Skid Row

Photos and Review by Raven Divito

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm teams up with Skid Row to finish the final four remaining shows of their tour

Skid Row is an American rock band formed in 1986 with original members Sebastian Bach on vocals, guitarists Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill, bassist Rachel Bolan, and drummer Robert James. The band achieved commercial success in the late ’80s and early ’90s with its first two albums, Skid Row in 1989 (self-titled) and Slave to the Grind in 1991, both of which were certified multi-platinum and reached number one on the Billboard 200 list. By 1996, the band had sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Skid Row’s most popular hits include “18 and Life,” “I Remember You,” “Youth Gone Wild,” “Monkey Business,” “Slave to the Grind,” and “Wasted Time.”

In 1996, Skid Row found themselves without a singer and drummer due to irreconcilable differences. The band has since gone through several drummers and nine lead singers, with Lzzy Hale being the tenth replacement due to health issues that have plagued their current singer, Erik Gronwall. Gronwall joined Skid Row in March 2022 and debuted on their first studio album in sixteen years, *The Gang’s All Here*.

The three original members, Bolan, Hill, and Sabo, acquired the hard-thumping drummer Rob Hammersmith in 2010.

When Sebastian Bach caught wind that Hale was teaming up with the band to finish out their tour, he unfriended her on Facebook. Bach seemingly can’t let go of past differences, and the buzz is that there will never be a reunion of the original members.

In the scheme of it all, this is quite frivolous, as no one is stopping the unstoppable Hale or the hard-driving force of Skid Row.

Now dubbed “Skid Lzzy,” Hale has brought her ferocious force-of-nature whirlwind storm to the legendary rockers of Skid Row. Hale wasn’t stepping in to replace another singer, as she has full-time commitments with her band Halestorm. She was elated at the opportunity to collaborate with one of the bands that influenced her in her youth. Hale called the short-term gig a “full-circle moment,” telling Loudwire that Skid Row “bridged the gap” between her love of ’80s metal, ’90s, and 2000s nu-metal and alt-metal.

The evening was a nostalgic one, with the treat of Stephen Pearcy of Ratt as the opening act. Pearcy hadn’t played in the Bay Area for five years, and on this special occasion, the band celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1984 debut album, Out of the Cellar. This album was an immediate success, with wide airplay on the radio and heavy rotation on MTV with the singles “Round and Round,” “Wanted Man,” and “Lack of Communication.” Pearcy and his band put on an incredible show, fulfilling our long craving for a live performance.

Without a doubt, the main draw for the evening was clearly the addition of Hale on vocals for Skid Row. I’ve caught their past shows with different lead singers and probably wouldn’t have attended this event if it wasn’t for Hale. You could feel the intensity and excitement between sets as the crowd eagerly awaited the headliner. The front-row seated fans were allowed access to stand against the stage, which was great for them but not so much for the photographers, as there was no barricade that evening.

Skid Row wasted no time in rocking us hard, opening with “Slave to the Grind” off their second self-titled album. Hale stormed on stage in her red leather pants, black studded leather jacket, and red captain’s cap with the mic in her hand as she laid into the lyrics. Halestorm covered this song in 2011 on their ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP, and this was an opportunity for die-hard fans to connect the lyrics and the band’s intertwining. Hale is a mover and shaker on stage, constantly steadfast from stage right to left, interacting with the fans, reaching out and touching them, as well as dropping to her knees and belting one out. You could sense the happiness among the band members as they were full of smiles all night long, matching Hale’s high energy. It was a powerful performance as they pumped out hit after hit, covering their catalog in depth.

A special treat in the evening came with the Ramones cover of “Psycho Therapy.” This song got the crowd churning and showcased Bolan on bass with a vocal highlight. All in all, this collaboration was a success for the fans and band, creating a heartfelt dream opportunity for Hale to express her rock style with one of her most influential bands. She grabbed the opportunity by the horns, showcasing her flair and rock star moves as she dug deep to satisfy both Skid Row and Halestorm fans alike.

Some of the biggest hits played were “Big Guns,” “18 & Life,” and “I Remember You.” The outstanding three-song encore featured “Riot Act,” “The Gang’s All Here,” and the final song of the evening, “Youth Gone Wild,” where we were surprised with a special appearance by Halestorm guitarist Joe Hottinger to thicken the sound and end the evening with a thunderous finale.

The question remains, will Hale join up with Skid Row again for future shows? No one knows, but for now, she is in the studio finishing up her newest Halestorm album and then hitting the road. You can find out more information here: Halestorm and Skid Row