The energy was insanely high at the Hollywood Palladium as fans lined up around the block to see Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage, After The Burial, and Vein. For some wonderful reason, The Hollywood Palladium didn’t require the photographers to check their camera gear after the first 3 songs of each band, which was a first! They even said they didn’t mind if we shot from the crowd which was an unexpected surprise. Unfortunately, this didn’t make a lasting impact because the show was forced to end early after major audio issues.
After The Burial opened their set with their hit song “Lost In The Static” which was a delightful surprise. Promoting their new album, Evergreen, After The Burial was set to put on a tight show before various problems arose. First, something went wrong with one of the guitars which briefly paused the show. The band continued to play, but something was wrong with the speakers like someone unplugged a guitar and was holding onto the live cable. Due to the volume of the music, this strange sounding buzz was lost in the static, so I didn’t really notice it at the time. The show halted for a few minutes as backstage people scurried about attempting to fix the problem as the vocalist filled the silence with a funny story of how an old tour manager fell asleep in a gas station bathroom. After The Burial finally finished their set and by that time, the fans had been drinking heavily. As I was exiting the standing room area, I saw guitar virtuoso Tosin Abasi walking towards me. I was instantly distracted and nearly stepped into a pool of vomit until someone stopped me. Then, I went to grab a beer and heard someone ask for security because someone had passed out twice already. At the time I thought, “wow, and we’ve still got a lot of show left,” but I was gravely mistaken.
Killswitch Engage crushed it as always. They opened with “This Fire, Rose of Sharyn, and The End of Heartache” which was a legendary way to start the set. Things flowed more smoothly during Killswitch’s set, but at times the bad audio became noticeable. The band members were energetically running and dancing around on stage as the crowd went crazy. Killswitch Engage concerts are never dull affairs. Adam was his typical, hilarious self as he yelled strange things at the crowd. Adam, who is always dressed differently, played a pizza guitar and was wearing hot dog shorts. A healthy mixture of old songs and new ones were played and the crowd loved every minute of it. The mass of people endlessly swirled and surged like fish in a bait ball. In their final moments on stage, Killswitch Engage played “In Due Time, My Curse,” and their fantastic cover of “Holy Diver” by the late great Dio.
Parkway Drive opened with “Wishing Wells” and “Prey” and obviously the crowd was going crazy. The band then switched it up and played “Carrion” off of their 2009 album, catering to some of the older fans. Audio problems emerged at the start of the fourth song and the show was once again put on hold. “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen blasted over the loudspeakers and things mellowed out for 5 to 8 minutes. After what seemed like ages, Parkway Drive got the green light to continue their set. Vocalist Winston McCall thanked the crowd for their patience saying, “when the PA explodes and I can’t explain it because the mic has nothing coming out of it, it makes it hard to communicate.” The crowd flipped a switch and brought the energy back as Parkway Drive played “Vice Grip.” A mosh pit swirled for the entirety of the song as waving hands carried crowd surfers. The lights went out and Winston yelled 3-2-1-Jump and then started “The Void.” It looked like every single person in the venue was jumping with their hands in the air. Seeing Parkway Drive play this song live, is a one of a kind experience you don’t want to miss. Parkway Drive managed to squeeze out a few more songs before ending their set after playing “Karma” due to the same massive audio failure. Winston, through a glitchy microphone, thanked the enthusiastic crowd for sticking around and he promised to make this right with us somehow in the future. Sadly, Parkway Drive’s 13 song setlist was cut down to 8 songs. The crowd shuffled out of the venue with their heads hung low, wishing things would have ended differently.