Ice Nine Kills at House of Blues

By Sofia Bening

27 Nov, 2019

There are some bands out there who have a flair for the dramatic; they like to be a little theatrical and pull out all the stops for their live shows. And then there’s Ice Nine Kills.

The Boston-bred metalcore group terrorized the House of Blues and gave the packed venue a Thanksgiving Eve they’ll never forget. Ice Nine Kills are best known for the fact that their music is pretty much 100% inspired by horror films and literature. From Nightmare on Elm Street to The Exorcist, from Jekyll and Hyde to The Crow, their songs have earned them a legion of ardent fans who are like-minded horror enthusiasts. Being a longtime follower of Ice Nine Kills (or INK for short), I’m well aware of the fervent passion of their fanbase, who definitely didn’t disappoint: if they weren’t decked out in INK merch, they were dressed up as famous horror characters that the band sang about, most commonly Georgie from IT. Halloween was far from over that night. 

Opening with “Thank God It’s Friday” (inspired by Friday the 13th), INK wasted no time in unleashing pure horror onto the stage. Singer Spencer Charnas emerged dressed exactly like Jason, the cult classic’s main character, wielding a bloodied axe and all. The word “KILL” was seemingly carved into his neck, and his eyes flashed menacingly with eerie red contacts. It was pretty terrifying. 

To the screaming audience’s delight, INK ensured that this concert would be an unforgettable feast for the eyes. I felt like I was watching all my favorite horror movies unfold onstage. “The Jig Is Up” (inspired by SAW) prompted Charnas to quickly get rid of the Jason garb and don a chillingly grotesque mask modeled after John Kramer, the man behind the tricycle-riding Jigsaw. Every new song saw a stunningly accurate and perfectly matched visual representation onstage, with an actress even appearing to mime gruesome scenes with Charnas during songs like “Your Number’s Up” (inspired by Scream) and “Hell in the Hallways” (inspired by Carrie), which prominently feature a female character. Charnas’ most fearsome transformation was no doubt his costume change to become Pennywise from IT during “IT Is The End,” which closed the show. He looked positively nightmarish. Throughout the show, he and his bandmates were all completely in character, grinning maniacally, smiling eerily or twisting their faces into anger whenever a song called for it. 

Aside from being a visual feast, the show also demonstrated INK’s insane talent. Charnas is a beast, effortlessly switching from his masterful, almost delicate singing voice to ghastly growls and screams. The band was at the top of its game, enhancing the already wildly enjoyable experience. With an impressive 19-song setlist, it’s easy to imagine how much work and effort went into putting on a show of this quality, with so many changes and transformations. However, INK was unstoppable, the energy and skill level consistent from start to finish. 

It was a bloodbath of the most epic proportions that night at House of Blues. I’ve been to many metal/metalcore concerts, but this was a completely unique experience; at times I truly felt like I was watching a play, a film or a musical. INK delivered on every level and had this longtime fan thinking that screams really do come true.