Initially slated for the Egyptian Room, the March 23 Killswitch Engage show was moved over to the Deluxe, a move that put people shoulder to shoulder and made the temperatures rise into triple digits. The sauna-like heat didn’t matter to most because very soon Killswitch Engage would be on stage and the excitement and pent up anticipation would be unleashed.
With a brand new album, Incarnate, freshly out, Killswitch is out on tour being supported by New Jersey prog metalers Toothgrinder, 36 Crazyfists (a band so good that I seriously want to go to Alaska just to check out the metal scene there) and the uplifting hardcore of Memphis May Fire. By the time these three bands had finished, the heat and humidity had risen but spirits where still high.
When Boston’s Killswitch took the stage it was like someone had sparked some dynamite out in the audience as the place exploded with adulation for this band, consisting of Jesse Leach on vocals, Adam Dutkiewicz (or more affectionately known as Adam D.) on guitar, Joel Stroetzel on guitar, Mike D’Antonio on bass and Justin Foley on drums. Immediately diving into “Strength Of The Mind”, Killswitch had arrived and the party was just getting started.
The remaining set list was “A Bid Farewell”, “Fixation On The Darkness”, “Alone I Stand”, “Beyond The Flames”, “Rise Inside” which brought Jesse out into the audience to crowd surf and still nailing his vocals, “New Awakening”, “Hate By Design”, “You Don’t Bleed For Me”, “Always”, “Just Let Go”, “Rose Of Sharyn”, “Upraised”, “My Last Serenade” including squealie battle, “End Of Heartache” a song that everyone in the crowd knew and sang along with, nearly drowning out the band, “My Curse” and ending with “In Due Time”.
Metal is usually dark and brooding and with Killswitch Engage it was refreshing to see humor interjected and that they don’t take themselves too seriously. For instance, after guzzling a beer Adam D. simply stated “I don’t know what hurt more this morning, my fuckin’ head or my dick”. Jesse mentioned the heat in the room saying that it was getting moist. For the next few minutes the word moist segued into talk of video games, pizza and jerking off and any combination thereof. This was slapstick on the level of classic deliverers such as Abbott and Costello, just in a NSFW delivery!
No one left this show disappointed as all four bands delivered headline-worthy performances, and I for one left my first Killswitch Engage show with a better appreciation for their music and especially their showmanship and comedic prowess.