Are you a real fan of rock/metal music? If you are, then KILLSWITCH ENGAGE should be named on the back of your Rocker Membership Card and if it isn't, well I might need to evaluate your membership status.

Named as one of the founders of the genre Metalcore, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have given the genre a definite place in music history. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE has set the pace for the genre since The End Of Heartache was released in 2004 and despite an underlining Team Howard or Team Jesse division, fans love the band and the music and especially love to see the band live. Personally, from my observation, ADAM DUTKIEWICZ is the glue in many ways, that binds the band together both musically and by consistency. Fans went crazy when they spotted ADAM gearing up his in ear monitors and guitar, screaming his name and "whoo-ing" at the top of their lungs. (Not to mention, if you've ever heard the side project TIMES OF GRACE you can see where this monster musician's talent resides as he wrote the music for The Hymn of a Broken Man whilst recovering from an injury. And all I can say).

That was apparent at the Dallas show at SOUTHSIDE BALLROOM last weekend when the venue was at capacity, if not sold out for the show featuring VEIN, AFTER THE BURIAL, PARKWAY DRIVE, and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE all of which favor the heavier, darker side of the genre. Darker in the sense of deeper growls, lyrical processing of issues that plague all of us, deeply moving lightening fast riffs and where the music takes you during and after the song is over.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE could have played for 3 hours and that still might not have been enough for these rabid fans that bounced, body surfed, and slammed into each other as they rid themselves of their own darkness during their set. JESSE LEACH took the audience into his grip from the beginning of the set to the end, bearing his soul telling the stories from then and now in each song. ADAM ran laps, screamed, and provoked the audience to join them in annihilating the set list for the night in a positive way, of course. MIKE D'ANTONIO made dents in our metalcore hearts from his bass and mirrored with JUSTIN FOLEY'S impeccable percussive playing are like paddles on a defibrillator dialed up to the highest setting. MIKE is all over the stage and pounds on the bass like a concert pianist. And I was totally impressed with the ease at which JOEL STROETZEL played some brilliantly written, fast AF, riffs and rhythms as I watched the intensity in his face as it masked the confidence he has for his instrument.

Their set was impressive (most impressive) and within the songs, old and new, I saw exactly why metalcore came into its own. Because of the push of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's passion, energy, questions about human nature, those emotions expressed and emotions retained, hints of rage in the riffs and tempos echo back hints of hope within the screams, melodies, and growls is there any wonder why metalcore has gained so much ground?

Life's happenings are represented just as life hands them out in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's music. How the band delivers it onstage is equivalent to the way life happens; moments of melodies and moments of screaming fits. And it takes a noticeable action sometimes to help recognize what you need to focus in on and fix. And that action, so many times is spawned by KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's movement in music: it moves heaven and earth connecting our experiences, solutions, and questions together in a way that I hope will continue for another 20 years.


4/30 — Kansas City, MO — Uptown Theater**
5/1 — Indianapolis, IN — Egyptian Room at Old National Centre*
5/3 — Jacksonville, FL — Welcome to Rockville^^
5/4 — Atlanta, GA  — Tabernacle**
5/5 — Nashville, TN — War Memorial Auditorium*
5/7 — Niagara Falls, NY — The Rapids Theatre**
5/9 — New York, NY — Terminal 5*
5/10 — New Haven, CT — College Street Music Hall*
5/11 — Philadelphia, PA — Franklin Music Hall (Outdoors)**
5/12 — Rockingham, NC — Epicenter^^
5/12 — Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues^
5/14 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring*
5/15 — Detroit, MI — The Fillmore Detroit**
5/16 — Milwaukee, WI — Eagles Club Stage*
5/17-19 — Columbus, OH — Sonic Temple***
*Killswitch Engage Closes Show
**Parkway Drive Closes Show
^^Festival — KsE Only
^Parkway Drive only




Formed in 1999 out of western Massachusetts, Killswitch Engage are often credited as one of the most influential metal acts in the last 20 years. Twice Grammy-nominated, they've sold over 3 million records worldwide, with The End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies both certified Gold in the U.S. The band has enjoyed multiple Top 10-charting albums, with 2016's Incarnate landing at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Current Rock Albums chart, and debuting at #1 overall in Canada, #5 in Australia, and #10 in both the UK and Germany, a testament to the band's international reach.

As co-founders of Killswitch Engage, guitarist/backing vocalist Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist Joel Stroetzel, bassist Mike D’Antonio, and lead vocalist Jesse Leach (who returned four years ago after a decade-long absence) together with longtime drummer Justin Foley continue to make trend-resistant, timeless heavy music that feeds the soul, touches the heart, and strengthens the mind. Spending much of their career on the road, Killswitch Engage have enjoyed premium slots on major U.S. tours, including OzzFest, Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest, Music As a Weapon, and Trespass America, as well as countless international festivals around the globe. Having shared the stage with acts ranging from Rise Against to Slayer, the diversity and versatility of their touring is unparalleled. Their songs have been featured on Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, John Madden, the Resident Evil IIIsoundtrack, and as entrance music for WWE wrestling champ CM Punk. The band's compelling history can be seen in their latest release, Beyond the Flames: Home Video Vol II, a treasure trove of gripping content, containing 3.5 hours of footage, including a 75-minute documentary that chronicles the return of original vocalist Leach after nearly a decade away from the band he helped form, as well as tons of live footage from around the globe. The band recently announced its signing to Metal Blade Records, with a new album planned for 2019.

Gallery Photos (c) 2019 | S. Birk