Having already trekked across North America together on the first leg of the KillThrax Tour, co-headliners Anthrax and Killswitch Engage were set on doing it again. This time around with support from Havok. On Saturday, this stacked ticket’s journey continued on into Indianapolis to play the Old National Centre. As soon as they hit the stage, the venue transformed into a madhouse as the crowd went absolutely metal thrashing mad.
Kickstarting the night was Denver thrashers, Havok. I had the pleasure of catching them last year at one of their hometown shows with Suicidal Tendencies, and have since then never missed the chance to see them live. With an at-all-costs attitude and a fed-up mentality, Havok always hit the stage with an unforgiving presence, and their time in Indianapolis proved to be no exception.
Lead David Sanchez commanded the room as he stood firmly amongst the stage wailing and riffing, unwavering in his intensity. Nick Schendzielos dropped low with his bass and banged his head, adding his funky, yet powerful, presence, particularly heard in songs like “F.P.C.”. Reece Scruggs and Pete Webber also draw your attention in, both fast and furious in their approach. Over the course of their set, they’d play songs, like “Hang ‘Em High,” “D.O.A.,” and “Intention to Deceive,” that showcased their chops, while proving further why they are one of modern thrash’s best.
Killswitch Engage cut loose on the Old National Centre stage next, immediately engaging the crowd with their larger than life personality and heart. With a raging passion for music, they arrived in front of their fans ready to give them their all. In turn, the fans gave them an extremely warm and loud welcome as Adam D (Adam Dutkiewicz) greeted everyone with a quick “Hey Guys!” along with a wave and a smile. Following, Killswitch wasted no time getting into things as “Rose Of Sharyn” off 2004’s The End Of Heartache powerfully roared out, awakening the venue into an excited frenzy.
Continuing to ramp up the momentum was Incarnate‘s “Strength Of The Mind,” which had everyone singing along. Standing amongst the stage in a flood of bursting lights, Jesse Leach emoted as he sang, while still showing off the muscle in his voice. Adam D is in a power stance next to him riffing the night away, but he doesn’t stay there for long as he travels about the stage bringing joy and smiles to the faces around him. Mike D’Antonio and Joel Stroetzel are side by side seizing every moment and performing with ardor. In the back, Justin Foley is making his presence known with each hit of the drum, which are so powerful you can feel them resonating through you. Already from the start, Killswitch Engage’s music has reached out and reignited our souls.
The rest of their set highlighted pinnacle moments in their career with songs from the earlier days, like “Temple From The Within,” “Numbered Days,” “This is Absolution,” “Take This Oath,” and “A Bid Farewell.” Songs like “The End of Heartache,” “My Curse,” and “My Last Serenade” had the crowd singing from the rooftops and banging their heads fervently along with Killswitch. During “The End of Heartache,” Adam D ran out into the crowd in search of a drink. He ordered a shot, but the bartender gave him a glass instead. They also played more songs off their most recent release, Incarnate, like “Hate By Design” and “Embrace the Journey…Upraised.” All of these songs displayed the ever-lasting power that is Killswitch Engage, who have created many albums and songs that have resonated and connected with us over the years.
Bringing an explosive end to their set was the one-two punch of “In Due Time” and their cover of “Holy Diver,” where they teamed up with Joey Belladonna to give a knockout of a performance. They serenaded us one last time, but we’d be seeing them again… in due time.
The stage was now being set for tonight’s headliners and thrash legends, Anthrax. Billows of fog filled the atmosphere as the glorious cry of Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast” and Otis Redding’s soulful, “I Can’t Turn You Loose” signaled the start, which caused anxiousness to rise throughout the venue as we awaited for Anthrax to hit the stage. Joey Belladonna unassumingly bolted out, running furiously from one end to the next. His energy infectious as the remaining members arrived around him, smiling and ready to perform. They wasted no time as they brought the noise with “Among the Living,” but before too long we’d find ourselves “Caught In A Mosh.”
In front of us, Anthrax are thrashing the night away. Frank Bello eyeballed the crowd fiercely, bending over the floor speakers and reaching out to the fans in front of him with his bass. Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais are riffing us all into oblivion. On a platform fit for kings sits Charlie Benante, drumming like mad, and with mind-boggling speed. Joey Belladonna points out to the crowd as he wails, wowing us all with the power of his voice. All members of Anthrax are ferociously moving across the stage with an seemingly endless amount of energy and enthusiasm. Even though the set was just getting started–if you didn’t know it from the start–you already knew you were in for one hell of a show.
Already stepping on the gas, Anthrax pushed the pedal to the metal even further within songs like “Madhouse,” “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.),” and “Be All, End All,” that took us straight back to the 80’s. These songs, in particular, show just how much Anthrax have withstood the test of time. Though they took us back to the earlier days, they also performed some songs off their 2016 release, For All Kings, such as “Breathing Lightning.” Anthrax are at no shortage for killer tracks, but the songs they chose for their setlist highlighted their iconic career wonderfully, featuring both classics and new favorites.
Anthrax’s interaction with their fans never ceases to amaze me. They are passionate about their music, but it’s also clear that they are passionate about their fans. That has garnered them an immense amount of respect and love from their fans, and as always, it is inspiring to witness that first hand. They’ve been around for years and years, performed for crowds more times than they can surely count, but they’ve never lost their fire, and that makes their shows something truly special to be a part of.
As the night was coming to a close, Anthrax finished their set strongly with “Antisocial” and “Indians,” which capped things off phenomenally with one final glass-shattering howl from Joey Belladonna. Calls of “Anthrax!” erupted throughout the room as they ended the show with a grand finale of a performance that encircled the crowd in a collective state of euphoria.
KillThrax II Tour Photo Gallery
Have you been out to a date of the KillThrax II Tour? Let us know in the comments! If not, you can still catch them at one of their remaining dates here.
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