Live Reviews : Killswitch Engage, Fallujah & Cursed Earth @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 05/03/2017
Images: Clinton Hatfield
Words: Dave “Higgo” Higgins
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I was genuinely excited to see Killswitch Engage at 170 Russell. It’d been way too long between drinks for me, and the fact that they were bringing Fallujah to Melbourne for the first time only heightened the tingling in my special spot. But more on them in just a sec.
First up were Western Australian band, Cursed Earth. Straight up honesty here, I’d never seen them live, had heard of them, but never heard or seen them. What a bloody way to start the night. These five musicians were tight, brutal, super energetic, lead brilliantly by Jazmine who constantly stalked the stage like a caged wild tiger. I had no idea of what to expect when I walked in, and after the first song I was down front, on the floor, soaking it in, planning on buying their music. I was so engrossed in watching them all, the set zoomed past all too quickly. For me, that’s a good sign, they left me wanting more. Bloody impressive.
When it comes to Fallujah, I’m late to the party. Very late. Like, last week late. You know how it goes with heavy music, there’s just so much awesome you get caught up in frothing over certain bands and miss others. For me, Fallujah is one of those bands. But now, I’m on board, and I’m stoked I was able to see them live. I was impressed at how well they were able to bring their recorded sound to the live stage, and the absolute proficiency of all players to be note perfect. Lead singer, Alex, was chatty and engaged the crowd constantly, a skill he’s clearly honed of years of live playing, and you could definitely hear the sincerity when he mentioned “it’s always been a dream of mine to come here” in between blasting out ferocious vocals on fan favourites and new tunes from their latest album, Dreamless. Fallujah’s music lends itself to a great live experience. It’s not just a balls out explosive freight train, due to the structure of songs, it ebbs and flows, but when asked, the pit was opened at 170 Russell, and the people, they did get wild.
When it came time for Killswitch Engage, the crowd was in a lather. In part, thanks to alcohol, but in larger part, thanks to the awesome performances from Cursed Earth and Fallujah. We were ready. To hear Alive or Just Breathing in Full was as expected, fucking awesome. What a great album that, if it were released today, fifteen years after it’s original release, would garner just as much praise. It’s that good. Put simply, Killswitch were on fire. I’m not over selling it. They were on fucking fire. Jesse sounded great, Adam D was running all over the place as usual providing the laughs, and the comradery between these brothers is something other bands should be enviable of. It’s something that, for the first time, I really noticed between them. Maybe I wasn’t looking for it before, maybe it just stands out more now, but these guys have so much fun on stage, it’s impossible not to smile watching them. There’s a love and respect that oozes effortlessly from each of them, and hey, who doesn’t love a poo joke mid show? Thanks Adam D. Once they’d finished playing Alive or Just Breathing from start to finish, they then launched into another EIGHT songs, including Hate By Design, Strength Of The Mind, In Due Time, Alone I Stand and well, you suddenly realise how many fan favourites there are. I love Killswitch Engage live, always entertaining, always insanely energetic, always fun, always passionate, always respectful and always, ALWAYS appreciative. What a fuckin night out. It was, as our esteemed Metal Obsession leader Anwar would say, ‘the tits’.