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Killswitch Engage Live: Confessions of a Seattle Rock Photographer III

17 March 2010 2 Comments

Killswitch Engage Live at the Showbox SODO Seattle

Written and Photographed by Geoffrey Grib Gribbin

First of all I would like to thank those that booked this show at the Showbox Sodo . In my opinion one of the best venues to see a show in all of Seattle. Accoustically and visually amazing. With that out of the way I’m going to say something that just might piss more than one loyal Killswitch fan off. Phil Labonte of All That Remains Killed it with his vocal performance.  Not that I have anything against Howard Jones. In fact I love the guy. Not in a gay way either.  I truly hope that he is on his way to a healthier place readying himself to retake the helm.  In his absence Phil has successfully  made the vocals for this band his bitch. And his choice of T-shirt for the night rocked.

The crowd as usual already whipped into an attentive stance pressed tightly against the barricade of the pit with the security  and their obligatory water bottles administering relief one drop at a time.  The crowd is a dull roar praising the accolades or both Dark Tranquility, One of the most influential metal bands out of Sweden and The Devil wears Prada who have already carved  out  a following strong enough that even the Devil in his dapper getup couldn’t hold back.  As usual, that is another review coming soon.

Dripping wet from the first two shows a familiar song begins. But this is not Killswitch. This is from the the 80s band Yello. The song is Oh yeah as the crowd erupts in unison. “OH YEAH”  LED’s flashing the words on the screen as the band emerges and takes their place. Im actually laughing outloud.

What transpires in front of me can only be described as Killswitch meets The Three Stooges. Ill have to admit I have never seen Killswitch before live so it caught me off guard a bit.  Adam Dutkiewicz on lead guitar, a character almost beyond description prancing around the stage in gym shorts and shirt wearing a bright green cape with dollar signs adorning his superhero gear. Whatever power he gains from ity, it obviously works. The sounds ranging from his guitar running the gambit between delicately beautiful and hauntingly disturbing. Running back and forth on the stage with a huge shit eating grin his powers don’t even wear off when his cape slips to the floor. I secretly wanted it and actually hesitated  for a few moments to try to figure out how to obtain it. But alas the three song rule as usually is a startling wakeup call and the first song is almost over.

Labonte carries the crowd note for note and verse for verse as this venue now has become one gigantic speaker to which we are all inside.  The light show is top shelf and you cant help but get great images so I find that by the end of the second song I have all that I need. At this point I fall back and start looking around at the surreal activity that is taking place around me.  A crowd surfer comes over the rail and lands on one of the other photographers knocking her to her knees. Hey, this is rock and roll. My friends in security remind me….” one more song”

I start looking more closely at the other members. John Foley has got to be one of the best drummers I have ever heard in my entire life. The core pulse that keeps this machine rolling to its inevitable end with destiny is right on tempo. A tempo that is broken into little eighth sixteenth and thirty seconds like some mad genius’s  heartbeat on crack.

Mike D’Antonio on bass and Joel Stroetzel on rhythm guitar  working together in unison like a finely oiled machine.  Nodding back and forth to each other during key moments when like an eclipse the music converges and the entire band comes shooting out the other side masters of their universe.

My daughter tonight asked me, “ Poppie, is it easy to make music” while listening to the bands MY CURSE track.  I look at her and say , “ For these guys , yes baby,  But it’s a lot of work.” I tell her that this band has been at it over a decade. And look at what they have accomplished during that time.
She tells me that she recognizes the song from her guitar hero 3 legends of rock game. I shake my head and smile.

Howard. We’re all pulling for you. Hoping you get to a place that you need to be. Hopefully back to write yet another album and tour with the intensely powerfull, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE!!!  Grib.


  • Groovey said:

    Way awesome shots dude!

  • Jim Miller said:

    Wow, yeah, amazing shots and write-up!

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