The Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa, Florida welcomed the holiday cheer with 98Rock‘s “Not So Silent Night” on Tuesday November 30, 2021. Silent Night?, not even close as the show included two of the premiere female vocalists in modern day rock. The arena’s vibe was electric as the crowd settled into their seats for one of the greatest shows of the year! Evanescence and Halestorm with special guest, and hometown artist Lilith Czar.
The festivities were set to start at 7:30pm with Lilith Czar taking the stage. Lilith Czar had empowered her own schedule and at around 7:20pm she took the stage and started to recite poetry. The poem is the intro to her debut release of Lilith Czar, Created From Filth and Dust. Previously known as Juliet Simms, the lady who came in as the runner up on The Voice in 2011 and signed a record deal with Universal Records. After being jerked around by record labels about their creative differences, and the exorcism of some personal demons, Juliet Simms metamorphosed into the empowered Lilith Czar. Quoted from an interview in Papermag.com, “Lilith represents ultimate female strength and outspokenness and rebellion and going against the norm.”
Her set started with “Feed My Chaos” which lyrics encompasses the rebirth of a highly talented singer songwriter. Lilith Czar is on a mission and will not be denied on her terms. Get out and see her at the nearest tour stop you will be mesmerized by the performance.
Lilith Czar – Vocals/Guitar
Lindsay Martin – Drums
Evan Potter – Guitar
Justus Dixon – Bass
1.) Intro Poem
2.) Feed My Chaos
3.) 100 Little Dreams (Juliet Simms cover)
5.) Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks cover)
Lzzy Hale entered the stage dressed in a plaid skirt, black shirt, a black leather jacket, with bright red lips. The audience exploded the minute they saw her entering the stage. Missing were the signature seven inch stilettos that towers this 5’8″ beauty over the crowd. I have seen Halestorm once before and this seemed to be a different Lzzy, she was all smiles from the first song to the last and appeared to be deeply enjoying herself. Does she still qualify for being the fierce entertainer? You bet your ass she does! Sporting two Grammys for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2013, and Best Rock Performance in 2019, Halestorm is only getting warmed up. Their set started with the title track, “Back From the Dead” from their 2021 release, Back From The Dead. The first five songs were typical Halestorm in your face, but then a change of pace came with Amy Lee joining Lzzy on stage to perform the song they re-recorded in 2020, “Break In”. The two lady’s sang in beautiful harmony. As much as I admire and respect Lzzy’s reputation as “The Scream Queen”, I really love to hear her range and tone when she brings it down a notch.
The song “Amen” started to bring the energy back up a little as it gave way to the amazing drum solo by Arejay Hale, Lzzy’s younger brother. Now I have seen numerous drum solos in my 40+ years of concert coverage and nothing much surprises or impresses me about a drum solo except maybe John Bohnam, but Arejay’s rendition is over the top as well. He uses drum sticks the size of baseball bats! (Just a slight exaggeration). His drum solo is one of a kind! After that display of showmanship and artistry, Halestorm put the petal to the metal and finished the show strong with “I Miss the Misery”.
As a photographer, Halestorm is one of my favorite bands to photograph. Lzzy Hale is so photogenic and just eats the lens, Joe Hottinger and Josh Smith always bring a great pose or two, and Arejay is a never ending array of expressions and poses. I am envious, well maybe jealous of their current tour photographer Judy Won as she gets to see this performance night in and night out. Lzzy Hale is a great vocalist and performer and Halestorm will probably bring down a few more Grammys in the future. A can’t miss band!
Lzzy Hale – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, piano
Arejay Hale – drums, backing vocals
Joe Hottinger – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Josh Smith – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
1.) Back From the Dead
2.) Love Bites (So Do I)
3.) Black Vultures
4.) I Get Off
5.) I Am the Fire
6.) Break In (with Amy Lee)
8.) Drum Solo
9.) Freak Like Me
11.) I Miss the Misery
At around 9:15pm the stage was set and the anticipation for the night’s headliner had the audience at the edge of their seats. Could the night get any better? That question was immediately answered after a brief recorded introduction, a count down appeared 3-2-1-0 on a screen high above the stage. Then a large orange circle much like the rising sun illuminated. The black silhouette of Amy Lee appeared in the center of the orb just above drummer Will Hunt as she began the song “Made of Stone” from the band’s self titled 2011 release. Amy Lee has the voice of an angel with her mezzo-soprano vocal range. Her tone and pitch are just soothing and beautiful making her a standout and crowd favorite.
I had seen the last tour in 2018 with a symphony orchestra. That show was not the visual production that was on display at the Amalie Arena on this Tuesday night. The full stage lighting was perfect and everyone in the capacity crowd was loving it. “Going Under” brought the audience to it’s feet as Amy showed off her vocal range and power. Amy bounced between the synthesizer and grand piano during the next ten songs or so. She was at the riser on the synthesizer and asked the crowd. “Do you know the next song?” which brought a roar from the seats. She then cut into “Call Me When You’re Sober,” a song she wrote for, or about her ex-partner Shuan Morgan of the band Seether after their separation due to his substance abuse.
Soon it was time for Lzzy Hale to return the earlier favor and she emerged on stage to a thunderous ovation as she smiled at the crowd while flanking Amy Lee at the grand piano center stage. The two ladies sang the Linkin Park cover of “Heavy”, switching the leads back and forth. A true highlight of the show. The set ended with my favorite Evanescence song “Bring Me to Life”. The fans stood and cheered, bringing the band out for a two song encore. Reflecting on the evening, I would be amiss without mentioning the monstrous drumming by Will Hunt Throughout the show. You were killing it buddy! I also would have to say the entire show, the music, the performers, and the production were the best I had seen in 2021! All three vocalists were just phenomenal in their performances.
1.) (Artifact/The Turn)Broken Pieces Shine
2.) Made of Stone
3.) Take Cover
4.) Going Under
5.) The Game Is Over
6.) Lose Control
7.) The Change
9.) Wasted on You
10.) Part of Me
11.) End of the Dream (w/ Synthesis intro)
12.) Far from Heaven
13.) (Interlude (Video)) Better Without You
14.) Call Me When You’re Sober
16.) Heavy (Linkin Park cover) (with Lzzy Hale)
17.) Use My Voice
18.) Bring Me to Life
19.) My Immortal
20.) Blind Belief