Halestorm has been a familiar face around Des Moines the last few years. The hard rock band has performed at Lazerfest and sold out shows at The House of Bricks. The band was constantly touring, playing songs from its 2009 self-titled debut. This week Halestorm is back to show off songs from the band’s new “The Strange Case Of…” at People’s.
The band, fronted by singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale, recently made history by becoming the first female-led act to top the Billboard active rock charts with the single “Love Bites (So Do I).” The band was honored to make history, but also a little surprised someone else hadn’t done it first.
“When we first got the news we were like ‘What?’ It didn’t seem possible that someone like Evanescence or Joan Jett or Pat Benatar didn’t do it first,” bassist Josh Smith said. “It felt like a nod of approval from people in radio and our fans, like they do believe in (Hale) and us. We were absolutely honored.”
Hale and her brother, drummer Arejay Hale, started Halestorm while they were still teenagers, with their father playing bass. Smith stepped in for the elder Hale in 2004, breaking up the family dynamic a bit, along with guitarist Joe Hottinger.
But only a bit. The members of Halestorm have played hundreds of shows a year since then, spending nearly all their time on the road. The Hales are blood, but Smith said he and Hottinger feel like they’re also part of the family.
“They made it clear that they’re related, but the band is family. That’s been our mantra since the beginning,” Smith said. “For most of this time we’ve lived within 3 feet of each other. Like in any family, there’s headbutting, but that’s not going to break up this family. You figure it out and keep moving on.”
Halestorm got a bit of an unexpected surge earlier this year when the band’s song “Here’s to Us” was performed by Lea Michele on “Glee.” The appearance prompted Halestorm to bump up the release of “The Strange Case Of…” so new fans could be exposed to new material instead of just Halestorm’s three-year- old debut album.
Both the Halestorm and “Glee” versions of “Here’s to Us” climbed the iTunes charts, and Google analytics meant they could keep track of all the “Who is this band?”-style searches. Halestorm has only played a few of the new songs on this headlining tour, but they are already seeing different types of fan at shows.
The new album also means that Halestorm has a wealth of new material to play live. After three years of playing songs off the debut record, fresh meat for the live shows has them hungry to perform.
“When we started playing ‘Love Bites’ and ‘American Boys’ live it was a little selfish on our part, because it was cool to throw some new stuff in with the old tunes,” Smith said. “With YouTube, there are no secrets. You can play it once and if people like it they’ll know the lyrics by the next time they see you. We’re playing a lot of the album, and we’re not sick of it yet. People coming to these shows are getting a lot of new stuff.”
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: People’s Court, 216 Court Ave.
Cost: $16.50 in advance, $18 at the door.