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Killswitch Engage/In Flames/As I Lay Dying - Worcester MA 5/28/04

Seems like I am never able to make it to many shows due to my sometimes insane schedule of working and attending grad school, but thankfully I was able to make the trip out to The Palladium to catch 2 of my fave bands (KsE and In Flames) perform. I must admit, The Palladium was definitely packed, and must have been damn close to selling out (or maybe it did, I don't know).

Opening up was As I Lay Dying, and as I've said in reviews, they're a good band, but they do nothing for me. I'll give them credit since they were very energetic and the songs do sound better live than on disc. Everyone seems to dig this band so more power to them.

Apparently, it was In Flames night to go first (which is actually a good thing in retrospect) so they opened up with Pinball Map. I wanted to be nice and close for In Flames set, and due to this, I felt like a canned sardine for the next hour. I've never been to a show where the pushing forward and backward occurred throughout the entire set, which is a testament to the number of fans there (in an off-note, they sold out all their t-shirts too, forcing me to grab an XXL). As it could be expected, the band played a very energetic and fun performance. The new material sounded good too; they played In Search For I, Touch of Red, My Sweet Shadow (closer), and hell, even The Quiet Place was excellent in the live setting. The band filmed Only For the Weak to potentially use on a future dvd, which furthered the crowd's enthusiasm on that song. The only "old" material they played was "Behind Space" and "Episode 666" (thank god, since some places didn't get it this time around). Even with the emphasis on the newer material, even die-hard older fans should still acknowledge the band's ability to perform well live. Hopefully, they'll be back again as headliners in the near future.

Finally, it was Killswitch Engage and wow! I did not expect them to upstage In Flames performance but they put on one of the best live performances I've seen in recent history. Perhaps they felt they owed the crowd that only saw a few brief minutes at Metalfest or were just really psyched to be back in front of the home crowd, but whatever the reason, the band reeked of energy and passion. Adam D was up to his usual stage antics and even showing everyone his ass (which I really could have lived without seeing) and Howard Jones was 10-fold better with his stage performance than when I saw them on the Headbanger's Ball tour. They stuck to alot of the "standard" older material, but did perform "A Bid Farewell", "Take This Oath", "When Darkness Falls", and "Rose of Sharyn" in the mix. We were fortunate enough to even get a "expanded" set list, as the band felt bad about getting shorted at this past Metalfest. I stayed back a little bit further during KsE's set so I could get a little breathing room, but the crowd looked just as psyched (if not more so) than with In Flames. Howard Jones often had the crowd doing some of the chorus singing, eliciting a loud response. Hopefully everyone managed to catch this tour, since its almost at an end, but for me, it was definitely worth the 3 hour drive out to Worcester and I'm very excited to see Killswitch again at the Aggressive Music Fest coming up in July.

May 30, 2004
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