It was a cold, bitter evening in Birmingham as I made my way to The Asylum for my last gig of the year. The night’s line-up consisted of Platinum Selling Heavy metallers Bad Wolves who were touring with 4-piece rock act Hollowstar. After the freezing walk to the venue, I rushed into the warmth where I waited for the first act to come on stage. While I was waiting, the energy in the room was slowly building as the room was filling. All around were laughs and cheers as the anticipation for the night to begin hit its boiling point as the lights dimmed and the first act hit the stage.
Hollowstar came out to one of the loudest receptions I’ve seen for an opening band in a good while and within the first three songs alone I saw why. From fantastic vocals, great guitar and drum work and some substantial stage presence, the crowd ate up the straightforward Rock ‘N’ Roll set. In between songs the band kept us entertained and let the audience in on the joy with an announcement that one of the guitarists had recently become a father as well as the band’s frontman announcing he was soon to become a dad. My personal highlights were a new track “Price of Fame” and a great cover of “simple man”. From laughs and love to a great performance, Hollowstar is undoubtedly a band to watch.
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/hollowstaruk
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/
After the changeover, the main event hit the stage. Bad Wolves are a band I’ve heard nothing but praise for over the last few years but until the show, I’ve never had the chance to check them out. That is a complete disservice on my part and this set highlights that for me, with a mix of incredible stage presence and some damn good Heavy Metal that managed to effortlessly blend elements of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Heavy Metal and Metalcore into an incredibly unique sound that helps the band stand out so much more within the industry. The crowd absolutely loved the performance from start to finish with vocalist DL having them in the palm of his hand, with cheers and applause not stopping once. The personal highlights for me were “Lifeline”, “No Masters” and the incredible cover of The Cranberry’s “Zombie”.
As the night came to a close, I, along with the rest of the crowd, slowly made our way out of the venue to head home. In awe of the performance I had just seen (easily in the top 5 I’ve ever seen in the Asylum), I spent the walk to my bus just thinking about all the shows I’ve had the pleasure of attending, all the bands I’ve had the pleasure of photographing and felt proud of the year I’ve had. An incredible gig to end the year on.
Review & Photography: Dan Stapleton
Birmingham based portraiture photographer
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ABOUT BAD WOLVES
Expectations never mattered to Bad Wolves. Instead, the Los Angeles band fused unpredictable metallic intensity and impressive instrumental proficiency to arena-ready hooks, transforming from underdogs into elite platinum-certified hard rock contenders without compromise or apology. Since 2017, the core group—John Boecklin [drums], Doc Coyle [lead guitar, backing vocals], Chris Cain [rhythm guitar], and Kyle Konkiel [bass, backing vocals]—have consistently subverted expectations and accomplished the seemingly impossible. In 2018, the band earned a platinum plaque, topped iTunes, and ruled Active Rock at #1 for three weeks straight. This momentum also propelled their debut album, Disobey, to a Top 25 debut on the Billboard Top 200. In between performing to sold out audiences on multiple continents with heavyweights such as Five Finger Death Punch and Megadeth, 2019’s N.A.T.I.O.N. yielded their fifth straight #1 at Active Rock, “Sober,” and brought their total stream tally past the half-billion mark—unprecedented for a modern rock band. Not to mention, LoudWire hailed it among the “50 Best Rock Albums of 2019” as Billboard and Consequence of Sound chronicled their rise. In the midst of 2021, Bad Wolves welcomed Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz—previously of The Acacia Strain—as lead vocalist, ushering in a new chapter with their third full-length offering, Dear Monsters, [Better Noise Music], led by the single “Lifeline.”
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