What do you get when you put the two metal giants of Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive on the same bill? Thats right, pure chaos and a SOLD OUT home show! Not only is the tour name Oh-so-fitting, The Collapse The World Tour features some serious bands, from all over this globe. Killswitch Engage, being from Massachusetts, right here in New England, Parkway Drive hailing all the way from Byron Bay, Australia, and of course direct support by After The Burial out of Minnesota. Vein is also on this tour, but unfortunately, did not make an appearance at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT date on 5/10.
Since Vein was not on tap to kick off this ridiculous rager, After the Burial took the stage at 6:45 and quite frankly had the whole place full already. In support of their recent release, Evergreen, they've regularly played six songs and considered themselves "The Fluffers" for the big guns, but were able to play a seventh song due to the lengthened set times. Having looked up photos for other dates along this run, I thought I'd have some trouble photographing these guys, but I couldn't have been happier with the outcome and I'm sure the crowd was surprised with how amazing the "Fluffers" were as well. Coming straight away with their hit "Lost In The Static", then "Collapse", and "Behold the Crown", it was straight heavy metal devastation all the way to the end.
Given the early set times here in New Haven, this was quite a rare feat to see the Co-Headliner take the stage before 8pm, but I was okay with that! Parkway Drive knows how to bring the heat, and their typical shows have tons of pyro and fireballs, yet here at the indoor venue, we sadly can't have that type of production. Despite this, Vocalist Winston McCall took the stage with mysterious backlighting and epic chants to start "Wishing Wells", from their 2018 album Reverence. The intense amount of energy exhorted by Winston was unfathomable during the whole set, which included 13 powerful songs that left nothing back. Playing six tracks from Reverence, their set was mostly new since the last I'd seen them in 2018. The audience was certainly at attention during their whole performance, starting mosh pits on the different levels of the theater, and the band recognized this. Winston saying he could see the multi-level pits and to not stop as they were just getting started. In a venue of this capacity, personally, this is exactly where you see a band with the emotion and intensity of Parkway Drive. Closing their set with "Absolute Power", "Crushed", and then "Bottom Feeder", I barely had any energy left as I left it all on the floor for that one.
In the words of the late Billy Mays, "but wait, theres more..." - I had to pound a bottle of water, gather my thoughts and make my way back down to the photo pit area for Killswitch Engage. With an Italian flag draped over a cabinet that adorned the word "PIZZA" on it, it was only fitting that they were in the Pizza Capitol of the World in New Haven. Jesse Leach himself even said, "If you're not at Frank Pepe's, Its not real pizza." Killswitch fiercely took the stage at 9:30, bright lights, heavy riffs, and not a person in the place standing still. Opening their 17 song setlist with "This Fire", the blood was flowing again for me, I was no longer drained and had the energy needed to shoot my photos, of course while singing along and making sure I didn't get popped on the head by a rouge crowd surfer headed my way. Killswitch's set was incredible to say the least, Jesse jumped off stage during "The End of Heartache" while we were still up front shooting photos and handed the mic to the diehards on the rail, and even while being hugged and drowned in love by his fans, he didn't skip a beat, belting out every lyric making his was from right to left. Throughout the show they ripped through the classics like " Fixation on the Darkness" and "Vide Infra". You could see who knew the old school and who was a newer fan in the audience, but this didn't stop anyone from closing out the night with the whole place jumping to "My Curse", "Strength of Mind", and "Holy Diver", their famous cover by DIO.
Killswitch is currently on this run with Parkway Drive for another few days and they'll both head to Europe and eventually part ways for the infamous Festival Season over there. While I was hoping that Killswitch Engage would tease us with a single from their highly anticipated record, due out this fall, sadly we all must wait a bit longer to get a glimpse of the next chapter of the almighty KSE!