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Killing Joke at 40: Why These Trailblazing Veterans Are Still in Their Prime

By Hank Shteamer

Hank Shteamer

A little after 10pm on Wednesday, Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman was stomping around the stage of New York’s Irving Plaza, bellowing out the band’s brutish 2003 industrial-metal anthem “Loose Cannon,” which as he told the crowd beforehand, was inspired by a period when excessive drinking sent him off the rails. “I’m an urban animal!” the 58-year-old shouted. “One step from a cannibal.”

Like so much of the show — from dreadlocked, raggedly dressed bassist Martin “Youth” Glover reminding the crowd of his days spent spinning records   at bygone NYC nightspots like Twilo and Tunnel, to the Eighties-goth-night attire favored by a certain sector of the audience   — Coleman’s display could have come off as tired, or even a little corny, given that he’s been playing this role since the late Seventies. But instead, Killing Joke’s 90-minute set, part of the deeply influential London band’s ongoing tour to mark 40 years since it formed , felt brisk, urgent, even celebratory, the work of an outfit that’s thriving rather than going through the motions.

The ever-unpredictable Coleman deserves plenty of credit for that. With his shoulder-length black hair, craggy features and long black coat, he looks a little like Gabriel Byrne playing the part of a spooky undertaker. Around half the time he’s onstage, he’s playing up that dark image by grimacing, convulsing in time with the music or fixing the audience with wide-eyed horror-villain stares. But at other moments, as hinted at by the band’s name (which Coleman has said alludes to “the laughter that overcomes all fear”), he’s projecting pure joy: beaming, shimmying in stiff, endearingly dad-like fashion or telling the crowd how good it is to see them again. There’s duality in his vocals too: He’s equally convincing whether he’s crooning a supple melodic postpunk tune in the vein of 1985 Top 20 U.K. hit “Love Like Blood,” which opened Wednesday’s show, or roaring his way through a breakneck riff workout from the band’s later era like “Asteroid.”

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It doesn’t hurt that he’s got an incredibly tight, efficient band behind him. The version of Killing Joke that’s currently on the road — Coleman, sometime Paul McCartney collaborator Glover, guitarist Geordie Walker and drummer “Big” Paul Ferguson — is the original lineup, which appeared on their first three albums in the late Seventies and early Eighties and reunited in 2008 after a lengthy period of shuffling lineups and a six-year break from ’96 to 2002. Their long history together shows. The grinding, hypnotic groove the musicians established on their self-titled 1980 debut, a blend of Walker’s brittle, rusty-wire riffs, Glover’s relentless bass throb and Ferguson’s machine-like, tom-tom-heavy beats, only sounds more insistent in 2018.

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Several Killing Joke tracks stood out as highlights of Wednesday’s set, from tribal-punk crusher “The Wait” ( covered by Metallica in ’87) to the danceable, downtempo “Requiem.” But it says a lot about the consistency of the band’s output over the years that there was no drop-off in intensity when they drew on their later catalog. Some of the wildest moments in the set came during the eerily driving “New Cold War,” from 2015’s Pylon (named by Rolling Stone as one of the best metal albums of that year ), and the frenetic “Corporate Elect,” off 2012’s MMXII .

The set zig-zagged across the catalog, showing just how many styles this band has attempted and mastered in its four decades, and how much their legacy has been mined by later artists. Balloons bounced over the crowd during peppy postpunk fist-pumper “Eighties,” the direct inspiration for Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” And the skillful combination of sleek synths, courtesy of auxiliary member Roi Robertson, and harsh vocals on songs like “Butcher” pointed directly to bands like Nine Inch Nails, whose Trent Reznor has cited Killing Joke as an influence and even remixed one of their songs.

But as Wednesday’s set proved, Killing Joke are much more than your favorite band’s favorite band. To their fans, who were out in force for the sold-out show, singing along, moshing or dancing furiously as the moment demanded, they’re an institution. “This is a place of freedom,” Coleman told the crowd before the Pylon dance-metal rager “Autonomous Zone.” He was referring to the show itself but he could have been speaking about the niche that Killing Joke have carved out during the past four decades, a weird little world out of sight of the mainstream. It’s a space where diverse musical styles clash, where menace presses up against mirth and where these four veteran loose cannons will keep sounding off for as long as they damn well feel like it.

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Killing Joke  

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Though Killing Joke never entered the mainstream, their influence on alternative music and pop culture can not be stressed enough. The band is most notably recognized as a key figure in the English post-punk movement; however, their gloom ridden style helped pave the way for goth and industrial music.

The band formed in Notting Hill, London, England around the late 70s. The group was initially started by drummer Paul Ferguson and singer Jaz Coleman. They were briefly in a band together led by Mataya Clifford, but left to form their own group. Ferguson and Coleman put up flyers around town to recruit new members for their project and eventually got responses from bass player Martin Glover and ex-Rage guitarist Kevin Walker. Not long after the group’s formation they established their own record label Malicious Damage with Mike Coles, who provided the graphic art.

They released their first EP “Turn Red” on 26 October 1979, which racked up quite a bit of attention before it was even put on the shelf. Influential critic/DJ John Peel was impressed with the group’s EP and frequently played it on his radio station. The band’s reputation further grew with John Lyndon’s supportive statement in the new NME publication. With all the positive attention the band was receiving Island Records signed a contract with the band and re-released their first EP.

The band’s early releases channeled the primitivism of punk rock, but dressed it up with eccentric electronic sounds. Their first self-titled full length release ventured into dark sludge rock territories and extreme metal tendencies. It was their first recording to be released through the E.G. label and was moderately successful on the charts, reaching No. 39 in the UK.

The band’s eclectic display of musical ideas appealed to many different crowds, including the metal and punk scene. With their more upbeat, but nevertheless warped songs like “Psyche” and “Follow the Leader” they even gained the interest of disco fiends. Their second album “What’s THIS For....!” went in an even more abrasive direction. The band’s third album “Revelations” was released in 1982 and entered the UK charts at No. 12.

During this time lead singer Coleman became infatuated with the occult and the teachings of Aleister Crowley. He believed that the Apocalypse was coming soon and convinced bandmate Walker to come to Iceland with him to escape it. Youth joined them slightly after. The members formed the project Niceland with some of the musicians from the group Þeyr; however Youth was not convinced that the Apocalypse was coming and joined Ferguson back in England to form the band Brilliant. Ferguson left Brilliant to rejoin the Killing Joke in Iceland and the members of Þeyr went on to form KUKL and eventually the Sugarcubes with lead singer Bjork.

The Killing Joke moved back to England and began recording and touring again. In 1983 they put out their fourth LP “Fire Dance”, which exhibited a more artistic and softer tone than their previous albums. The band continued to release albums in this vein; however, they consequently lost touch with their formative fans. Coleman wanted to make a solo album in 1987, but with pressure ensuing from his label he released it under the name of Killing Joke in hopes of selling more copies. Despite efforts to have other members of the band perform on the album; Coleman, was the only member of the group featured on this release. Unsurprisingly it featured a stylistically different sound, built largely around keyboard leads.

Killing Joke went back to their earlier sound in the 90s and also toured more frequently. The group was back on track with the release of 1994’s “Pandemonium” and 1996’s “Democracy”. Both albums were praised by critics and fans alike. After the “Democracy” tour Jaz Coleman and Martin Glover began crafting heavily orchestrated rock albums in the style of Pink Floyd and the Doors. These releases were also very well regarded critically.

Killing Joke put out their follow up to “Democracy” 7 years later. Their second self-titled album was their first to feature Nirvana/Foo Fighter member Dave Grohl and was also their first to be produced by Andy Gil of Gang of Four.

Killing Joke has since gone on to release “Absolute Dissent” in 2010 and “MMXII” in 2012. They have toured extensively throughout the 2000s and in 2008 they toured with all the original lineup.

Killing Joke has influenced a countless number of artists ranging from industrial troopers like Ministry and Marilyn Manson, heavy metal giants such as Metallica, alternative rock superstars like Nirvana and Soundgarden, and even ambient house groups like the Orb (frontman Alex Paterson was once a roadie for the band).

Live reviews

As alignment of the planets go, this one was pretty unlikely! The chances of Killing Joke (*****) and me both being in Glasgow at the same were pretty far-fetched a few months ago ( I live and work in the USA), but here we were, together again, at the O2ABC Glasgow.

The crowd was bigger than the last time and the performance seemed much better. I have lost count of the times I have seen the band over the years but this was definitely one of the better shows.

In these days of pyrotechnics, flying pigs, numerous guitar and costume changes it is somewhat reassuring to see Geordie stick with the same guitar the entire set (looked like the same one as he used the first time I saw them in 1978!) and Jaz keep the same outfit on!

Surprisingly there was no support, just 90+ minutes of KJ.

The songs were, predictably, mostly from early in the bands career and five culled from new disc, with not a lot in between, which is my main gripe. Some of the songs they have done in recent years have been amongst their best, but they seem to lack the courage to play then live. Oh to hear Gratitude, Invocation, On a hallows eve, or Fema Camp.

Having bought a ticket for this gig from the USA, fate has scheduled another even less likely planetary alignment for 22nd January 2016, Killing Joke and yours truly will both be in Austin at the same time!! Not only will the planets be aligning but a few stars have been thrown in for good measure, one of the support acts is the Soft Moon, my fave band from SXSW 2013.

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blueangelis’s profile image

Have been my favourite band for 37 years. Seen them live on many occasions and they always put on a good show and have always been 'tight'. The first time was at Night Moves in Glasgow when I was still at school and had the pleasure meeting Jaz - coming into the audience afterwards, signed my t-shirt and to me and my mate back stage to meet the band.

Was really looking forward to seeing them at the Barras and its legendary acoustics, after the last show was interrupted by a power cut at the ABC.

They are so good it is easy to ignore the pensioners and high concentration of fat/old/baldy men - I match a few of those criteria. So disappointed. Everything, apart from the vocals, was drowned out by the bass guitar. Was a dull and flabby blanket muffling the other instrument. Drums sounded miles away and the guitar (which define the unique sound of the band IMHO) were barely audible. Some songs that I known and loved since I was 16, were barely recognisable.

Maybe this is a one off. If not, and I hate to say it, but perhaps it is time to throw in the towel.

Saw the Prodigy the previous week, and they really know how to make a good sound - and that was in a shed (SEC Glasgow).

john-mcclure-2’s profile image

Killing Joke kicked-off the second part of their glorious 40th anniversary tour to a sold-out show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. The venue was great because the stage was low and there was no separation between the fans and the band. We were so close that we spoke with the keyboardist Roi Robertson (who was very friendly). The set-list would satisfy fans of every era of their body of work, going back to their first album with Wardance, The Wait and Psyche to Autonomous Zone from 2015's Pylon. They were tight--the sound was excellent and the dramatic movements of Jaz Coleman emphasized the message that the lyrics conveyed. Geordie's guitar was as smooth and fierce-sounding as ever and Youth's bass punctuated and complemented the rhythm of Big Paul Ferguson attacking the drums. Psyche was particularly special as Big Paul Ferguson and Youth both sang. The encore was particularly satisfying with "The Death and Resurrection Show". Despite thinking nothing could top such a tremendous performance, we stuck around after the crowd left and actually met and spoke with Big Paul Ferguson AND Jaz Coleman! Killing Joke--a show not to be missed.

greelp’s profile image

Thinking of going to a Killing Joke gig? Well it’s time to get the eyeliner out and release your inner punk! These gigs are not for the faint-hearted, but for the intense rock fan that wants to be immersed in the dark, dangerous atmosphere that follows the band.

Front man Jaz Coleman commands the stage with a presence like no other, an air of mystery and a purpose bigger than just playing music fills the room. Most memorably, their gig at the Roundhouse in 2012 was indeed a moment that will not be forgotten. Crowd favourite ‘European Super State’, dubbed by many one of the best pieces of ‘death disco’ ever written, receives an ear-piercing roar as everyone lifts their hands to clap in time with the bass line.

Plagued by controversy the band may not have had as much commercial success as their peers but they are said to have paved the way for bands such as Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, to have a lasting effect on modern rock music. And they sure know how to put on an incredible live show, and once you have experienced one, you will never want to miss out!

lhulbert1’s profile image

The concert venue was nice. If last night’s show was your first opportunity to see Killing Joke live it was probably entertaining. I think I realized that there really is a time when a band should consider not performing live anymore. That time was when I watched Jazz Coleman, after the third song stagger over to the speakers brace himself head down while he took a sip of water. He then paused for a few seconds hand gripping the speaker to gather himself. Finally turning back to face the crowd staggering forward he began a rant that his country was considered third world, then he got back to the grind. It didn't appear that he was intoxicated (the roadie lit incense just before the show started to set the tone) just that it was all a bit too much. Hopefully the show in Brooklyn will be more energetic.

timinnyc’s profile image

What a grand pleasure it was to see an iconic band such as Killing Joke. 40 years in the business and still a personal favorite of mine. Being able to hear the classics was superbly appreciated and awesome. I would have liked to hear a few if the newer songs but they kept it old school and still shined. For me the highlight was hearing "The Wait" by the original band of Killing Joke and not the cover by Metallica. Although a great cover, you can never get the true gritty feel of the original that K.J. can deliver. Bucket list has a new check...in bold, highlighted and coveted. If you ever want to see them live, start planning a trip to the UK because the chance of seeing them live in the U.S. again is highly doubtful.

D-Stroy’s profile image

Columbus, Ohio's Skully's is a great venue; however, I think the bands could have done a bigger venue. PIG opened up with a brutal set of harsh industrial and also played two old KMFDM songs. Raymond Watts is a great musician and was signing, taking pictures, and chatting with the fans after the show. Very personable and approachable guy. I was very impressed by his humbleness and friendly interaction with everyone. Killing Joke absolutely killed it with a brutal set of songs from all their albums. Their stage persona is still highly engaging and full of energy. Amazing show.

RedCylon6’s profile image

Really a great show! I'd never seen KJ in concert before and they didn't disappoint. The band was playing great, Jaz was doing his odd dance/march and singing in his usual way, talking to the audience a bit between songs. I managed to get right in front of them for the hour and half they played. KJ covered a good range of songs from Wardance to newer stuff. It was awesome! Best show I've ever been to, closest I've ever been to a headlining band!

Sielwolf’s profile image

Killing Joke more relevant than ever in an age of greed and inhumanity, a voice of dissent that says NO! you don't have to follow this path. The thinking man's band that have dabbled with musical styles and forged them into conscious songs that encourage the listener not only to think but to act - framed by a colossal unique wall of guitar. Challenging, inspirational and not for the faint of heart.

Noonanio’s profile image

They seem to be getting better with age without losing any of their edge. The sound was awesome, best yet. Jaz was as animated and intimidating as ever.

It's a great venue and a great crowd. Despite the mean average age getting higher, it was still a mixed bag of young and old who manage to mosh away to a great playlist.

I just wish I could see them again on this tour...

kraalomega’s profile image

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Killing Joke announce 40th anniversary tour and mammoth box set

Killling Joke's Laugh At Your Peril tour will kick off in Seattle in September

Killing Joke

Included Albums

Killing Joke What's THIS For...! Revelations Fire Dances Night Time Brighter Than A Thousand Suns Outside The Gate Extremities, Dirt & Various Represssed Emotions Pandemonium Democracy Killing Joke - 2003 Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell Absolute Dissent MXII Pylon Extra Content Bonus Album

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Killing Joke are celebrating their 40th anniversary by embarking on a world tour in September. The Laugh At Your Peril tour will kick off in the US before heading through Mexico, Brazil, Chile Argentina and Peru. It will arrive in Europe in October, before climaxing with UK dates in November (full dates below). Tickets go on sale at 10am on April 13. 

The band have also announced the release of a career-spanning box set, a limited edition set that includes 16 coloured vinyl double LPs packed in a flight case with a set of headphones, a signed lyric book and assorted pieces of art.

"Forty years ago this summer I met Big Paul, one year later we released our first EP," says Frontman Jaz Coleman. "Our fortieth anniversary celebrations will therefore be stretched over two years and begin with a world tour, parties and talks by Youth and myself, a new magnum opus by Killing Joke, who are, after all this time, recognised as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time. Love is the law let the festivities begin!"

"Although the band have never been fiscally fat commercially, it has allowed us to have incredible lives, both individually and collectively and we have created a very rich wealth of uncompromising music," adds bassist Youth. "It’s a legacy that spans four decades… 40 years of spine tingling, uncompromising beautiful noise.

"The band continue to inspire and bludgeon down the bullshit in the world into a white hot, blast furnace dub of unrelenting passion, a rollercoaster, white knuckle punch in the face of beautiful agony/reality and timeless cosmic joy and soul."

The box set will be available in two versions: the CD version (which costs £150) will include 16 double CDs in a specially designed box, while the vinyl version (£550) features newly designed “stamp” sleeves. Both versions include unreleased material and alternate mixes plus eight new tracks never released in any format. The vinyl box also includes:

  • 16 double vinyl albums in single sleeves
  • One lyric book
  • One set of headphones
  • Five 30cm x 30cm art prints
  • Two A4 flyers (Acklam Hall and Clarendon)
  • Five A2 posters (Wardance, Turn To Red, Pope, What's THIS for...!, current tour poster)
  • Five A3 posters (Pandemonium, Red version of first album, Pylon, the album stamp images, plus one of a J Cauty image)
  • One set of six postcards (images supplied by Youth)
  • Certificate of authenticity

Killing Joke 40th Anniversary Tour

Sep 01: Studio Seven, Seattle WA, US Sep 02: Star Theater, Portland OR, US Sep 04: DNA Lounge, San Francisco CA, US Sep 05: Regent Theater, Los Angeles CA, US Sep 07: Oriental Theater, Denver CO, US Sep 09: Skully’s Music Diner, Columbus OH, US Sep 10: Soundstage, Baltimore MD, US Sep 11: The Paradise, Boston MA, US Sep 12: Irving Plaza, New York NY, US Sep 17: Granada Theater, Dallas TX, US Sep 18: The Mohawk, Austin TX, US Sep 19: Warehouse Live, Houston TX, US Sep 21: Lunario del Auditorio Nacional Mexico City, MX Sep 23: Carioca Club, Sao Paolo, BR Sep 24: Roxy Live, Buenos Aires, AR Sep 27: Blondie, Santiago, CL Sep 29: Cocos, Lima, PE Oct 15: Markthalle, Hamburg, DE Oct 16: Neue Theaterfabrik, Munich, DE Oct 17: E-Werk (Erlangen), Hamburg, DE Oct 19: Huxleys, Berlin, DE Oct 20: Stodola, Warsaw, PL Oct 21: The Roxy, Prague, CZ Oct 22: Bratislava, Majestic Music Club, SK Oct 23: Durer Kert, Budapest, HU Oct 25: Campus Industry, Parma, IT Oct 26: L'Usine / PTR, Geneva, CH Oct 27: Cabaret Sauvage, Paris, FR Oct 28: Live Music Hall, Cologne, DE Oct 30: Da Roma, Antwerp, BE Oct 31: Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL Nov 02: Rock City, Nottingham, UK Nov 03: O2 Academy, Leeds, UK Nov 04: Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK Nov 06: Barrowland, Glasgow, UK Nov 07: Manchester Academy, Manchester, UK Nov 09: The Institute (The O2), Birmingham, UK Nov 10: Academy, Bristol, UK Nov 11: Guildhall, Southampton, UK Nov 13: Corn Exchange, Cambridge, UK Nov 14: UEA, Norwich, UK Nov 16: O2 Academy, Oxford, UK Nov 17: Roundhouse, London, UK

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Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.  

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Killing Joke photo by Michael Ochs Archives and Getty Images

Killing Joke have announced details of an extensive world tour to mark their 40th anniversary. The veteran post-punk outfit is celebrating the milestone by embarking on the Laugh At Your Peril Tour, which begins in September with a leg of North American shows. Further dates are scheduled in Europe and the UK beginning in mid-October. The itinerary takes in 44 dates all told.

Elsewhere in Killing Joke news, frontman Jaz Coleman is also collaborating with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra on new versions of classic Killing Joke songs from throughout the band’s career. Pre-orders for Symphonic Killing Joke are ongoing via Killing Joke’s PledgeMusic page in digital, CD, and LP formats. Aside from the Laugh At Your Peril tour, there are also plans for a one-one performance in London featuring Coleman performing with an orchestra. Killing Joke’s last proper studio album came in 2015 with Pylon .

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Killing Joke - Eighties

Killing Joke play the following Laugh At Your Peril tour dates: 1 September: Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven 2 September: Portland, OR @ Star Theater 4 September: San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge 5 September: Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater 7 September: Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater 9 September: Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner 10 September: Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage 11 September: Boston, MA @ The Paradise 12 September: New York, NY @ Irving Plaza 14 September: Chicago, IL @ TBA 17 September: Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater 18 September: Austin, TX @ The Mohawk 19 September: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live 21 September: Mexico City, MX @ Lunario del Auditorio Nacional 23 September: Sao Paolo, BR @ Carioca Club 24 September: Buenos Aires, AR @ Roxy Live 27 September: Santiago, CL @ Blondie 29 September: Lima, PE @ Cocos 15 October: Hamburg, DE @ Markthalle 16 October: Munich, DE @ Neue Theaterfabrik 17 October: Hamburg, DE @ E-Werk 19 October: Berlin, DE @ Huxleys 20 October: Warsaw, PL @ Stodola 21 October: Prague, CZ @ The Roxy 22 October: Randal, SL @ MCC 23 October: Budapest, HR @ Durer Kert 25 October: Milan, IT @ TBA 26 October: Geneva, CH @ L’Usine 27 October: Paris, FR @ Cabaret Sauvage 28 October: Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall 30 October; Antwerp, BE @ Da Roma 31 October; Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg 2 November: Nottingham, UK @ Rock City 3 November: Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy 4 November: Newcastle, UK @ Northumbria University 6 November: Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland 7 November: Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy 9 November: Birmingham, UK @ The Institute 10 November: Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy 11 November: Southampton, UK @ Guildhall 13 November: Cambridge, UK @ Corn Exchange 14 November: Norwich, UK @ UEA 16 November: Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy 17 November: London, UK @ Roundhouse.

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Killing Joke to open Tool’s North American tour

The post Killing Joke to open Tool’s North American tour appeared first on Consequence of Sound .

As if seeing Tool perform material from their new album Fear Inoculum wasn’t a good enough reason to grab tickets to their upcoming North American tour , here’s another: Killing Joke will open every date of the tour.

Tool drummer Danny Carey is a noted fan of Killing Joke and previously played shows with the band back in 2014. Now, the two acts will share the road for a 26-date outing beginning in October.

You can also get tickets to all of Tool’s upcoming dates here .

Tool with Killing Joke Tour Dates: 10/15 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center 10/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena 10/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center 10/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center 10/23 – Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena 10/25 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center 10/27 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center 10/29 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center 10/31 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum 11/02 – Indianapolis, IN @ Banker’s Life Fieldhouse 11/03 – Chicago, IL @ United Center 11/05 – Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena 11/06 – Cleveland, OH @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse 11/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena 11/09 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena 11/11 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena 11/12 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena 11/14 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden 11/16 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center 11/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center 11/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclay’s Center 11/21 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Casino Arena 11/22 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hall 11/24 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena 11/25 – Washington, DC @ Capitol One Arena

Killing Joke to open Tool’s North American tour Alex Young

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TOOL Announce Fall North American Tour with KILLING JOKE

Finally, a proper Tool U.S. tour!

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Killing Joke / A triumphant Hammersmith homecoming celebrated loudly

Killing Joke have always marched exclusively to the beat of their own drum, the veteran rockers pioneering their own sound that refuses to be pigeonholed but has influenced countless of those who followed. As the climax of this leg of their current Honour the Fire tour, a return to their London home was the ideal choice, a packed Hammersmith Apollo there to bow down before them.

Killing Joke – Brix Smith.

Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Eric Duvet

Before the headliners, there was no small matter of the Special Guest slot filled by Brix Smith, the former The Fall lynchpin bringing her delirious sounds. Along with her four-piece band, the blast of guitars filled the cavernous interior of the Apollo, a flash bomb to the senses that brought the defined sense of melody she introduced with The Fall along with some additional muscle.

Brix Smith. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022.

In a vibrant six-song set, Smith and her band played with a fiery determination that was never short of honesty and grit but sprinkled throughout with a sense of magic and glitter. From the ode about the porn industry California Smile through to the shapeshifting Black Butterfly that transferred all the emotions of the global lockdown into one precise punch, here was something that resonated deeply with those present.

Brix Smith. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022.

An ultra-spiky Totally Wired summed up the selection nicely, the connection between Smith and her audience still as strong as it ever was. As a promise for the treats to come on her forthcoming solo album, this was all mouthwateringly tasty. She came, she saw, she conquered.

Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

This was the night for Killing Joke, with a triumphant homecoming that was celebrated as loudly as only they know how. With the very welcome reuniting of the original line-up in 2008, the band has since proven that they are an unstoppable force, their stock higher than ever. With age and supreme confidence, there is an unassailable quality to what they do, but this is tempered by the constant pushing of themselves, resting on laurels never an option.

Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

It is with this in mind that they bloodymindedly opened the set with their biggest and best-known song, Love Like Blood, its euphoric strains and soaring chorus sending the crowd into a frenzy. The throbbing bass of Youth, the thunder of Paul Ferguson’s drums and Geordie Walker’s chiming guitar driving forward as Jaz Coleman fires out the lyrics, the cry to battle for the faithful.

The grinding fury of Wardance came as a mighty slap in the face, the relentless barrage continuing with a savage The Fall Of Because and the maniacal singing, driving riff and drums of I Am The Virus.

Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

Killing Joke have always been a visceral live act. This fact is reflected in the stripped-down stage set with nothing but a simple black backdrop and a lighting rig. The truth is, such is the force of the music and performances that anything else would just be surplus to requirements. With the titanic forms of We Had Joy in all its jittery, stop/start glory and rolling punch of Primitive, who needs a stage filled with castles and a light show?

The spacey ska of Turn To Red showed part of the breadth of what the band can do, quashing any thoughts that their heady mix of Industrial Electronic Gothic Avant Garde Punk and Rock is their sole focus.

Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

Whilst the pace was punishing, the band managing to squeeze in twenty songs during the evening, it was also precisely pinpointed. The rush of Mathematics Of Chaos and the city-destroying Total Invasion juxtaposed with the electronica of Requiem. A furious The Wait and the extended drama of Pssyche brought the main set to an end in rousing style.

There was a swift return for a four-song encore starting with the unnerving and twirling The Pandys Are Coming and featuring the funky Bloodsport and a massive, planet changing Pandemonium.

Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022

With the whole thing being recorded for posterity, it will be a show that will be cherished beyond those packed into the legendary venue and far into the future.

Always leaders in the field, Killing Joke keep pushing boundaries and remain one of the most iconic bands in rock history. That drum of theirs is still beating hard.

Brix Smith. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022.

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  1. Killing Joke Tour Dates & Tickets 2024

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  2. Killing Joke Tickets, 2021 Concert Tour Dates

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  3. Review: Killing Joke's 40th Anniversary Tour in New York

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  4. Killing Joke Tour Dates & Tickets 2024

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  5. News: Killing Joke “At Your Peril” 2018 World Tour + Boxset

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  6. Killing Joke Tickets, Tour Dates & Concerts 2023 & 2024

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COMMENTS

  1. Tour

    Killing Joke. Live event listings and tickets

  2. Killing Joke Tickets, 2024 Concert Tour Dates

    27 Saturday 11:00 AMSat 11:00 AM 4/27/24, 11:00 AM Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas Festival Grounds Sick New World On partner site Find tickets 4/27/24, 11:00 AM Download the Ticketmaster App Be notified early about exclusive access to presales. Promoted Learn More Advertisement Killing Joke always explosive live

  3. Home

    Watch on YouTube An unexpected error has occurred Killing Joke. Home, RAH Merch, Merch Store, Music Store, Live in London, Tour and Videos

  4. Review: Killing Joke's 40th Anniversary Tour in New York

    Stephanie Augello A little after 10pm on Wednesday, Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman was stomping around the stage of New York's Irving Plaza, bellowing out the band's brutish 2003...

  5. Killing Joke Tour Announcements 2024 & 2025, Notifications ...

    Killing Joke On tour: no Upcoming 2023 concerts: none 101,906 fans get concert alerts for this artist. Join Songkick to track Killing Joke and get concert alerts when they play near you. Track artist Similar artists with upcoming concerts The House Of Love Tue 05 Dec 2023 Portland Arms Cambridge, UK Ruts DC

  6. Killing Joke: Official

    Killing Joke: Official. 240,886 likes · 1,442 talking about this. Honour The Fire....

  7. Killing Joke Concerts & Live Tour Dates: 2024-2025 Tickets

    109,214 Followers • 1 Upcoming Shows Never miss another Killing Joke concert. Get alerts about tour announcements, concert tickets, and shows near you with a free Bandsintown account. Follow No upcoming shows in your city Send a request to Killing Joke to play in your city Request a Show Concerts and tour dates Upcoming Past

  8. Killing Joke

    Sat Apr 27 Las Vegas Festival Grounds | Las Vegas, NV Sick New World Find concert tickets for Killing Joke upcoming 2024 shows. Explore Killing Joke tour schedules, latest setlist, videos, and more on livenation.com

  9. Killing Joke announce 40th anniversary tour and mammoth box set

    Killing Joke are celebrating their 40th anniversary by embarking on a world tour in September. The Laugh At Your Peril tour will kick off in the US before heading through Mexico, Brazil, Chile Argentina and Peru. It will arrive in Europe in October, before climaxing with UK dates in November (full dates below).

  10. Killing Joke Announce 40th Anniversary Laugh At Your Peril World Tour

    Killing Joke have announced details of an extensive world tour to mark their 40th anniversary. The veteran post-punk outfit is celebrating the milestone by embarking on the Laugh At Your...

  11. Killing Joke to open Tool's North American tour

    As if seeing Tool perform material from their new album Fear Inoculum wasn't a good enough reason to grab tickets to their upcoming North American tour, here's another: Killing Joke will...

  12. TOOL Announce Fall North American Tour with KILLING JOKE

    The prog metal masters have just announced dates and cities for a massive U.S. run of dates (with a peek into Canada in Toronto). Killing Joke will be opening all dates on the tour. Tickets go on ...

  13. Killing Joke

    Sunday 12 March 2023 Auditorium Archived Starts: 7:30pm Killing Joke are proud to announce 'Killing Joke - Follow The Leaders' , a very special UK show at the Royal Albert Hall. Killing Joke will be performing their first two albums in their entirety; 1980's self titled debut album followed by their second album "What's This For…!"

  14. Killing Joke / A triumphant Hammersmith homecoming celebrated loudly

    Killing Joke. Hammersmith Odeon, 9 April 2022. Photography: Eric Duvet/MetalTalk. This was the night for Killing Joke, with a triumphant homecoming that was celebrated as loudly as only they know how. With the very welcome reuniting of the original line-up in 2008, the band has since proven that they are an unstoppable force, their stock higher ...

  15. Killing Joke are better than your favorite band, 40 years later

    Today is the first day of the extensive Tool tour, beginning in Denver, Colorado. If you ever wanted that feeling of getting sonically lifted out of your seat by your shirt and thrown through a...

  16. Killing Joke Tickets

    Killing Joke made another ambitious and even heavier, harder-edged album with Pandemonium in 1994, which was recorded in such far-flung places as London, New Zealand and Cairo, where they bribed someone to allow them into the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

  17. Killing Joke Concert Tickets, 2024 Tour Dates & Locations

    While setlists can vary between venues, Killing Joke will likely play the following songs on tour: Eighties - 2007 Digital Remaster, Love Like Blood, The Death & Resurrection Show, Love Like Blood, Euphoria, Requiem - 2005 Digital Remaster, The Wait - 2005 Digital Remaster, You'll Never Get To Me, Wardance - 2005 Digital Remaster, In Cythera

  18. Killing Joke

    Killing Joke are an English rock band formed in Notting Hill, London, England, in 1979 by Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards), Paul Ferguson (drums), Geordie Walker (guitar) and Youth (bass). Their first album, Killing Joke, was released in 1980. After the release of Revelations in 1982, bassist Youth was replaced by Paul Raven.

  19. Killing Joke Tour 2024/2025

    Killing Joke Tickets, Tour Dates & Concerts 2024/2025 ♫. Killing Joke are a post-punk band from London. Formed in 1978, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1980. They released a further three albums before achieving mainstream success with 'Night Time' in 1985. Since then, the band has released 10 more albums, the latest ...

  20. TourDateSearch.com: Killing Joke tour dates

    Search Results Artists: Killing Joke 879 results: Page 1 of 44 << < > >> > Sort by Newest Oldest > Sun Mar 12 2023 Royal Albert Hall in London, England, UK Killing Joke Fri Mar 10 2023

  21. Killing Joke Concert & Tour History (Updated for 2024)

    Killing Joke Concert & Tour History (Updated for 2024) | Concert Archives Home Bands Killing Joke Concerts Killing Joke Concert History 403 Concerts Killing Joke is an English post-punk group which formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England.

  22. Killing Joke Tour History

     Page 1 of 2 Next >> Killing Joke past tour dates and information. Find Killing Joke tour history, comments and demands on Concertful.