When Killswitch Engage took the stage at Empire Control Room & Garage in downtown ATX for SXSW, the mosh pit opened up and heavy metal music with lyrics about anti-abuse, racial inequality and gay rights boomed through the 1,500 max capacity venue. With the return of Jesse Leach, the original lead singer for the band, they took the stage with a vengeance. They played mostly songs from their latest album released on March 11th, with your classics like “My Curse” and others from previous albums. After a multi-year hiatus, it was awesome to see most of the original members share the stage once more.
With opening bands tearing up the stage, crowd surfing, moshing and drink throwing, the crowd was more than ready for Killswitch Engage to take the stage. Empire Control Room & Garage features three stages in separate areas, with a stage in their garage, outside patio, arcade games and the Control Room that was voted best lighting in Austin. It was a perfect venue for the metal fans to flock too — with limited entry and being up close and personal, it was one hell of a metal show.
During SXSW, it’s a great opportunity to see larger bands take the smaller stages to perform for a more intimate crowd where they can feel a part of the band itself. Brings me back to the old punk days seeing bands perform in houses and old abandoned buildings before blowing up and selling out stadiums and other large venues. By all means, Killswitch Engage should be on your radar for one hell of show with friendly moshing and head banging.