Killswitch Engage / Anthrax
with The Devil Wears Prada
House of Blues / Orlando, Florida • 4.13.17
by Christopher Long
A monstrous spectacle, the triple-bill metal onslaught enveloped the 2000+ crowd fully with super-charged energy from the very moment The Devil Wears Prada stormed the stage at 7pm. Jamming an unbelievable nine tunes into a concise 30-minute set, Ohio’s metalcore stalwarts kicked-off with “Daughter,” a YouTube fave from the band’s latest release, Transit Blues. A well-established and formidable unit, TDWP oozed shear intensity as the pit erupted in short order. Frontman Mike Hranica proved an engaging host – connecting easily with fans as he led the six-man crew through an impressive career-spanning performance – a sweat-soaked cavalcade that one particular passionate teenage fan described as, “explosive.”
By 8pm, NYC’s iconic thrash kingpin, Anthrax, had commandeered the festivities in glorious arena-like fashion. In fact, the (near) classic line-up appeared so svelte and bursting with such vim and vigor, fans may have felt transported back in time, as the chart-busting combo hit the stage running with the classic, “Among the Living.”
Frontman Joey Belladonna wasted little time announcing enthusiastically to the ever-faithful flock, “We’re gonna get down and dirty and kick the shit out of everybody.” The once-estranged golden-era vocalist further dedicated the band’s 1987 staple “I Am the Law” to “everyone who likes to smoke the weed.”
The 60-minute set proved to be a raucous “Greatest Hits”-type presentation, punctuated by a fistful of chunky highlights from their latest record, For All Kings. Countless spinning lights flashing off thick clouds of stage smoke blasting from various ramps and risers, helped to create, arguably, the band’s most visually exciting production – ever. And with the pit still in full effect, the signature staples, “Antisocial” and “Indians” brought the Anthrax show to an ear-splitting, retina-burning conclusion.
Despite the overwhelming response to TDWP and Anthrax, even Helen Keller would have recognized that this night belonged to Killswitch Engage, as pandemonium ensued the very moment the Boston-based brigade arrived on the scene.
Launching with one of their latest, “Hate by Design,” frontman Jesse Leach then reached back in a jiff to his original tenure with the band and helped fire off “Vide Infra” – a bona fide classic from 2000. The metallic 90-minute melee also offered such spirited highlights as the crowd sing-along on 2002’s “My Last Serenade,” the 2006 epic “My Curse” and “Holy Diver” – the set-closing Dio cover duet with Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna. And the crowd goes wild!