Lzzy Hale, lead singer for Grammy-winning rock band Halestorm, performs at the York Fair Saturday night. For more photos from the show go here.
Lzzy Hale, lead singer for Grammy-winning rock band Halestorm, performs at the York Fair Saturday night. For more photos from the show go here. (John Pavoncello Photo)

Fifteen years ago, Lzzy Hale, lead singer for Grammy-winning rock band Halestorm, was getting her start in Red Lion.

But back then, she had no way of knowing that in 2013 thousands of people would rock out to her music at the York Fair, screaming her band's name.

Saturday night's Halestorm concert rocked the crowd with both its blunt lyrics and emotional delivery. Hale, along with her brother, drummer Arejay; guitarist Joe Hottinger; and bassist Josh Smith, make up the rock band.

And when Hale took the stage, she wasn't shy about expressing her feelings about her hometown.

"It is so good to be home," she said. "There are so many feelings. This is such a special day for me."

Her American idol: Like a puppeteer, Hale held the crowd by her fingertips. Without her guitar strapped around her waist, she paraded across the stage, yelling and singing in her signature gritty way, never failing to pump up the crowd.

"So growing up in Pennsylvania, I got an introduction to some pretty cool bands -- one of which was Cinderella," she said in a raspy voice.

"You look like Cinderella," one fan yelled.

Perhaps more like a rock 'n' roll version of Cinderella -- complete with aviator sunglasses, tight black pants, high heels and red lipstick -- Hale has her share of admirers.

Harley Langley, 26, of Manchester couldn't contain his excitement when thinking about Hale.

"I would marry that girl," he said.

A 13-year-old Hale probably wouldn't know she'd also perform with the man who inspired her to pick up a guitar in the first place: Tom Keifer from Cinderella.

In a surprise performance, Keifer joined Hale and the band to sing "Nobody's Fool," and Hale was obviously ecstatic.

"I can't wipe this stupid smile off my face," she said.

The fans: The York Fair crowd was a mix of longtime fans and casual listeners.

Brittani Ryan, 24, of Ephrata, knew of Halestorm before the band's success, she said.

"I heard of them when they were still underground, before they were popular," she said.

And Zachary Ringler, 14, of Manchester came to see Halestorm and Tom Keifer for the first time.

"I think it's pretty cool, especially seeing Tom Keifer," he said. "This is my first time seeing anyone from Cinderella."

He was hanging with his father by the mosh pit, he said, before Halestorm took the stage.

"I'm very excited to see Halestorm play," Ringler said. "I think they're gonna do really good."

'Here's To Us': Hale's brother, drummer Arejay, entertained the crowd with his boundless energy: During a solo, he performed acrobatic leaps out of his seat and tossed his drumsticks into the crowd and proceeded to play with his hands.

"I love you so much, York, Pa.," he said. "... You guys know how to make the drummer feel loved. I will be your drummer forever."

After playing songs such as "Love Bites (So Do I)," "I Miss the Misery" and "Daughters of Darkness," the siblings came together and held up red Solo cups in a toast to the crowd.

"It's been a long journey, man," Lzzy said. "And it's only just beginning. Here's to us, Pennsylvania."

The band played fan-favorite "Here's To Us" to a crowd that sang and danced along. Nearing the end of her emotional performance, a single black tear seemed to have streamed down Lzzy's cheek.

When reflecting on all the band has accomplished -- from traveling the world to winning a Grammy -- she said credit is due to the fans who were there from the beginning.

"Without you, we wouldn't be who we are," she said.

--Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.