Review and Photos: Rise Against, Killswitch Engage, letlive., Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 7/24/15

Posted by on July 28, 2015

Words: Jacob Katsiaficas
Images: Nathan Katsiaficas
Rise Against’s current tour, featuring Killswitch Engage and Letlive, rolled through Boston’s Blue Hills Bank Pavillion last Friday night. For those not in the know, the Blue Hills Bank Pavillion is a seated venue, which is great if you’re at a James Taylor concert or something. This environment is not exactly conducive to a high energy rock show, however, so I’m not quite sure who thought booking this tour at this venue was a good idea. That being said, the bands certainly tried their best to make d0 and still put on a killer show.

Letlive opened up the evening to a rather sparse crowd, but good reaction, as people filtered in. Of all the bands present, they suffered the most from the strange atmosphere of the venue – frontman Jason Aalon Butler likened it to playing a high school talent show, but still put on the most energetic performance of the night. He ran into the audience, stretching the mic cable as long as it would go, jumping over chairs and at one point hugging a fan who was singing along, before returning to the stage, where he continued to jump around and convulse while delivering a powerful vocal performance. Having just finished recording their next full length, it should come as no surprise that the band is playing new material live. Fans were treated to one new track that as of yet seems to be untitled, along with their more popular songs, “Muther,” “Renegade ‘86”, and “27 Club.”  Letlive closed their set with “Banshee (Ghost fame).”


Killswitch Engage were up next to play before a much fuller venue, blasting through a set consisting of some older hits and did a great job of riling everyone up despite the seating arrangement. I hadn’t seen them since Jesse Leach first rejoined, and it was nice to see that he has caught his voice up to [former vocalist] Howard Jones’, hitting all of the Howard-era notes without issue. Adam Dutkiewicz was in his usual hilarious form, instructing everyone to stand in front of their seats and “chair mosh” by flailing their arms, which he demonstrated with a comical motion akin to those inflatable flailing tubes outside of car dealerships. The band definitely seemed to be having a good time playing what essentially was a hometown show for them—even though Leach noted that due to the odd seating arrangement, this might’ve been the “mellowest Killswitch show ever.” Dutkiewicz amused himself and the audience by spending an entire song running through the first few rows of the crowd and standing on the barricade while playing guitar. The band’s set consisted of fan-favorites “Fixation on the Darkness,” “A Bid Farewell,” “My Last Serenade,” and others, along with some tracks from the newer album. While the audience was still predominantly made up of Rise Against fans, it was clear during “My Last Serenade” from the near-deafening sounds of the crowd singing along that Killswitch had brought their fans out as well.


After the 50-minute set from Killswitch Engage was over, Rise Against took to the stage. This was my first time seeing them, and while I was more there for the other bands, I was pleasantly surprised by their live performance. It is a hard task to follow letlive and Killswitch Engage, and while letlive would remain unsurpassed in terms of the energy of their live performance, Rise Against still put on quite the show. The band kicked off their set with “The Great Die-Off,” “The Good Left Undone,” and “Satellite.” Frontman Tim McIlrath sounded flawless live, even better than on any of their recordings I’ve heard. Bassist Joe Principe and lead guitarist Zach Blair seemed determined to take flight on stage that night, leaping around from riser to riser. The remainder of the band’s set featured many of their hits including, “Re-Education (Through Labor),” “Give It All,” “Prayer of the Refugee,” “Swing Life Away” (an acoustic performance), and “Help Is On The Way.” If you’re not able to make it out to one of the remaining dates, you’re in luck. Apparently the bands are all having so much fun on this run they’ve added a second leg that kicks off in late October and runs through November.

Remaining Dates:

7/28  New York, NY @ Central Park Summer Stage
7/29  Silver Springs, MD @ The Fillmore
7/31  Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
8/01 Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
8/02 Winnipeg, Manitoba @ Burton Cummings Theatre
8/04 Calgary, Alberta @ Big Four
8/05 Edmonton, Alberta @ Shaw Conference Centre
8/07 Seattle, WA @ ShowBox SoDo
8/09 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
8/11 San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
8/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
8/16 Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium

Second leg:

11/01 Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
11/03 Lancaster, PA @ Freedom Hall
11/04 Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
11/06 Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room – Old National Centre
11/07 Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
11/08 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
11/10 Richmond, VA @ The National
11/12 Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
11/13 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle (Killswitch Engage ONLY)
11/14 Orlando, FL @ Central Florida Fairgrounds
11/16 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
11/17 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
11/18 Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theatre
11/20 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee
11/21 Las Vegas, NV @ Downtown Las Vegas Event Center
11/22 San Diego, CA @ SOMA

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