Friday night, the Killthrax Tour rolled into Denver along with Killswitch Engage, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, and Code Orange, who each gave their all on the Fillmore Auditorium stage. Check out their engaging performances and witness a night full of killer metal.
One thing’s for sure, no one is untouchable by the brutal heaviness that is Code Orange. On Friday night, Denver found themselves yet again in the wake of their merciless and brutal presence, bringing us all into a new and inescapable reality. “Forever” broke out first with its dominating energy. Joe Goldman is already stomping around, silently calling out a series of adamant war cries. At his side, Reba Meyers is frantically jumping and whipping her hair in all directions. Behind them, Jami Morgan is bringing the pain as he intensely roars out, “Within this house of do-it-your-selfishness, The blurred lines we’re taught to walk don’t suit me.” You were in their world now, and nothing else mattered. The hurt continued on as “Kill The Creator” punched out, bashing your head in with its savage, unrelenting attitude. Their set was just getting started, but they were already decimating our world.
As the night went on, absolute carnage ensued, but there were also more subtle moments that showcased a further dimension to Code Orange, much like Forever does with songs like “Bleeding In The Blur,” which cuts through you with its emotive power and grungy appeal. Reba’s vocals, as always, were on point as she sang from a place of deep emotion. It’s moments like these where you can really feel Code Orange as their music invades your body and their lyrics pierce your mind. “Spy” droned out last, signaling the end to yet another killer performance, but once again displaying the forever and undying power of Code Orange.
The Devil Wears Prada
I remember seeing The Devil Wears Prada live for the first time at Warped Tour 2009 when they had just dropped With Roots Above and Branches Below. Flash-forward to 2017, and they are now opening up for Anthrax and Killswitch Engage, adding further depth to an already extremely stacked ticket. Apart from a few member changes and an evolution in sound, not much has changed performance-wise since 2009. They were compelling then and they are still compelling now, especially now that they have their well-received release, Transit Blues, to add to their set. Songs like “Daughter” and “Worldwide” hit you in your core with their intensity live. Each and every member as well as the crowd harnessed that energy, creating a truly electric experience. Though you’ll find yourself submerged in their music, you’ll also find yourself lost in their performance, making their set not just worth seeing, but also remembering.
Following the triumphant cry of “The Number Of The Beast” and the soulful call of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, thrash legends, Anthrax, arrived amongst the stage, smiling out towards a crowd that was already welcoming them thunderously. The moments that would ensue were full of fury, but also joy as Anthrax brought the noise and performed with lightning speed and precision. It was during their set that the Fillmore Auditorium went absolutely metal thrashing mad, creating an all-around buzzing experience that is sure to withstand the persistence of time.
Kicking off the night was “Among The Living”, which rang out ominously at first, then unleashed into an unstoppable frenzy. Joey Belladonna pointed out to the crowd as he wailed out, “Good, versus evil! The stand to vanquish evil! Man can only live one way, that place right in the middle.” Next to him, Frank Bello was menacingly eyeing the crowd, hell bent on destroying the venue with his bass guitar. Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais are fiercely riffing, clearly taken by the music. In the back, risen on a platform for kings, Charlie Benante, is aggressively drumming and bringing further life to that insane tempo we’ve all come to love. Things were just getting started, and Anthrax were already hitting the petal to the metal. Shortly after their insuppressible opener came to a fiery close, the crowd found themselves “Caught In A Mosh” as the second track off Among The Living broke out. That intensity would be felt throughout their entire performance as Anthrax thrashed their way around the stage, leaving not a single inch of it left untouched.
Also performed off Among The Living were “I Am The Law”, “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)”, and “Indians”, taking us all back to the late 80’s with songs of days past that still hold up to this day. They paid homage quite hardily to their earlier works with songs like those aforementioned as well as “Madhouse” and “Antisocial”, but they also performed a few songs, “Breathing Lightning” and “Evil Twin”, off their recently released record, For All Kings. Though Anthrax have been around for quite some time and have played these songs–I’m assuming–on thousands of occasions, you wouldn’t have known–apart from their experience–as they performed them just as fervently as their newer efforts. Aside from the energy they display and the talent they harness, Anthrax’s passion for not only their music, but also their fans, was truly inspiring to witness over the course of their set.
Serving as the “monster at the end” was “Indians”, which ended the night with one last wicked howl from Joey Belladonna. As his voice reverberated throughout the entirety of the Fillmore Auditorium, the crowd continued to worship the glory of their music as hollers of “Anthrax!” and a deafening applause created a wall of sound around us. All members came together in the center of the stage following their grand finale, taking a final bow after giving a performance that left us all in a state of euphoria.
When Killswitch Engage hit the stage, your soul is suddenly reignited as you watch a band that is so unapologetically human give a larger-than-life performance. As they cut loose on the Fillmore Auditorium stage Friday night in Denver, Killswitch gave us all something that was just as heartening as it was entertaining. In turn, seemingly allowing the crowd to triumph over tragedy with a set that is sure to bring the end to all heartache. This was a night that fans and Killswitch Engage would share together, making it not only one of the most fun, but also one of the most inspiring concerts to be a part of thus far in 2017.
Adam D (Adam Dutkiewicz) ran out dressed to impress and clearly itching to perform. He called out, “Hey Guys!”, while waving out to the beaming faces in front of him. Soon after an explosion of music and light flooded the venue as “Hate By Design” roared out, creating an aura of excitement within the crowd as it crashed down upon us with all its might. Jesse Leach stormed out after him already displaying the muscle in his voice as he passionately growled out, “Yeah, Born into this world of hatred, We are born free.” Adam D is next to him riffing away in full power stance mode, all the while making the most epic duck face known to man. One minute he’s in front of you, the next he is on the other side of the stage. As he bolts around, the smiles and laughs follow him. Joel Stroetzel is further breaking the silence as he powerfully riffs us all into oblivion along with Adam. Meanwhile, Mike D’Antonio is in the background whipping his hair back and forth. He confidently walks towards the front of the stage, extending his bass out towards the crowd as he plays. In the background, but certainly not forgotten, is Justin Foley, who is loudly making his presence known with each glorious beat of the drum. From the get go, it appears there’s no end in sight to the the never-ending power that is Killswitch Engage.
The intensity continued to ramp up as “Vide Infra” off Alive or Just Breathing came pummeling out. This track, in particular, lit a fire within the Fillmore Auditorium that night as Killswitch Engage and the crowd rose together as one, setting the night ablaze. But nothing compared to the energy that was witnessed when Jesse jumped out into the crowd during their third song, “My Last Serenade.” As he lifted the crowd with his words, they lifted him with their arms. This provided for a very memorable moment that is sure to stick in the minds of all who witnessed it. Another unforgettable moment came when Adam ran around the venue with his guitar in hand in search of a beer during “The End of Heartache.” It’s those highlights, in addition to the music, that make them a true standout. Killswitch Engage, together, may make up a unit, but it’s their individual personalities that make them who they are. They stay true to themselves not just as a band but also as people, and that, in the end, is the most catching thing about what they do.
As the night came to a close, we bid farewell to the Killthrax Tour as Killswitch Engage and Joey Belladonna joined forces to perform the grand finale, “Holy Diver”; One last serenade that would bring a showstopper end to a performance we’d not soon forget.
Have you been out to a date of the Killthrax Tour? Let us know some of your favorite moments in the comments!
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