Live Review: Killswitch Engage @ Fox Theater

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There are certain bands that I have an affinity for and have made it a personal mission to go see them live. I’ve been a Killswitch Engage fan for many years. I’ve seen them a handful of times, but never with Jesse Leach. So after the release of their new album Incarnate, I knew I had to go see themJesse’s lyrics and voice are powerful and inspiring. So this night was full of great expectations, and I was full of excitement.

Kicking the night off was the band Toothgrinder. Their blend of prog and metal created a sense that this night was going to be heavy. Their short set was decent and full of energy. Enough to get the crowd pouring in to the venue into a frenzy in the pit.

Next up was 36 Crazyfists. These guys have been at it a long time and still deliver. Their first two albums especially A Snow Capped Romance, were in heavy rotation with my way back when. So this was very cool to see them playing with Killswitch. When the band got to the point in the set which they played songs off Snow Capped, the crowd erupted and got into it. You could tell who knew them from that era.

The direct support slot of the night went to relative newcomers Memphis May Fire. These guys are definitely not my cup of tea, but there sure were a lot of youngsters that were really digging them. Thankfully I had seats upstairs, so it was nice to take a break from standing while watching their energetic set. While they had great crowd interaction, I couldn’t help but be bored by their generic music. Plus I just wanted Killswitch to be on.

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Finally the time arrived for Killswitch Engage, the main event of the evening. And they didn’t disappoint. The set began with “Strength Of The Mind,” and went straight into “A Bid Farewell,” and “Numbered Days,” signaling this was going to be one of those heavy nights. Getting to hear Jesse live was tremendous. Even with him being sick, he put his all into the show and delivered with his heart on his sleeve. The crowd participation was astounding, singing along to every song, helping out Jesse throughout the night. The rest of the set was a nice mix of hit songs, and deep cuts. Jesse brings a new sense of belief and urgency to the songs that former singer Howard Jones wrote. The new songs that were played “Alone I Stand,” “Hate By Design,” and one of my favorites “Embrace The Journey…Upraised” all were top notch. Closing out the set was the majors, “The End Of Heartache,” “My Curse,” and “In Due Time.”

At the end of the night my voice was nearly lost and my neck was hurting from head banging. Getting to watch and hear someone I’ve been inspired by for his words and voice give it his all was worth it for me. I’ve always believed that Killswitch with Jesse is the way it should be. Not to take away from what Howard did with the band, Jesse just has a certain personality that fits with the band. This was the best Killswitch show I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t wait for the next tour!

 

Killswitch Engage Set List:

Strength Of The Mind
A Bid Farewell
Numbered Days
No End In Sight
Beyond The Flames
Alone I Stand
This Fire Burns
Vide Infra
Always
Breathe Life
Hate By Design
Rose Of Sharyn
Embrace The Journey…Upraised
My Last Serenade
The End Of Heartache
My Curse
In Due Time

 

By: Brian Lacy

Photos: Alisa Lacy

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