"This is like my Olympic sport": See Lzzy Hale ace her first shows fronting Skid Row

Lzzy Hale on stage with Skid Row
(Image credit: YouTube)

Skid Row are now on their seventh singer, but however long Lzzy Hale chooses to stick around (her official role is 'acting front person' to play a few shows), they're very fortunate to have her on judging by her first two shows with the band at Walker's Bluff Casino Resort in Carterville, Illinois and Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa on 17 and 18 May.

Any Halestorm fan will know how this was going to go – Hale has serious pipes, and she proves it in the clip of Skid Row's classic 18 & Life below. 

Hale had big shoes to fill after former Skid Row vocalist Eric Grönwall announced he was stepping down from the band in March due to health issues after recording one studio album. But as the footage of the Halestorm vocalist-guitarist performing I Remember You showcases below, she's been ready for this for a long time.

In this role with the classic rockers, the Gibson signature artist is able to focus fully on vocals and leave the guitars to Skid Row's Dave 'Snake' Sabo and Scotti Hill.  But Hale was also able to introduce a third string to the guitar bow when she invited her Halestorm bandmate Joe Hottinger up at the Carterville show to perform Youth Gone Wild. 

Other songs in the set, including Slave To The Grind cut Quicksand Jesus, enabled Hale's incredible range to stretch out even further. She's able to combine more of an aggressive element to these songs' technical demands live.  

But one person who doesn't seem too pleased about this turn of events of classic vocalist Sebastian Bach, who responded to reports that he'd unfollowed Hale on social media following her announcement as the band's temporary vocalist, and also suggested they'd had even more vocalists after his tenure than officially reported. 

 “Maybe after 9 replacements of me, maybe I don’t want to read about number 10," he told Screamer in April. "Maybe it bugs me. Does anybody think about that?”

“How about me giving the best years of my life, to make the brand name Skid Row and then 10 people act like it’s theirs. But it’s not. So, maybe I don’t want to read about it. Everybody have fun with the best years of my life, but I’m still making rock n’ roll that can stand up to the best music I’ve ever made. So, that’s what I am concentrating on.”

For her part, Hale hasn't responded to that but is clearly delighted to be performing with a band that's been a key inspiration for her as a musician.  "I keep joking with the boys – thanks for opening up my VHS audition tape from like '96," she told Loudwire in the video interview shown above. "It finally made it through the mail – did I pass the audition?"

"For me it's full circle," she added later in the interview. "You have to understand that I'm a weird inbetweener. When I was 11-13, I was into eighties metal and Cinderella and Skid Row. But I was also getting into nu metal in the early 2000s, which was Disturbed and Sevendust and Tool. But the crazy thing about Skid Row is they were the ones that carried me over that bridge. Because they have the big choruses and everything, but they also had the albums that were very present with the times and the seedy underbelly that was the '90s that we were all just kind of feeling.

"So they bridged that gap for me. My teenage self would be like, 'What?!' It was like yesterday and now it's come to full fruition."

Hale has clearly put a great deal of prep into it – even for an artist of her calibre there's simply no other way to hit the demanding high notes at the end of 18 & Life. "This is like my Olympic sport," she joked. 

Lzzy Hale will play the following shows with Skid Row before resuming tour duties with Halestorm over the Summer:

May 31 - Sparks, NV (Nugget Grand Ballroom) W/ special guest opener Stephen Pearcy of RATT  

June 1 – Sacramento, CA (Hard Rock Live) W/ special guest opener Stephen Pearcy of RATT  

Check out more clips of her debut show with Skid Row below. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.