REVIEW: Anthrax + Killswitch Engage “KILLthrax” Tour Hits NY

Thrash metal titans Anthrax and metal mainstays Killswitch Engage have been touring it up for a bit now on what they’ve dubbed the KILLthrax Tour – sidebar: best photo passes ever – and the duo finally made their way to the “NYC area” by playing a show that took me 2 1/2 hours to get to in a monsoon on a Friday night where I was equally as tempted to stay home and drink beer as I was to drive in the rain. In the end, the long road to The Paramount in Huntington was well worth it, as each band delivered at least 90 minutes of headbanging bliss to a packed house.

The Devil Wears Prada was the support act, while Code Orange – who we missed due to traffic and bad weather – opened up the show. We covered TDWP on their Rise Up headline run, which you can read about here. The abbreviated setlist that comes with being a support act left little room for surprises, and TDWP had time for 8 tunes including DaughterOutnumberedDead Throne and Mammoth. Their headline show is obviously much better, but they’re all showmen and put on an entertaining show regardless of where on the bill they are.. Check out the link above to our coverage of their headline act for a more thorough review of TDWP.

The Devil Wears Prada at The Paramount

Up next was the first half of KILLthraxKillswitch Engage – who we covered here and here – and as this was the third time around with KSE, it’s difficult to really say anything new about them. Killswitch has become a mainstay in the metal scene and their popularity has only grown since Jesse Leach returned to the band, and deservedly so. One of two surprises here is that KSE actually played more songs than Anthrax, which, even on a co-headline tour such as this, is a rarity for a band not closing the show.

The good news is Killswitch has so many good songs to choose from that the 17-song set was well worth it, and the other surprise came at the end of their set when they brought out Joey Belladonna from Anthrax to perform the Dio classic Holy Diver, which was incredibly well done and made for an epic ending to a great set. They are what they are, a metal band that never gets old and is a blast to see and photograph every single time. I loved their set and the nod to Dio at the end only mad it better.

Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage at The Paramount

Hate by Design

Vide Infra

My Last Serenade

A Bid Farewell

This Fire Burns

When Darkness Falls

Alone I Stand

The End of Heartache

Embrace the Journey…Upraised

The Hell in Me

Rose of Sharyn

This Is Absolution

Beyond the Flames

My Curse

Strength of the Mind

In Due Time

Holy Diver

After a couple hours of good music, Anthrax would finally get their turn. This is what I went out to Huntington for, to see thrash metal legends for the first time. I’ll be honest, it took a long time for me to get into Anthrax, but when I did – a few years ago with Worship Music – there was no turning back. I knew when this tour was announced that I had to go, and getting to cover it was even better. I probably don’t make that drive on a Friday night if I’m not shooting, but shooting I was and Anthrax was well worth the wait.

So after Joey Belladonna pulled his double duty of sorts with Killswitch, he, Scott IanScott Ian’s beard and the rest of Anthrax made their way to the stage to kick off what would be a 12-song headline set that featured a surprising number of tracks off 1987’s Among The Living – 5 in total – opening up with the album’s title track and following with Caught in a Mosh. The other surprise was that the band only played two songs off their most recent album, For All Kings and just one off Worship Music, opting instead to throw in a couple covers – Antisocial by Trust and March of the S.O.D. by Stormtroopers of Death.

It’s no secret that Anthrax has been good at what they do for a long time, and as such they have a lot of good music to choose from, so it’s something of a disappointment that they A) did not offer up a wider selection for this tour and B) only played 12 songs. I personally would have like a longer setlist featuring more tunes from For All Kings and some 90’s material mixed in, but such is life when making a setlist for a tour. Personal preferences aside, Anthrax did nothing but rock until 11:30 and put on a hell of a show. Scott Ian and Frank Bello are fun to watch on stage, Joey Belladonna borrowed another photographer’s camera and had some fun with it, and they belted out a long-ish performance full of good tunes and good vibes.

The KILLthrax tour is great, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s got two big names headlining and at least one solid opening act. I only wish the weather and traffic had cooperated so I could say something about Code Orange, but it wasn’t meant to be and instead I got to see TDWP a second time, Killswitch a third time and Anthrax for what will hopefully be the first of many. It’s a fun tour all around and you should see all three bands mentioned above, together or separately.

Scott Ian of Anthrax were a hit right off the rip at their show at The Paramount

Among the Living

Caught in a Mosh

Madhouse

Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t

I Am the Law

Breathing Lightning

Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)

Medusa

March of the S.O.D.

Blood Eagle Wings

Antisocial

Indians

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