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Adam D. killswitch engageSometimes metal is just too fucking serious. Dudes trying to be the most br00tal possible with the heaviest guitars, biggest, fastest drums, and most bad-assed looking clothing while making the meanest, scariest looking faces they can muster. I mean, really… don’t you just get sick of this manufactured shlock sometimes? Seeing Killswitch Engage headline the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey last Friday reminded me that music is supposed to be fun and that when you think about, the rock n’ roll machismo most metal bands display is pretty fucking hilarious in and of itself. Killswitch roared through a set of hits and fan-favorites alike, displaying their wicked virtuosity and awesome show, all the while looking like they were actually enjoying themselves. Playing and seeing music is supposed to be fun, not deathly serious, and thankfully Killswitch Engage are there to remind us.

Adam D’s between-song banter is nothing new, as it’s come to be an expected part of each show; but damn, the dude is fucking hilarious each and every time. This time around we got the following: “Are there any 16 years old girls in the audience? Meet me back stage and I’ll give you a fruit basket — with my cock and balls in it. Watch out, the banana is going to very, very veiny.” Even the other band members couldn’t help but crack up. The set was filled with this and other humorous moments, but above all the band looked to be having fun and the audience ate it up. Adam D. made silly faces, mock rockstar poses and interacted with the audience throughout; watching him alone is worth the price of admission.

And then there’s the music. The band was tight as a three year old version as always (thanks to Adam D.’s return), but the songs at this point are just undeniable and universal. In my many years of attending concerts I have NEVER seen a security guard break rank and sing along to the music; but last Friday I saw no less than three, not just mouthing along with the words but rocking out and raising their fists to the air. Killswitch Engage are fucking great, just regular dudes keeping it real who happen to be talented songwriters and musicians. One of the best bands of their generation, for sure — thanks in no small part to their attitude and sense of humor about the ridiculous cliches and machismo of our musical genre of choice.


PS: Have you guys seen Justin Foley’s beard lately? Good god, that thing is a fucking monster. I’m working on the inevitable “beard on beard” interview. Stay tuned.

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