Killswitch Engage – June 11, 2013 – Best Buy Theater, New York, NY

Thursday, 13th June 2013

Nearly six months after Killswitch Engage came to Brooklyn, the Boston boys were back in New York Tuesday night for a gig at the sold-out Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

The December show in Williamsburg unveiled new/old singer Jesse Leach – a Big Apple resident – to his adopted town and Tuesday’s performance saw him revel in their adoration yet again. Where Howard Jones mixed in a bit of humor to his routine in years past, Jesse appeared all business while he tore through a mixed set of old and new material. His vocals were powerful and emotive, and he left the occasional chuckles to the band’s resident jester and lead guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz.

But frankly, Jesse rarely needed to sing at all – the packed crowd crooned along throughout most of the set. New songs from Disarm the Descent like “The Hell in Me” and “In Due Time” were belted out by the believers just as easily as fixtures like “Fixation on the Darkness” and “Rose of Sharyn.” And all the songs were played to near-perfection as Killswitch showed themselves to be in fine form 10 shows into their tour. As mentioned, Jesse was outstanding out in front. Adam, who dedicated a track to all the tits in the crowd – female and male – had his parts down pat and even did a solo one handed, with the other hand over his eyes. The trio of Joel Stroetzel (rhythm guitar), Mike D’Antonio (bass) and Justin Foley (drums) were their usual rock-solid selves.

While the moshpit was a disappointment, two crowd surfers deserve acknowledgement – a massive 300+ pound dude who remarkably was not dropped, and a punk kid who literally flipped before being hauled over the barrier.

Killswitch more than made up for the middling cast on the undercard. There were four opening bands, sending the show that started at 7:30 to a midnight finish. And, aside from As I Lay Dying’s replacement Darkest Hour, they were quite forgettable, derivative emocore.

The direct support Miss May I were a better, more interesting band when they were From Autumn to Ashes 10 years ago. Darkest Hour played their tight, technical brand of metalcore to perfection but the reception was not as warm as it should/could have been if they weren’t sandwiched between Hot Topic teens. The highlight of The Word Alive’s set was a cover of AILD’s “94 Hours.” And the opening band Affiance were annoying from the outset, calling for circle pits and asking for the ‘warriors’ in the crowd to come up.

Killswitch with Jesse back in the fold is a much-catch for metal fans, even if it means suffering through a few sets of mall music.

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