Killswitch Engage are widely seen as one of the progenitors of the metalcore movement (before all those newer bands jumped on the bandwagon)--but to us New Englanders, they're hometown heroes. So it was a big deal when KSE came to town on May 7th to play before a sold-out audience at Boston's House of Blues on the final date of their co-headlining run with Anthrax, dubbed the "Killthrax" tour. Rounding out this lineup was supporting band The Devil Wears Prada, and opener Code Orange.
Code Orange got the night off to a good start, playing their dissonant, crushingly heavy brand of metal. I've seen Code Orange before and to be honest I found myself missing the feel of seeing them play a small hole-in-the-wall venue--they sounded great but the aggressive, visceral nature of their music didn't translate as powerfully in this setting.
Up next, Chicago's The Devil Wears Prada played a set that featured some of the heavier tracks from their discography--which makes sense given the lineup. However, this meant that we only got to hear a few tracks off their latest album Transit Blues, "To the Key of Evergreen," "Daughter," and "Worldwide." The rest of the set was chock-full of fan-favorites, including "Assistant to the Regional Manager," "Outnumbered," and "Mammoth." The audience seemed really into it throughout their performance and was definitely ready for Anthrax by the end.
Anthrax easily had the best production of the night--with a cool stage setup complete with rear risers and dazzling lights. Musically they were phenomenal. Their energetic set included classics like "Among the Living," "Caught in a Mosh," and "I am the Law," amongst many other great tracks. Frontman Joey Belladonna sounded flawless as he wailed and belted out the lyrics to each song--despite his age, he doesn't miss a note! All in all, they put on a great performance that would give Killswitch a run for their money.
At last, to much cheering from the crowd, Killswitch Engage emerged one by one onto the stage to put on a 17-song set that spanned their full discography. Lead guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was first to come out to the stage as the opening notes of "Hate by Design" rang out and he jabbed his hands at the message on his t-shirt, which read "Impeach Goodell." Their set would go on to include the witty banter and fan-favorites that one would expect at a KSE show--including "My Last Serenade," "Breathe Life," "The New Awakening," "A Bid Farewell," "The End of Heartache," "My Curse," and "Rose of Sharyn." The biggest surprise was the appearance of Belladonna to help perform "Holy Diver" at the end of their set. Overall, fans were treated to a great show. Although this tour is over, you can catch Killswitch Engage on a couple select dates this summer (see below), with perhaps more to be announced.
Killswitch Engage (w/ All That Remains, Within the Ruins, Volumes):
06/22 - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom - Hampton Beach, NH
06/24 - Mountain Park - Holyoke, MA