Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Killswitch Engage @ Starland Ballroom 8/5/09

Seeing Massachusetts metalcore natives Killswitch Engage perform live is indescribable-once you’ve had a taste of their sheer metal awesomeness, you’re hooked. Thus is the reason I ventured to the lovely Starland Ballroom to see Killswitch for the fourth time. As usual, they didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the reasons why this particular show was so incredible and why I must see them for a fifth time:

1) Killswitch was very stylin’: Once they came out onstage, I had to smile. All of the members wore identical tuxedo shirts complete with bowties and their logo. Howard even commented that they were all dressed up to party. Adam, of course, sported a long golden cape and a complimenting bandana with short shorts, his usual get up. All of the members except Adam showed off their impressive, hairy beards, with Joel also modeling his 80’s metal style long, puffy hair.

2) Good times all around: During their performance, it was clear everyone was having a great time. The show was sold out and everyone was packed in tight. Lots of crowd surfing and moshing went on in addition to fans screaming, cheering, and loudly singing along to songs. At times I heard my fellow fans more than I did the band, that’s how loud everyone was. Let’s not forget all the devil horns in the air either.

3) Cool enough to be your friends: In between songs, Killswitch members Howard and Adam continued to crack jokes, laugh, and thank the fans for their generous and unconditional love and support. Howard mentioned how much more he enjoyed playing in small clubs compared to gigantic venues for tours since it was more personal and he could look fans in the eye. Adam even teased Yankee fans about his favorite team, the Red Socks. All of this light bantering just shows how sweet and down to earth this band really is. Even more so, the band was nice enough to take time off from their hectic Mayhem tour schedule and perform at a small club to jam out to tracks from their new, self titled record.

While their appearance, stage energy, and personalities definitely contributed to an awesome show, I can’t forget about their performance, which highlights the entire night. Everything seemed well rehearsed and dead on, without a single note missing. The guitar lines were tight and smooth and even the solos sounded fresh and rocking. Howard’s voice was amazing as always and, man, can he sing. Here is their set list, not necessarily in this order:

Opened with: My Last Serenade
This Fire Burns
Starting Over
A Bid Farewell
Take This Oath
A Light in this Darkened World
My Curse
The Arms of Sorrow
Rose of Sharyn
The End of Heartache
Encore: Holy Diver

While I definitely enjoyed this show, the only thing I was not fond of was all the pandemonium on the floor area. Fans went nuts from the excitement, resulting in much pushing and shoving, especially near pit areas and when Howard ordered for a wall of death. At times I could not enjoy the show as much as I wanted as I fought my way through the mayhem, but I guess that’s just something that comes along with such dedicated, passionate, and fun metalhead fans.

Aside from Killswitch, opening bands White Chapel and Job for a Cowboy also performed. Both of their sets were just as intense and enjoyable as Killswitch’s, with fans keeping their energy and spirits high. Overall, a great show leading into the Rockstar Mayhem fest and a definite highlight of my summer.

All photos courtesy of Allen Thomas Ross and Mark R. Sullivan

By: Gabby Canella

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