The heat is still going strong, but that couldn’t keep the crowds away on Sunday night. Always a Kansas City favorite, HALESTORM rolled into town, with special guests LILITH CZAR, and THE WARNING. The co-headlining tour with THE PRETTY RECKLESS became a headlining tour, as TPR cancelled, due to one in their rank contracting COVID. THE PRETTY RECKLESS similarly had to cancel an appearance at ROCKFEST a few years earlier due to illness. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever see them live.
With three bands on the bill, all fronted by women, it was empowering for sure, with Juliet Simms, singer for LILITH CZAR, exclaiming, “The men are in the kitchen!” The band dominated the stage, for their all-too-brief set of six songs, which included a STEVIE NICKS cover of Age of Seventeen (with obligatory tambourine). I would love to have seen more from LC, and with an open space on the bill, there’s room to pad out with an extra song or two, but that just gives me another reason to explore the song catalog more deeply.
Taking the stage next, direct from Mexico, were sisters Dani, Paulina, and Alejandra, collectively known as THE WARNING. I wasn’t familiar with them previously, but if a band is invited to be part of the 30th Anniversary of The Black Album, you know they’re something special.
The sound produced by just three musicians is nothing short of amazing, and the girls have skills well beyond their years. Their original material is well worth seeking out. I quickly bought their EP Mayday once their set ended.
I know I’m not the only one who was blown away by these talented women, as nearly the entire audience, which was in the thousands by now, gave a well-deserved standing ovation.
Rounding out the evening was, of course, HALESTORM. No strangers to Kansas City, HALESTORM has appeared at ROCKFEST several times before, as well as headlining their own show at The Midland. LZZY was quick to tell us that Kansas City is one of the best rock cities in the country, and as often as they play here, it’s hard to disagree. They always get a warm reception.
HALESTORM kicked things off with the title track from their latest album Back from the Dead. A fitting opening for any band, after almost two years without touring. With a stepped up production, of lights, and elevated platforms, and a set of 17 songs, the band hit hard, and played long. Nothing was held back, and it was clear the band was having the time of their lives on stage, and the love from the crowd was clear.
HALESTORM, with LILITH CZAR, and THE WARNING gave us a long night of great music. While there are those who were understandably disappointed that TPR had to drop, and may not have shown up as a result, anyone who was there would be hard-pressed to be disappointed. HALESTORM never disappoints, and I look forward to seeing what’s next from LILITH CZAR, and THE WARNING.
Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin