Morris kept a steady beat. In fact, Morris drummed with so much flare and energy he reminded me of Animal from the muppets.
Legendary Lita Ford, whose influence on rock knows no bounds, was up next. Lita, who blazed the way for women in rock at the age of 16 when she joined the Runaways, never disappoints when she plays live and is seriously one of the best, and probably one of the most underrated, guitarists you can hope to see. Lita’s career spanning set consisted of “Gotta Let Go”, “Larger Than Life”, “Living Like A Runway”, “Can’t Catch Me” a number dedicated to the late, great Lemmy Kilmeister. This song was broken up by an intense drum solo by the also legendary Bobby Rock. Bobby was hitting the drums so hard his kit, held together by chains, swayed to and fro teetering on the brink of collapsing. Once rejoined by the band, we were treated to the songs Lita is best known for: “Cherry Bomb” from the Runaways, “Close My Eyes Forever” with guitarist Patrick Kennison picking up the vocals originally recorded by Ozzy and closing out with “Kiss Me Deadly”.
Lzzy Hale then took to the stage on her own as she played the opening number “Bad Girls World” alone on a keyboard. While this number was somewhat ballady, with the words Lzzy F’N Hale stenciled on her keyboard stand you knew she was there to kick ass. She was then joined by her brother Arejay on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass. The set was high energy and the songs played included “Love Bites”, “Scream”, “Mz. Hyde”, “Dear Daughter”, a glorious cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Goldust Woman”, “Mayhem”, Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You” in which Dorothy joined Halestorm for vocals, “Freak Like Me” and several others.
The Halestorm set had one of the most epic drum solos I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Arejay started out simple enough with the typical solo as he addressed the crowd and got everyone worked up and also played with some seemingly yard long, oversized drum sticks. He then left his kit and showed up further down on the stage wearing a shoulder mounted marching band style drum kit. As he was playing this, Bobby Rock took over Arejay’s kit and the two continued the solo. Zac Morris then came out and took over the shoulder rig as Arejay joined Bobby back up on the kit and the solo continued with all three drummers. I’m sure someone has uploaded this to YouTube by now, so do yourself a favor and look it up.
If you get a chance, catch a Halestorm show next time around as sadly, the Indianapolis show was the last of the current tour. Once you’ve seen them, you will no doubt walk away a fan, or a much bigger fan if you’ve just never experienced the live show, as this is one of the best live bands going.