It took me 2 years to see a concert. If there was 1 show that would be my comeback, this was as perfect as it could possibly be.
I actually felt some nerves again as I parked and walked to the box office to pick up my ticket. Going in through security, up the escalator, and into the Brooklyn Bowl while seeing all the Metalheads was like a homecoming. Comfortable yet exciting. No other atmosphere provides what this does.
I had previously seen Devil You Know twice, the 2nd also being here at the Brooklyn Bowl in 2015. Since then, the drummer left, they changed their name to Light the Torch, and mostly dropped the harsh vocals and went for a more alternative melodic style of metal. Any Howard Jones fan should be pleased with anything the man does.
Knowing their sound would translate very well live, I wasn’t even close to disappointed. Light the Torch are tight, loud, and in your face. Howard is still a big ball of energy running back and forth across the stage, commanding respect and admiration. Ryan is a great backup vocalist and his higher voice compliments Howard soaring bellows.
Somehow, this was my 1st time experiencing August Burns Red. Took long enough, right? What can be said, honestly? When bands like Shadows Fall, God Forbid, and Chimaira unfortunately disappeared, that helped pave the path for a band like August Burns Red to grab the Metalcore torch and run with it. They very much have. It’s as good as the genre gets and the live show accompanies it. There couldn’t have been a more perfect fit to balance between Light the Torch and Killswitch Engage. Everyone in Las Vegas was here to enjoy all 3 bands and fuck it up in the pit, in this case… Crowd surf. The Zelda cover called for a good 40-50 people to float up to the front to keep security busy. They finished it all off with White Washed.
Killswitch Engage hit the stage with “Unleashed”, and proceeded to hit us with 17 more songs. We were treated with some stuff they have never played, rarely play, or haven’t played in a very long time. Tracks like “Know Your Enemy”, “Reckoning”, “Just Barely Breathing”, “As Sure as the Sun Will Rise”, “and “Irreversal”. I know I’m not alone in loving the fact that they dusted off something from their 2009 second self titled album. Any song would have been fine, but “Reckoning” is surely a highlight from that album. On a personal note, hearing “Irreversal” for the 1st time was incredible, as well as them pulling out “Just Barely Breathing”. I felt like I was the only person enjoying that one. Which is fine. It felt like it was playing just for me. It was amusing how excited I was for that, and then to see how excited everyone else was for “This Fire Burns” directly after it.
Adam D. was probably the most reserved I’ve ever seen him be, though he was still funny on the mic when it called for it. Mikey D. and Justin Foley are still a perfect rhythm section of awesome. And Joel is still the riff machine.
Ok ok. I know what you want to read about. Whether you’re a fan of Jesse Leach OR Howard Jones OR both… it’s safe to say that we ALL have wanted to see this happen. It was inevitable. Light the Torch opening for Killswitch Engage was nearly a decade in the making. Then we get to witness HoJo coming up on stage to perform 3 full songs with KSE? We did. “Rose of Sharyn”, “The End of Heartache”, and the already classic “The Signal Fire”.
A dream come true for so many, hearing both of our favorite vocalists singing and screaming together in unison. A perfect pairing of 2 top notch amazing singers. It is weird that at this point, so many people never got to see Killswitch when Howard was in the band. We are all lucky enough that these guys are all a family and have always been willing to work with eachother and keep it all cool. No egos, no bullshit, no drama. It was absolutely everything. It was Yes. Epic in all the best ways.
Thank you for this killer tour guys. We appreciate it so much!
Review by Marcus Miller, Photos by Casey Jade