Max Watts, Melbourne VIC
November 1st, 2018
Support: Ocean Sleeper
When Parkway Drive are in town, there’s always such a buzz – not only because the best metalcore band of the country are in town, but because they bring some of the biggest metalcore bands in the world with them. Killswitch Engage need no introduction, y’all know what’s up. The guys love Australia as much as Australia loves them, so the fellas decided to play a cheeky headliner or two in between Parkway shows and getting bin chicken tattoos.
The sold-out show was rapidly visualised as local supports Ocean Sleeper played to a full crowd at Max Watts in Melbourne. These metalcore locals have achieved so much in the past couple of years and have even managed to slip onto the UNIFY Gathering lineup. The Victorians played a stellar half-hour set, showcasing some of their biggest hits that floated on the cusp of post-hardcore (in the contemporary sense) and metalcore. The clean/growl balance was well defined and orchestrated a fine aesthetic.
At nine-thirty sharp, metal titans Killswitch Engage built up the suspense with AC/DC‘s ‘Let There Be Rock‘ pumping across the venue, with what sounded like guitarist Adam D yelling hysterical nonsense over the top it. One by one, the band showed themselves on stage in front of a fiery back-drop with an all-round quintessential rock and roll presence. The crowd went berserk as vocalist Jesse Leach entered the stage with a freshly shaved mohawk and beard, wearing his signature sleeveless denim jacket. Immediately the riffs bounced off the walls as KSE launched into ‘End of Heartache‘ — an all-time-classic. Leach didn’t even bother to sing the opening lyrics as the crowd had him covered.
Adam D leapt around the stage in the goofy way that he does, growling garbage into the mic and living his best life on stage, to punters’ satisfaction of course. The band perpetually create an exemplary environment on stage in the way they crossfade traditional metal symbols with modern-day sounds and direction. Killswitch shows true passion in the way that they carry out decade-old tracks as if they were written yesterday, and all for the fans.
The American metal mob blasted through classics like ‘My Curse‘, ‘Hate by Design‘, and even ‘Holy Diver‘ — the Dio cover, known for the signature Howard Jones (HoJo) sound. It’s so great that the band play songs like this, acknowledging a truly important era of their band, and catering to fans old and new.
Closing with encore ‘This is Absolution‘, Killswitch Engage reminded Melbourne that they’ve still got it, they’re not going anywhere, and for fans to watch this space…
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Revisit Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach co-hosting our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast here
Photo Gallery by Sean Fabre-Simmonds. Insta: @gravy_havock
Please credit Wall of Sound and Sean Fabre-Simmonds if you use published photos.