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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Burn Halo

Live in Chicago, IL in February 2009

Review by Travis Jensen

The sights and sounds of a live metal show is certainly enough to get the blood flowing for just about any able-bodied youth. Even more so when the show is in Chicago, where some of the best fans of metal music thrive, and come together to generate the type of energy that cannot be described…it is something that must be experienced in person. I had the pleasure to see Burn Halo at one of my favorite venues, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

Whenever you are the opening band, you have to expect certain obstacles to overcome. The first is the fact that people are just getting in and settled into their seats with their first beer of the night. This means that everyone who purchased a ticket may not be there yet. In my estimation, though, there were a lot more people already there than I had anticipated. Yes, this is a fresh band touring with their debut, self-titled album, but you wouldn’t have known that when they started to play. The crowd was instantly invigorated with energy as a direct result of the incredible amount of power that shredded through the amplifiers. My attention was drawn directly from checking out the skeezers to the stage as soon as the first crashing combination of incredible noise rang out.

The next challenge the band had to face was the fact that they had a small window of time to impress the crowd with, so what tunes to play? Granted, the debut album only has twelve tunes, so not a huge selection t pick from, of course. However, in the case of Burn Halo, it comes down to quality and not quantity. With songs like “Save Me,” “So Addicted,” “Gasoline” and of course, “Dirty Little Girl” which features Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold on guitar, it is hard to go wrong.

One of the up-sides that any young band possesses is being young, of course. This not only enables a group to easily relate to their audience, because the identities and similarities of the band are at the same level as the fans. This also explains the reason why the members of the group have such an impressive on-stage personality. James Hart has a way of taking command of the stage as well as the audience that pursues him as he covers all four corners of the stage, almost taunting the audience to get as crazy as humanly possible. The rest of the group consists of Aaron Boheler on bass, Joey Cunha on lead guitar, Allen Wheeler on rhythm guitar, and Ryan Folden on drums. They help to maintain a steady, controlled series of thrashing stage moves that contribute to the success of a well-oiled machine. The backing vocals of this foursome seems to be the perfect fit for Hart, as at no time whatsoever did he have to look over his shoulder for anything but perfection. Burn Halo is currently on tour with some of metal’s best such as Papa Roach, Buck Cherry and of course, Avenged Sevenfold. With a line-up like this, you are always guaranteed a great show that is worth the handful of cash you had to pay to get in.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at
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