REVIEW: Killswitch Engage at Gramercy Theatre

Originally published 3/8/16

Killswitch Engage started their 5-night takeover of New York City at Gramercy Theatre on Sunday night, performing in front of a massively oversold crowd to promote their new album Incarnate. We were there for the ensuring ruckus, as was to be expected from Killswitch given their history of “engaging” the crowd, i.e lead singer Jesse Leach jumping off the stage and into the crowd to join the fans. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed the opening act, so I’m going to have to keep this review short and stick to the main attraction.

While KSE put on an excellent show and did play 15 songs, their set was originally scheduled from 9-10:30, but ended seemingly abruptly at 10. Why the band ended their set 30 minutes early isn’t clear at this time, but it did include the live debut of Cut Me Loose off their still-pending new album, which is scheduled for release on Friday, March 11. Cut Me Loose, however, was the only track off Incarnate to receive the live debut treatment at Gramercy, thought it seems they’re debuting a new track each night here in New York, as Alone I Stand premiered the following night at The Bowery, according to setlist.fm.

KSE opened their 5-night stand with Fixation on the Darkness from 2002’s Alive or Just Breathing, as the already well over capacity crowd yelled in approval. I’ll admit I haven’t listened to all that much Killswitch since they burst onto the metal scene in 2000, not being much of a fan of the growlies, but Fixation on the Darkness is one of the band’s better songs and is a fine choice to open a set packed full of the more popular tracks in their catalog.

After tons of on and off-stage antics, including guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz ordering a drink at the bar mid set, enough crowd surfing to ward off even the most die hard of crowd surfers, and more of Jesse Leach jumping into the crowd, it was time to go home early. After playing My Curse, the band closed up shop for the night with In Due Time from their previous studio effort, Disarm The Descent. By this time, the over capacity mob of KSE diehards had forced me to the back of the venue thanks to the mosh spit nearly spilling out into the hallway, causing me to head for safer ground, so I couldn’t see much of the stage as the band finished their set. I did, however, hear enough to know that this band puts on one hell of a live show, and that their fans are some of the most hardcore metal fans around,

Killswitch Engage is a solid live act, solid enough that I’d see them again just because their show is crazy and fun as hell to watch. I can only imagine the insanity that must have gone on at Bowery Ballroom and St. Vitus. Check out our gallery below; photos by Sean Murphy:

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