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Skirt & Safe

Posted on February 12, 2008

This past weekend, Killswitch Engage headlined the second stage of the New Jersey Skate And Surf Fest in Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA. What was the word? A complete report from a to-remain-unnamed Roadrunner employee reads as follows: “Ahhh, what can I say about the New Jersey Skate & Surf Fest? Well, it was in New Jersey – Asbury Park , NJ. Now, while it may seem redundant to call any particular town in the Garden State “the armpit of the universe”, Asbury Park is quite possibly the fungus that is growing in that armpit. It is the urban equivalent of the ghost towns of the Old West, complete with half-constructed buildings, dilapidated homes and an eerie sense of unrest. Either that or I had some bad sushi for lunch and it just made me bitter. Anyway, S&S wasn’t about the scenery or lack of, it was all about the jailbait. Yup, I done gone went and said it. The Asbury Park Convention Center was a pedophiles dream, complete with perky little girls in various forms of (un)dress. It was friggin’ cold there, right up on the water with the rain and the wind but does that stop the yunguns’ from showing off their bigguns’? I don’t think so. For the love of god, women, put some clothes on! But I digress. The New Jersey Skate & Surf Festival was all about the music . . . and lots of it. This year saw the most varied bill this particular event has ever assembled. Indie stalwarts Coheed & Cambria, major label headbanger Andrew W.K., next-big-thing Thursday, pop-punk grandaddies Goldfinger and flavor-of-the-moment The Used all represented in fine style. A cadre of local bands also showed their stuff and reaffirmed faith in the idea in that there is always good new music on the horizon. Ultimately though, I was there for one reason and one reason only – Killswitch Engage. By far the heaviest band to play the three day sold-out festival, Killswitch took the stage in the center hall at about half past eight, opposite Andrew W.K.. How did Killswitch fare? Well, quite frankly I think they scared some of the kiddies. As twee little indie kids parted like the Red Sea, the metal faithful hurled their bodies into the pit. As their set went on and they blasted through song after blistering song from Alive Or Just Breathing and their self-titled debut alike, kids from the other two stages emptied into the center hall to mosh along with KsE. But how was the band you ask? They were en fuego! Adam, playing both guitar and tambourine, riled the crowd while Mike D and Joel both pulled out their most metal rock poses. Howard, a stalking ball of sweat and pure unbridled energy, was the spark that set the room on fire. But for all of their intensity, the coolest thing about their show by far was the fact that Killswitch Engage actually look like they ENJOY rocking your world. The music speaks for itself and the band doesn’t feel the need to scowl and shout “fuck” a thousand times to prove they are as hard as nails – they just plain are.” FOR PICS FROM THE NIGHT, CHECK OUT KILLSWITCH ENGAGE’S PHOTO GALLERY.


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