© Dhruv Kumar
All live Photos by Dhruv Kumar
Words by Liz Ramanand
Metal was in full force in Strong Island. Hometown heroes Anthrax took over the Paramount in Huntington with Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada and Code Orange.
Spit and sweat emitted from the members of Code Orange who started the night off with a vicious set. Seeing the band live is an intense sensory overload, every member brings their own ferociousness to the stage whether it’s serious headbanging or high kicks and jumps. Code Orange’s new album Forever is their major label debut on Roadrunner Records. They cranked out new tunes “Kill the Creator,” “Bleeding the Blur,” “The New Reality,” “Ugly,” “Spy” and “The Mud.”
The intensity continued with Ohio band The Devil Wears Prada. They kicked off their set with “Daughter” off of their latest album Transit Blues. Frontman Mike Hranica’s vigor is relentless onstage as he spewed older favorites “Outnumbered,” “Assistant Regional Manager” and their set ending “Mammoth.” To say the least, anyone who showed up late missed a very unique and heavy experience with these two opening acts.
Chaos ensued and crowd surfers came alive when Killswitch Engage hit the stage. “Hate By Design” off of the band’s latest disc “Incarnate” set the vibe for the powerful set. Speaking of power, one new song “Embrace the Journey…Upraised” showed the emotion and vigor of frontman Jesse Leach every time he belted out the chorus “I’m upraised / A feeling I can’t explain / My soul aches / Still searching is my refrain.” Other songs that pulled at heart strings included “This Fire,” “My Curse,” “The End of Heartache” and “Rose of Sharyn” which kept fans rowdy throughout the set.
There was also a lot of laughter as guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz notoriously does random things to fuel his humorous stage presence. In between songs he expressed his love for Little Vincent’s, a notable pizzeria across the street from the venue, as he told fans certain inappropriate things he would do to their famous cold cheese slices.
One of the highlights of the entire night was Anthrax frontman, Joey Belladonna, joining the guys of Killswitch onstage for their rendition of Ronnie James Dio’s “Holy Diver.” This also gave Dutkiewicz time to hop offstage to get some whiskey at the bar during the set-ending song.
The ‘Killthrax Tour’ brought old school Anthrax fans and a newer generation of metal fans of Killswitch and the Devil Wears Prada together. “What do you know about this?” an older fan said to a kid singing Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” before Anthrax went onstage. The kid ignored the old-school Anthrax fan and continued rocking out to Maiden.
Headliners Anthrax graced the stage and appropriately began their set with “Among the Living” which came out in 1987 and celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. Other anthems, from the album, that filled The Paramount included “Caught in a Mosh,” “I Am the Law” and “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.).” Anthrax’s tasty Wardance Pale Ale beers were also being sold at the venue but sold out very quickly.
With or without Wardance beer, it’s difficult not soar when you hear Belladonna’s vocal chops especially with new tracks “Breathing Lightning” and “Blood Eagle Wings” off of their latest release For All Kings. Belladonna also knows how to connect with fans whether it was making fun of one of their muscles or making weed gestures, fans were all smiles and so was he.
The night ended with their cover of Trust’s “Antisocial” and everyone war danced during “Indians” to round out the very memorable night of the Killthrax Tour.
You’ll know you’ve had fun if you went into an Anthrax show with your hair looking like guitarist Jon Donais or drummer Charlie Benante and then by the end of the night you have unruly hair like Belladonna…or if you really had fun you might have hair like bassist Frank Bello. If you don’t have hair well then just tap into your inner Scott Ian and rock out. By the end of the night, Long Island fans were sweat soaked with messy hair, sore muscles, and hoarse voices and headed to Little Vincent’s Pizzeria.