Killswitch Engage & Anthrax brought the metal
Thrash metal legends Anthrax and heavy metal veterans Killswitch Engage recently brought their double headliner tour to the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park. Affectionately dubbed the “Killthrax” tour, they performed to a sold out venue full of screaming, crowd surfing metal fans. It was the penultimate date on the tour, which covered much of the U.S. and ended the following night in Boston. Code Red and The Devil Wears Prada opened.
Anthrax took the stage fronted by vocalist Joey Belladonna and founding member Scott Ian on guitar; longtime members’ bassist Frankie Bello and drummer Charlie Benante, and lead guitarist Jonathan Donais who joined the band in 2013 rounded out the line-up. Their set list consisted mostly of songs from Belladonna’s initial tenure with the band back in the 80s. The band’s seminal album “Among the Living” featured heavily including the title track, “Caught in a Mosh,” “I Am the Law” and “Indians.” Newer songs since Belladonna reunited with the group in 2010 included “”Fight ‘Em “Til You Can’t” and “Blood Eagle Wings.”
Belladonna and Ian, with his iconic bald head and long goatee, got the crowd all worked up and head banging to every song. Almost four decades after their formation and they can still blow the roof off a joint.
Up next on the double bill was Killswitch Engage. Lead singer Jesse Leach’s mixture of singing and screaming blended perfectly with the heavy riffs of the band. Much like Anthrax’s Belladonna, Leach was an early member of the band, left for an extended time, and then reunited again.
Songs from their set included “Hate by Design,” “My Last Serenade,” “Rose of Sharyn” and “Beyond the Flames.” Several songs from when Howard Jones led the band on vocals were performed.
In the middle of their set came one of their biggest hits, the Grammy nominated “The End of Heartache.” Everyone pulled out their cell phones to record this fan favorite song. Leach would often point the mic toward the audience to let them take over for a line or two and every person in the venue was seemingly singing along.
After an evening of watching the audience constantly crowd surfing, Leach decided to join in the fun. He jumped on the crowd and surfed all the way to the bar, screaming “I need my drink, mother*#*#!!!”. Once at the bar he grabbed a drink and greeted everyone. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz suggested that Leach start the next song from atop the bar which is exactly what he did. He introduced “My Curse” and while the band was playing the intro Leach crowd surfed all the way back to the stage in time for the lead vocals to start.
The highlight of the whole evening was also the final song of the show. They played their cover of the Dio classic “Holy Diver.” As a treat for fans though, they brought back out Joey Belladonna from Anthrax to perform lead vocals. Belladonna is from a similar class of vocalists as the late Ronnie James Dio and did a great job evoking his spirit. It’s rare to see this kind of special guest appearance at a concert and was the perfect ending to a seriously kick ass show.
James Suits / James Suits Photography / The Fuze Magazine
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