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The Stage Presence Of A Tank

Posted on February 12, 2008

“Hey Roadrunner. Here’s a review I wrote of the Killswitch Engage Bristol show, 8th April 2003… I’d been waiting to see Killswitch again since I saw them last October at Roadrage- all 3 bands put on a great show, and it was the first time I’d heard Howard’s vocals- very impressive indeed. Anyway back to the April 8th showí¢ä‰åŒ_ About ten to four I got the bus into the city centre for the signing at replay. As it pulled up, I spotted some tall dude with dyed black hair and glasses crossing the road- I immediately knew it was Adam from Killswitch Engage with the rest of the band! It was so weird seeing my favourite band just strolling through the centre of my hometown! I leapt off the bus and made my way to replay for the signing. I met the band and they signed some stuff that I’d brought along- it was weird though, cos I’d planned out some questions to ask them, but when the time came I blanked- meeting them was such a shock. I couldn’t believe I was meeting these guys who I’d looked up to for so long. They were really cool guys as well, really normal, grounded people which was cool. I had a few hours to kill before the show so I chilled with some of my mates and we got there early. The actual venue was quite small, but totally packed out: it was great to see so much support for the band, support they deserve. I secured my spot right up at the front, and there was no barrier which was awesome, you could get right up close to the bands. First up was a band from the UK called Beecher, who have been described as hardcore/noisecore. They played quite a short set, I think their singers voice was playing up- it was a shame cos I found I enjoyed the set more towards the end, as the crowd were getting warmed up. Next up were the main support- Poison the Well, who were truly awesome. They really got the crowd going, it seems as if they were highly anticipated by most people there. I got into them a few months back and I was pleased they played my favourite songs, Botchla and Slice Paper Wrists, a track from their previous album. But now onto the band I was there for… the mighty Killswitch Engage. The reception they got was phenomenal- they couldn’t even appear at the side of the stage without huge roar from the crowd. At last they took to the stage, with Adam sporting what looked like a Hitler moustache and a pipe in his mouth! Immediately they stormed into Numbered Days, my personal favourite, and the crowd went insane. This was followed by Life to Lifeless, another classic, which went down a treat live. Howard was amazing on vocals, even better than last time I saw them- if you’ve heard the hype about this guy, then believe it, he really can cut it live. He has the stage presence of a tank- it almost scares you having this huge guy growling his lungs out in front of you. He even did a bit of crowd surfing! Next came To the Sons of Man, Fixation on the Darkness and Vide Infra. Joel kicked ass on lead guitar, pinch harmonics galore, and Adam was in a world of his own on the left of the stage, just going crazy. He was right up in the faces of us in the front half the time. They played In the Unblind, which I was pleased about, cos its such a wicked song and its off their previous album. After that they played Rise Inside and Self Revolution, two more awesome songs, especially live. I think it was around this time that someone chucked some brown sauce onto the stage, and there was only one solution- Adam picked it up and took a huge swig- ‘I got me some Brown Sauce!’ Next up was the Element of One, a more mellow song, which made a good contrast to the heavier songs they played. Mike started throwing out some free stuff into the crowd as well- tshirts, keyrings, what a nice guy! I was impressed with Tom’s drumming too, he truly is a drumming machine. They finished up with temple from the within, sparking a huge cheer and chants of ‘killswitch, killswitch’ seeing them off the stage- but you just knew these guys were gonna come back out and seal the deal with My Last Serenade. And boy they did just that. It was intense to say the least. It seemed like it was over so quickly, I just didn’t want it to end. The crowd finally saw the band off with numerous chants and cheers. As the crowd dispersed, we went outside, and I seized the opportunity to sneak past security and congratulate Mike on the show- and he gave me his set list! He was a real nice guy, we found Adam lurking around too, and got him to take a picture of me and Mike, before I got ushered outside by some big dude. It was an amazing way to finish the evening, and if any of you guys read this then cheers Killswitch for a such a cool day! I cant wait till the new album is out!” thanks for sending that in, Sam


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