Great Lakes Naval Base present Rock, White & Blue
The Naval base has been having its annual fireworks display for years and for years now, have incorporated music in this two day event. This event is free to the public and each year, with local radio station 95 WILL Rock, bring well known bands to play. With several other activities going on that include carnival rides, paintball, the firecracker 5K run, crafts and plenty of food vendors, offering a great selection. Nothing gets better than celebrating our country’s independence with some good ole rock and roll and being on a base where our men and women train to be in the Navy. With the severe heat going on in the country and cities canceling their fireworks due to drought, many families came to the naval base to see them in a controlled environment.
Bands Black Oxygen, Emphatic, New Medicine, Taproot, Hurt, and to end the night, Halestorm played on the Main Stage. This year was a little different as they ended the night at 11pm with fireworks; in the past they ended around 9:30. This allowed for more bands to play, another new feature was the VIP area that took the front of the stage and went back about 75 feet. While there were some complaints about this new setup, I think it’s a work in progress and needs to have some kinks worked out.
I was able to catch Taproot putting on a killer set as they always do and one of those bands that you can’t put your finger on why they have not grown further than their first years. I think it’s time for fans to take another look and support this band.
Another band that should be bigger that played was Hurt. I will be the first to admit, when I first heard them I was like lukewarm to them a few years back, but each time I see them live I am more and more impressed with the show they put on and now enjoy seeing them when they come to town. You can also check out their new album The Crux and their website for all the latest news http://www.hurtband.com
Halestorm finished up the night with a no pun intended – bang. By this time, the festival ground became filled with lawn chairs and fans packed in as close as they could to see one of those most gifted voices in rock, Lzzy Hale. Halestorm is a band that never seems to rest and is always on the road, be it in North America or overseas, reaching fans on a very personal level. Band members Arejay Hale, Josh Smith, and Joe Hottinger all showcase amazing skills that make this band fan favorites.
I been lucky enough to see this band start their rise to the top and am amazed at how they have not peaked but just keep growing stronger and with shows being better than the previous. Playing hits like, Love Bites (So Do I) off their new album, The Strange Case Of… one of the best new albums of 2012, along with Mz. Hyde, Rock Show, Familiar Taste of Poison, and their new single, I Miss the Misery. The highlight came when Lzzy sat down at the piano and played Break In, which sounded so beautiful and lyrics that felt very real. She followed this up with a song off their bonus CD, Private Parts.
They ended the night with I Get Off and the rock anthem, Here’s to Us. Halestorm will be one of those bands that reach levels of Rock Star status unseen in years and separate themselves with connecting with fans as if they were still touring as they do now. As they walked off, the firework show started, ending a perfect night of Patriotism, Music and family fun.
Be sure to check out Halestorm on the Carnival of Madness tour this late summer and if you’re in the Northern IL and WI border, do not miss this festival at the Great Lakes Naval Base next 4th of July.
Review & Pictures by Peter Lizano