Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | November 11, 2021

Arejay Hale loves Arizona. The Halestorm drummer — and brother to singer Lzzy Hale — revels in the warmth.

“I’m not a winter person at all,” he says buoyantly. “I love playing there. It’s one of the most uniquely beautiful states in Arizona. I love the scenery. I love the look of the desert and the sunsets are amazing.”

Hale will not be able to see most of it, however, because of Halestorm’s strict COVID-19 safety protocol.

“The only thing we’ve been doing on tour is nothing,” he says. “We’re trying to be safe and careful. We have a set COVID safety protocol. There’s no socializing, no going out to eat. We’re hanging out with each other in our bubble. It’s kind of boring.”

Halestorm is on tour with fellow women-led bands Evanescence and Plush. The jaunt comes to the Arizona Federal Theatre on Monday, November 15.

“It’s such a great, positive message and so encouraging,” he says. “It’s going to be a positive, female empowerment tour. It will inspire young girls to pick up the guitar, drumsticks or grab a mic. I love seeing more and more women coming out to the show and telling us, ‘I didn’t know I could do this.’”

For years, Hale says, the crowd was 90% guys. The tilt toward women is a pleasant surprise.

“Now, it’s almost split right down the middle, especially for the tours we’ve done with In this Moment, New Years Day and Stitched Up Heart,” he says about other bands fronted by women.

“There are so many amazing female rock bands out there. Evanescence is one of the OGs. They’re the kind of band that set it off for a lot of female-fronted bands, like us.”

Hale says Halestorm has become “great friends” with Evanescence, who is led by singer Amy Lee. The tour with Evanescence and Plush is Halestorm’s first since the COVID-19 pandemic started. It supports the single “Back from the Dead.”

“It was very weird to have that much time off,” Hale says. “We’re always out doing shows. If I have too much time at home, it’s hard. It was very weird adjusting to a ‘normal’ life. I think a lot of people are just so grateful to go out and see a show. I don’t think they would care what we play.”

That said, fans can expect “controlled chaos” during Halestorm’s set.

“There are moments in the show where we go off and improvise and jam together,” says Hale, who has homes in LA and Nashville. “It adds excitement for us.”

Evanescence w/Halestorm and Plush

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 15

Where: Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix

Cost: Tickets start at $49.50

Info: 602-379-2800, arizonafederaltheatre.com