Killswitch Engage Sellout The Paramount Huntington, NY 5-1-14 w/ My Ticket Home, Battlecross, & Into Another

Killswitch Engage Sellout The Paramount Huntington, NY 5-1-14 w/ My Ticket Home, Battlecross, & Into Another

The Paramount in Huntington, NY is the ideal venue to host the opening night of a tour for the well-established metal act Killswitch Engage. Hailing from Westfield, MA back in 1999, Killswitch Engage has grown to become one of the most accomplished and respected bands in the metalcore genre. The release of their sixth studio album Disarm the Decent (2013) marked the departure of vocalist Howard Jones, and the return of original vocalist Jessie Leach.  While Jones led the band for a decade and was a strong part of their success, for long-time fans it is exciting to see the return of Leach, whose vocals helped define the bands direction on their breakout album Alive or Just Breathing (2002).   After touring with similar veteran acts such as Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, As I Lay Dying, and Unearth, Killswitch Engage have proven themselves worthy of a headlining tour and on Thursday May 1st the excitement was unleashed in front of a packed Long Island crowd.

The night began with Columbus, OH band My Ticket Home.  Together now since 2008, the band members refer to their musical style as “Puke Rock”; a metalcore/post-hardcore musical hybrid that comes off in there angst-like attitude and long grunge-like hair.  With their sophomore album, Strange Only (2013), the band made a bold change in style shedding most of their metalcore/ post-hardcore sound for more of an alternative metal crossover.  Bassist and front man Nick Giumenti tore through a killer twenty minute set to wake up arriving unsuspecting viewers. Clean vocalist Derek Blevins added a touch of color to the bands blistering set of aggression.  My Ticket Home has something going and are worth checking out as they continue to tour across North America.

Next up were the American heavy metal band from Canton, Michigan called Battlecross.  Spending the past year on the road, this five-piece band has made Long Island a regular destination; having pulverized Revolution Music Hall a few weeks earlier opening for Protest The Hero.   With the red hot success of their second album War of Will (2013), the band shows no sign of taking their foot off the gas in their plans for metal domination.  As Battlecross approached the stage they made a statement the moment the lights went down, showering note after heavy metal note on to a rabid crowd.  Self-described as “Blue Collar Thrash Metal”, Battlecross delivered with long hair,blasting riffs, a bassist with killer chops, and a drummer that is levels ahead of the normal skin hitter. These guys could hardly contain their smiles as they destroyed a nearly packed Paramount floor riddled with moshed pits and screaming metalheads.  “Push Pull Destroy”, featured on SiriusXM channel Liquid Metal, was definitely an overwhelming crowd favorite.  Put another one in the books for Battlecross as they continue to impress each and every time on stage.

Into Another was the main support band for the evening. Into Another formed in 1990 in New York City with the original lineup consisting of vocalist Richie Birkenhead (formerly of Underdog and Youth of Today), drummer Drew Thomas (formerly of Bold), bassist Tony Bono (formerly of Whiplash), and guitarist Peter Moses. The band broke up in 1996 but decided to reunite in 2012 with Revelation Records.  The reunited line-up consists of  original members Richie Birkenhead and Peter Moses joined by guitarist Brian Balchack (Ignite) and bassist Reid Black (Innaway); after the passing of original Bassist Tony Bono in May 2002.

Not always a band easy to categorize, Into Another brought a very different vibe to the evening slowing down the metal pace to more of a groove rock level.  Catching many fans off guard, their sound was engaging and warranted attention.  Birkenhead’s moody intense vocals were like a roller coaster dripping with sounds that remind us why 1990’s rock is still one of the best decades.  As a group of veteran musicians, they sounded as tight as ever and won over this crowd with a powerful emotionally driven performance.  If you missed this band back in the 1990’s now is the time to relive their amazing sounds as they actively tour.

After three dynamic opening acts it was time for the almighty Killswitch Engage. The back drop engulfed the entire back wall of The Paramount’s stage area,  along with two 12×8 foot stage scrims on both corners of the stage featuring a very colorful image of bats flying from a dark belfry.  The eye-catching visuals were only the beginning of what was in store for the wall to wall sold out show.  With fans exploding in excitement as the stage went black, Killswitch Engage rang their opening guitar note.  Leach took the stage and greeted the crowd with a roaring “Are you ready?”.  A resounding cheer erupted and the set took off with “A Bid Farewell”.  The energy level was so immense that there was a blanket of heart pumping exciting enveloping the room.

The show went on at a steady pace with songs like “The Arms of Sorrow”, “Beyond the Flame”, and “Rose of Sharyn”.  This was Killswitch Engage in all their glory, commanding and electrifying.  Adding a sense of fun to the show, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was at it again with his hysterical performance attire.  Known by fans for his comical stage antics he has been known to wear everything from ass-less chaps, to headbands, and bedazzled t-shirts.  For this performance Dutkiewicz sported a white t-shirt with an airbrushed pair of breasts while wearing a white headband featuring the letters c-u-n-t as he bounced around the stage having a great time performing.  It is refreshing to see a band as intense as Killswitch Engage to have a good sense of humor in all the carnage, providing for a more entertaining show.

From start to finish, Killswitch Engage ripped through their collection of material featuring all the crowd-favorites spanning from their earlier albums to the newest including “Always”.  The rampage came to a dramatic close with “In Due Time”, “The End of Heartache”, and “My Curse”.   For many attendees this headlining tour was a gift, and this show was an epic way to kick off the month-long spring trek.  Be sure to catch the tour before it concludes at the end of May.

Written by Eddie Raccioppi

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