What’s better than a night of metal brought to you by Thrash veterans Anthrax, Metalcore heavyweights Killswitch Engage and main support from breakdown-heavy metal band The Devil Wears Prada? Nada! The Killthrax tour is coming to a close, ending May 7th in Boston, MA so you only have a few more dates to catch this power-packed show. If for some crazy reason you haven’t seen this show yet and are not able to catch these last shows, there is some hope for you yet. After the Killthrax tour, Anthrax continues their time on the road hitting Japan (with Megadeth) and more dates in Europe through early July, then a few festival dates in Wisconsin and Illinois later that month. Killswitch Engage wraps up with a few dates listed for mid-June on the East Coast.
The BuzzPony Journal caught the show in Omaha, NE April 29th and we’re here to tell you that it’s worth the trip, no matter where you need to catch it. The Omaha show started with a set from Code Orange, an American hardcore band formed in 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA. The band has released 3 studio albums, including the latest Forever, on Roadrunner Records released January of this year. A little different line up than one would expect from a metalcore band with the drummer Jami Morgan belting out most of the songs. Reba Meyers, guitar and some vocals is a female petite-sized package of hardcore with a look that says, ‘don’t mess with me’. Bassist Joe Goldman covered the stage left to right and everything in between while Eric Balderose and Dominic Landolina held down guitar and synthesizer roles. The crowd took to the band well and were primed for more metal as The Devil Wears Prada hit the stage next.
TDWP as they are known to fans, was formed in Dayton, OH in 2005 and has produced six full-length albums spanning from 2006 through their latest release Transit Blues in 2016. In addition, they have two EPs, one DVD, sixteen singles and thirteen music videos under their belt. Although one may think that the band’s namesake was taken from the popular movie of the same name, TDWP actually formed before the movie was released, with the name really derived from the novel. With only back lighting through the band’s entire set, the mood was established for the heavy yet passionate music from their arsenal of songs, played out for the metal loving crowd.
When Killswitch Engage hit the stage, there was a definite change in the vibe within the Sokol Auditorium walls and the 1500 fans within. There was much anticipation for the energetic and exciting show that Killswitch Engage is known to provide. Fans were ready for some serious riffs, powerful vocals from returning member Jesse Leach and the double kick of Justin Foley. The crowd ate up the crazy antics of Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar) and the ‘let’s have fun with this’ attitude of the whole band. We saw the guys fully connect with the fans in the pit, reaching well into the balcony and back row for their entire set (a full 17 songs). The onstage chemistry shined through providing a truly engaging show, including Mike D’Antonio (bass) and Joel Stroetzel (guitar) crossing axes and trading chords and seeing Adam give Joel the bunny ears, absolutely a fun time for all.
As expected, crowd surfing was rampant during the immense, arena-filling songs along with sing-alongs during crowd favorites. Adam and Jesse even paused between songs to acknowledge a flip flop sandal thrown on stage. They made a real effort to identify the owner and then remark how courageous she was for weathering the pit in sandals. Killswitch Engage’s incredible set ended with the band’s version of the Dio tune Holy Diver from their As Daylight Dies album (2006). Joey Belladonna of Anthrax joined the guys on stage to provide lead vocals for the song, which was a nice way to wind up the set and provide a preview to the crowd with what to expect from Joey for the upcoming Anthrax set.
During the break after Killswitch’s final song, the packed theatre of fans, crowded in together shoulder to shoulder ready for the onslaught of Anthrax. The moshers taking their shirts back off after just a short period of cool down from the previous set. The band took the stage driving through fan favorites along with a few songs mixed in from the latest album, For All Kings. During the retina-scorching lasers and blinders during the show, Anthrax’s songs rang out demonstrating a master class in epic and intense heavy metal that delivered a knockout punch. The band was on it, playing as good as they ever have, exemplifying their musical ability and skill.
Joey Belladonna proved he still has the chops by putting on an impressive vocal performance while Frank Bello (bass) ran from side to side as if in a racquetball match, covering the stage to connect with the audience while keeping up with backup vocals and still providing rhythm. Scott Ian (guitar) provided us with those well-known heavy, dirty chunky riffs and showed off his skillful playing.
The hard hitting beats from Charlie Benante helped keep the energy level pushing through like a freight train. Anthrax covered the full stage, engaging the fans every moment.
Axeman Jonathan Donais, newest member to the band showed his skills by scorching our ears with precise solos. Certainly not a flashy performer but absolutely talented, proving he was the right choice.
As Anthrax tore through their set with drive and determination, they didn’t miss a beat and played every song as though it was the one and only song of the night. Of course, what would a night of Anthrax metal be without moshing and the circle pit? Coaxed on by Joey, the crowd did not disappoint. Upon mention, the circle grew, engulfing most of the main floor area and pushing those standing, back beyond the soundboard. Anthrax ended with the highly anticipated song Indians, from their Among The Living album (1987), a excellent closing to an outstanding set.
All in all an incredible night of live music with heavy hitters, providing hours of escape into metal bliss. The age of fans in attendance was surprisingly diverse, with the young concert goers weaving through the crowd demonstrating they can’t quite handle their party favors in public places and the veteran metal heads there to enjoy the music and relive their early concert going days. And of course, those of us somewhere in between, hanging out at this big party we call a concert.
Check out more shots from this show on the following pages:
Review by: BuzzPony Journal Staff
Photos: Brenda Turner