Killswitch Engage at The Academy – Review & Photos

Killswitch Engage - Academy, Dublin

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Killswitch Engage - Academy, DublinKillswitch Engage at The Academy, Dublin – January 29th, 2014

I found out the gig was sold out two days before the show, and my first thought was: “This is going to be mental”; and I wasn’t wrong. It was bitter and wet out, but nothing could dampen anyone’s mood, it was Killswitch Engage after all! I had only heard good things about Killswitch Engage’s live shows, and they definitely delivered. But of course, before the headliners could make their appearance, there were two very different opening acts to listen to, the first being Menshevik and the second being Battlecross.

Menshevik takes to the stage first and from the faces of other people in the room, no one seems to know what to expect, and what happened was not something anyone expected at all. The band was a solid unit, but I felt their vocalist (Rob Dempsey) over-shadowed them. If he wasn’t singing in the crowd, he was tumbling about on stage or climbing a balcony and jumping off of it (which was difficult, terrifying and exhilarating to watch all at once). There was too much going on at once. Their songs were never really introduced making it difficult to look them up afterwards. The UK hardcore-punk quartet hail from Norfolk and this was their first ever live show in Ireland.  They seemed ecstatic to play here and definitely wanted to make it a night to remember, and so they did.  They were good in their own right, but I don’t believe they suited tonight’s show at all. I’d recommend them to anyone who is a fan of hardcore-punk.

More people arrive between the time Menshevik leave the stage and tonight’s second support act, Battlecross. This is a band definitely more suitable to tonight’s atmosphere (and not to mention the musical preference of the majority of the crowd).  This is a band who was prepared to take over and blow everyone away, and that they did. Hailing from Michigan in the US, these guys clearly know what it takes to keep a crowd under their spell. Songs such as ‘Push, Pull, Destroy’, ‘Beast’ and ‘Flesh and Bone’ had the crowd going totally mental. They are hands down one of the best support acts I’ve ever seen. They had energy, an unbelievable band, amazing vocals, a good relationship with the crowd and the songs to pull it off! They definitely left The Academy tonight with so many new fans (including myself). Everyone should definitely give them a listen!

The room goes dark and tonight’s headliners appear on stage, ready to blow the roof off the place. Killswitch Engage open with ‘A Bid Farewell’, and people are already throwing themselves about and screaming along (nope, no singing, just screaming); so much so that it becomes difficult to even hear frontman Jesse Leach at times! They keep the versatility coming, playing songs from various albums, songs such as ‘This Is Absolution’ and ‘The New Awakening’. I’m left gobsmacked at how solid these guys are live, not a wrong note or pitch to be heard (and if there were, the certainly covered it up well!). Tonight is Leach’s first time in Ireland ever, and tells the crowd how he has ancestors from Ireland who travelled to the US during the 1800s and how his favourite drink is Guinness. He’s clearly so ecstatic to be here, and we’re as ecstatic to have him here. The crowd even cheers his name during the breaks between songs! The show goes on with hits such as ‘Rose of Sharyn’, ‘Always’ and ‘My Last Serenade’ (all some of my favourite songs of the night). Later during the night, a bra is thrown on stage and the bra is placed on guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz by Leach, and Adam seems pretty damn happy with himself. Leach tells the crowd that it was by far the weirdest thing he’s ever done on stage, which is followed by a cheer of accomplishment by the crowd. The weirdest thing to happen to Jesse live happened here, what’s not to love?!  The night closes with super hits ‘In Due Time’ and ‘The End of Heartache’, the two loudest songs of the whole night. The whole place became one giant moshpit!  The band leaves the stage while the crowd cheers “One more tune! One more tune!” and they don’t disappoint. The boys return to the stage to finish the whole night off with ‘My Curse’. I have never seen so many bodies flying about in my whole life! Killswitch came to deliver a night no one would ever forget, and they did just that. Everyone left battered, bruised and sweating; all signs of a fantastic gig!

Review by Shauna Collins

Photos by Isabel Thomas


Lucy Ivan

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