Thrash metal legends Anthrax and metalcore unit Killswitch Engage bring their KillThrax tour to The Fillmore Detroit with support from The Devil Wears Prada and Jasta.

There is nothing like a metal concert to bring some energy and heat to Detroit on a Spring Saturday evening.  Many are saying rock and metal are dead, but that is certainly not the case in Detroit tonight with fans lined up down the side of the venue to see their metal heroes on this incredible bill.

Opening the evening is Jasta, the side project led by Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta.  They start the show with the melodic song “The Same Flame” from the recent release The Lost Chapters and follow that with the fast-paced and aggressive song “This is Your Life” from the same album.  They also play “Chasing Demons” from that same album during their set.  The rest of the songs come from the 2011 self-titled album Jasta, including “Set You Adrift”, “Walk That Path Alone”, “Heart of a Warrior”, and “Screams from the Sanctuary”.   It is a short set, but it gets the crowd moving and fired up.

Jasta is Jamey Jasta (vocals), Joey Concepcion (guitar), Charlie Bellmore (guitar), Chris Beaudette (bass), and Nick Bellmore (drums).

Up next is metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada.  They are touring in support of their critically acclaimed 2016 release Transit Blues, their sixth full-length album.  Several songs from that album are part of the setlist tonight including the opening song “Daughter”, as well as “Worldwide”, and “To the Key of Evergreen”.

With only 30 minutes of stage time, they waste no time tearing through song after song in a nine-song set with minimal breaks to speak to the audience.  The fans do not seem to mind as they mosh, fist-pump, and cheer loudly to the extreme-paced songs.  Their sound tonight is dialled in tight and they don’t let their fans down with a powerful performance led by vocalist Mike Hranica who never stops moving around the whole stage.

The setlist for The Devil Wears Prada is “Daughter”, “Sailor’s Prayer”, “Planet A”, ”Outnumbered”, “Worldwide”, “Assistant to the Regional Manager”, “Dead Throne”, “To the Key of Evergreen”, and “Mammoth”.

The Devil Wears Prada consists of Mike Hranica (vocals), Jeremy Depoyster (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andy Trick (bass), Kyle Sipress (lead guitar), Giuseppe Capolupo (drums), and Jon Gering (touring keyboardist).

Killswitch Engage comes out of the gate with all cylinders firing in overdrive as they launch into “Hate by Design” from their latest release Incarnate.  The crowd loves it and picks up right where they left off during The Devil Wears Prada set.  It is full-blown chaos on the main floor with heavy moshing and fist-pumping.

They continue the set with a few songs from the 2002 album Alive or Just Breathing including “Vide Infra” and “My Last Serenade”.  Vocalist Jesse Leach sounds stronger than ever as he leads the band through these songs and engages regularly with the audience.  He wastes no time jumping down into the photo pit early in the set and greets fans up front.  You can see and feel the emotion he puts forth on every song as he sings his heart out with a combination of harsh vocals, clean sections, and many screams.

Bassist Mike D’Antonio likes to work the whole stage and strike poses for the fans.  He also leads the audience in clapping along several times during the song “My Curse”.  He and drummer Justin Foley provide the thunderous pulse that drives the Killswitch Engage songs.  The crowd seizes the energy and reacts with loud cheering.

Guitarists Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroezel complement each other well with harmonies, soaring leads, and pinch harmonics.  Adam has quite the animated stage presence as he runs around the whole stage, jumps up and down, and makes goofy faces all while he shreds the guitar.  And quite the shredder he is as he shows off his chops such as the finger tapping during “Holy Diver”.  During the song “Holy Diver” he even manages to chug a drink while he plays the guitar one-handed.  He also has a way with words as he says some crazy stuff many times during the show, eliciting laughter and cheers from the crowd.

They close out their set in strong fashion with “In Due Time”, a fan favorite from the 2013 release Disarm the Descent.  It is a powerful 17-song set tonight that leaves the fans screaming for more.

Original lead singer Jesse Leach officially returned to Killswitch Engage in 2012 after a 10-year hiatus.  From all signs, they are on top of their game again winning Best Live Band at the 2014 Metal Hammer Golden God Awards and being nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for Best Metal Performance.  Incarnate is getting critical acclaim and debuted at #1 on the Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts.

From a live perspective, Killswitch Engage fans are loyal and continue to support the band through their seamlessly, never-ending touring.  With over 100 shows in 2016 and a fast start in 2017, it doesn’t seem that they will be letting up anytime soon.  They are a regular on the summer festival circuit also.  Be sure to catch them live if you have never seen them before as they give it 100% every night and are well worth the price of admission.

The complete setlist for Killswitch Engage is “Hate By Design”, “Vide Infra”, “My Last Serenade”, “A Bid Farewell”, “No End in Sight”, “Numbered Days”,  â€œAlone I Stand”, “The End of Heartache”, “Embrace the Journey..Upraised”, “Fixation on the Darkness”, “Rose of Sharyn”, “This is Absolution”, “Beyond the Flames”, “My Curse”, “Strength of the Mind”, ”Holy Diver”, and ” In Due Time”.

Killswitch Engage is comprised of Jesse Leach (vocals), Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar), Joel Stroetzel (guitar), Mike D’Antonio (bass), and Justin Foley (drums).

After the blistering set by Killswitch Engage, the crowd anxiously waits for the legendary Anthrax to take the stage.  The last time they played Detroit was as the opening band for Slayer back in September 2016.  This time around the fans will get to see a full set by one of the original “Big 4” of thrash metal bands.  Anthrax is still touring in support of their masterful 2016 release For All Kings.

The lights dim and the crowd erupts as an intro starts playing before the band takes the stage and launches into “Among the Living”, a classic track from their 1987 release of the same name.  They follow that up with two more classic songs, “Caught in the Mosh” and “Madhouse”.  During the former song, guitarist Scott Ian performs one of his famous flying, split-kick jumps.  The crowd is now going completely nuts with a large portion of the main floor a giant mosh pit, while the rest of the crowd fist-pumps and cheers.

The stage set for Anthrax mainly consists of a backdrop of the cover of their latest album For All Kings and two ramps leading to platforms on either side of drummer Charlie Benante, which guitarists Scott Ian and Jon Donais, and bassist Frank Bello make use of throughout the set.  They use strobes, smoke, as well as vivid green, red, and purple lighting that adds to the vibe.  It is a pretty stripped down stage, but that does not hold the band back from giving the fans what they want, a full-blown metal onslaught.

Except for guitarist Jon Donais who joined in 2013, the core of Anthrax has been performing for over thirty years.  Their energy tonight is over the top and puts to shame many of the younger acts touring today.  It’s hard to believe that all but one of these guys are in their fifties now, but have the stamina of a twenty-year-old as they tear through their set.

Drummer Charlie Benante is an absolute animal on the drums, pounding them into submission with rapid-fire precision.  Along with his nephew Frank Bello on bass, the duo provides the rock-solid bottom end that propels the Anthrax sound into another dimension.  On that of that, Frank is a wild man as he thrashes and jumps around, whips his hair, as well as smiles and laughs.  The guy just flat-out looks like he is having a blast performing for the fans.  Jon Donais (formerly of Shadows Fall) shreds the guitar with crunching leads, while rhythm guitarist Scott Ian provides hook-laden riffs.  Together they are on fire tonight with a flawless performance.

About halfway through their set Scott Ian asks the crowd if they are ready to hear some new metal.  Not happy with the response or lack of from one audience member, Joey calls him out and repeats the question.  This time it is a resounding yes and they jump right into “Evil Twin”, a hard-hitting track from For All Kings.  That is followed up by “March of the S.O.D.” and “Blood Eagle Wings”.  The new tracks especially show off the guitar playing skills of Jon Donais as he rapidly works the whole fretboard.

The lights come back up with drummer Charlie Benante wearing a ghost mask and the audience loves it.  Anthrax plays the opening notes of “Antisocial” and the crowd once again amps up the energy as they mosh, put up their horns, crowd surf, and sing along to the song.  They close out the night with an extended version of “Indians”.  Just when you think it is over, Scott Ian calls out to the crowd and the mosh pit explodes.  They play for a bit longer and then Joey thanks the fans for coming out tonight.  It is truly a great night for metal fans.

Since reuniting with Joey Belladonna in 2010, Anthrax has put out several killer albums and are receiving critical acclaim once again.  This allows them to be part of many major festivals worldwide year after year, as well as touring with other greats like Slayer and Lamb of God.  It is fantastic to see these legends still putting out great music and touring to keep their legion of fans happy.  Hopefully, they will continue to do so for many more years.

The complete setlist for Anthrax is “Among the Living”, “Caught in a Mosh”, “Madhouse”, “Fight ‘Em ‘Yil You Can’t”, “I Am the Law”, “Breathing Lightning”, “Medusa”, “Efilnikufesin”, “Evil Twin”, “March of the S.O.D.”, “Blood Eagle Wings”, “Antisocial”, and the encores “Be All, End All”, “Neon Knights”, and “Indians”.

Anthrax is Joey Belladonna (vocals), Scott Ian (rhythm guitar), Jonathan Donais (lead guitar), Frank Bello (bass), and Charlie Benante (drums).

The-27 date KillThrax tour continues through May 7 with dates across the US and one in Toronto, Canada.

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Killswitch Engage
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The Devil Wears Prada
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Event Date: 08-APR-2017

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