Metro City, Perth WA
March 8th, 2017
Supported by – Fallujah & Cursed Earth
Killswitch Engage have once again warmed cold, black, metal hearts around the country, and Perth was no different. Every time the Massachusetts metalers grace our shores, the venues are packed wall-to-wall as the band are seen very much as a modern building block, and a staple for the genre. Joining Killswitch Engage in Perth were the almighty Fallujah, all the way from San Francisco, and Perth’s very own Cursed Earth.
The locals kicked things off right on time, playing to a steadily growing crowd, evenly dispersed across Metro City, including the balcony that had been opened for the evening. Cursed Earth held no prisoners and busted out a crusty hardcore set, with a limitless delivery. Vocalist Jazmine Luders hunched her back and roared into the microphone, ensuring every decibel was captured. The Western Aussies boasted strong production and were impressively fitting with the rest of the night’s proceedings.
Having only emerged into the international arena more recently, including Australia, Bay Area group Fallujah launched on stage and captivated the entire room. The technical metalers played an enjoyable forty-minute set covering a mixture of their releases, but particularly showcasing killer tracks from their latest record ‘Dreamless’. Fallujah delivered an incredible performance, from the prolonged whammy-bar moans to the machine gun double-kick bass, the U.S. band certainly brought a unique flavour. Vocalist Alex Hofmann said the band were incredibly surprised by the turn-out in Perth, particularly having no expectations on their first ever Australian tour. It was clear that the crowd were a mixture of diehard fans who had been counting down the days for this performance, combined with punters who had never heard of the outfit before, but lapped up every moment.
To have set the bar so high, at this point it was going to be interesting to see what Killswitch Engage had in store, but deep down, I think everyone knew that the band were going to rip our bloody faces off, very soon. Final rounds of beer were carried back, quickly securing hot spots in the mosh, and then boom, 10pm struck and the house-lights ceased in preparation for the back-track ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ by no other than the Beastie Boys – an appropriate way to prime the crowd for the fun atmosphere of a Killswitch show. The boys leapt on stage with grins on their faces and excitement visibly running through them. The crowd were screaming with fists and devil horns erected across the venue as the band launched rapidly into their 15th anniversary record ‘Alive or Just Breathing.
With a set starting with tracks like ‘Numbered Days’ and ‘Self Revolution’ and quickly moving into ‘My Last Serenade’ and ‘Life to Lifeless’, the atmosphere had shifted into overdrive. It was perfectly orchestrated that these bangers were placed early onto the album (not that the rest of the album wasn’t a treat). Guitarist and showman of the band Adam D brought his charming and goofy self to the stage as he bounced around with a sweatband on, adding to his list of hilarious mannerisms. The band strike a good balance as vocalist Jesse Leach embodies a more serious, true blue metal singer, sporting a freshly shaved mohawk, and wearing the most badass vest ever, with ‘KSE’ sewn into the back.
Towards the end of the anniversary record, Leach engages with the crowd, thanking everyone for coming down and providing some banter. Having jumped into the crowd a couple of times and then finding his way back on stage, he smiles and says to Adam, “Perth is crazy, man?!” – obviously realising the passion of Perth metal heads. Leach wore the hats thrown on stage, and even a pair of spectacles that were laughably quite valuable to a crowd-member. After throwing the glasses back to the owner, Adam chugged a beer, Leech smiled and got on with the show. Without further ado, Killswitch Engage cracked on with the record, delivering blistering renditions of ‘Temple From the Within’ and ‘Rise Inside’ before proverbially rubbing their hands together in preparation for a collection of new tracks and other classics.
‘Hate by Design’ and ‘My Curse’ were particular favourites, with berserk crowd surfing and balcony head-banging. The heavier ‘Howard Jones’ era tracks were so crisply carried out by Leach, an element that no one should underappreciate. A massive encore of ‘Rose of Sharyn’, the American powerhouse blew Perth away one last time, leaving immense endorphins running through everyone’s bodies.
Review by Ricky Aarons
Photo Gallery by Josh Ludlow. Please credit Wall of Sound and Photographer if you use published photos.