Concert Review: Lacey Sturm at The House of Blues

Written by on February 13, 2017

Concert: Lacey Sturm, Letters From the Fire, Stitched Up Heart and Palisades
Location: House of Blues
Date: Feb. 7 2017

It’s been some time since I’ve been to a concert and this particular tour, featuring headliner Lacey Sturm, was interesting, both good and, well medicore. I don’t say bad because there was nothing bad about the show, rather some things that just somewhat missed the bullseye of being in the “good” category. But, let’s maintain our attention to the good things about the show.

Letters From the Fire play a show at The House of Blues in Cleveland on Feb. 7. Photo by: Adrian Leuthauser

The first two opening acts, Letters From the Fire and Stitched Up Heart, were led by two power hungry female vocalists. San Francisco natives, Letters From the Fire, was lead by Alexa Kabaz. She carried a stage presence that is sometimes missed by long-time performers. Though the crowd was minimal, she led the crowd into a semi-fiery excitement. As the opening act though, that’s kind of what you’re supposed to do. You’ll get everyone somewhat excited about the show because they no longer have to hear “Hotline Bling” or any other radio hit song over the venue speakers. Kabazie had vocals that were eerily reminiscent of post All We Know is Falling, Hayley Williams and pre Riot! Williams.

Stitched Up Heart play a show at The House of Blues in Cleveland on Feb. 7. Photo by: Adrian Leuthauser

Second act, Stitched Up Heart was also led by yet another female vocalist, Alecia “Mixi” Demner. The band, born in Los Angeles, helped bring the crowd off their feet. Demner was heavily involved with the crowd, getting close and personal with different fans and fist bumping people as she sang throughout the evening. Again, Demner had an excellent stage presence that goes amiss in other long time performers. Her vocals hit the mark as her melodies rang throughout the venue. Still, you can’t help but to compare her to Williams, however she set herself apart by being a little heavier on the attempted scream vocals.

Palisades play a show at The House of Blues in Cleveland on Feb. 7. Photo by: Adrian Leuthauser

The third band of the night was Palisades. To be entirely honest, it was weird that they had such a short set –one of the things that was disappointing– especially given the fact that they recently released a new, self-titled album, on Rise Records. Hailing from New Jersey, Palisades brought the crowd to an entire new level. They made the venue feel much larger than it actually was. Their electronica and metalcore sound fused together seamlessly as scream vocals punched you in the face in one minute and in the next they’re patching it up with their soft, almost R&B like vocals. It’s an interesting mix to hear as that isn’t necessarily something that is blended together frequently. Nonetheless, their heavy breakdowns and catchy lyrics had the entire crowd swimming with each other as bodies jumped up and down with each face-hitting guitar riff. Again, I would have loved to see more of them, especially material from their new album, but it is what it is.

Palisades play a show at The House of Blues in Cleveland on Feb. 7. Photo by:  Adrian Leuthauser

After Palisades hit their final note, the setup began for Lacey Sturm. Granted, the setup did not have to take long because, well because even though it was in The House of Blues, the show wasn’t in their main room. Actually, it was in a room off to the side that I didn’t even know existed. This was the other thing about the show that wasn’t great. Since the venue was small, the barricade was a few inches from the stage but as the bands came on and off, it ended up being mere inches from kissing the stage. Because of that, there was a lack of an actual photo pit. For everyone else, the show was perhaps fine, but trying to take pictures and you’re stuck off to the side of the stage, with only one angle? Again, it was pleasant. Luckily there were only two things that threw me off but it didn’t ruin the evening. I mean, how could it? The entire evening was a power trip of pure, powerful females singing and performing better than some bands I’ve seen in the past that were led by men.

Lacey Sturm plays a show at The House of Blues in Cleveland on Feb. 7. Photo by: Adrian Leuthauser

Once Sturm hit the stage, it was a storm in the crowd. Sturm knew how to handle the crowd as well, especially considering the fact that she’s been performing with Flyleaf when they first started out. Yeah, I didn’t realize that she was the original vocalist for Flyleaf until more than halfway through their set. I knew I recognized her voice but damn, Flyleaf was right up there with their self-titled album. After I connected the dots, really there were only two to connect, it made sense as to why her stage presence blew me away. She was everywhere from being in the audience’s faces, to kneeling on the stage as she bellowed out such clean, scream vocals. Sturm’s crew was just as active, jumping on and off the bass drum to just spinning like tops. The entire set was a spectacle but again, what kept my attention was Sturm’s vocals. You can tell she has grown a significant amount since Flyleaf and, though some of the songs are definitely reminiscent of Flyleaf, she was still able to make them their own. Though Sturm probably has a good ways to go before more people will recognize her, but she knows exactly what she is doing and she knows how to get there. Keep an eye out from her because I guarantee you’ll hear a lot more from her and sooner or later, will be selling out shows and will be able to play the main stage in The House of Blues.


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