Two years in the making, Killswitch Engage’s tour (still with original bands August Burns Red and Light the Torch) rolled through a cold Minnesota night at the Fillmore in Minneapolis with exactly the fervor you would expect a show that had been delayed that long to bring with it. A wall to wall packed house greeted the Metalcore veterans with an intensity that I don’t think will be returning to the venue for a very long time!
Openers Light the Torch got the party started, with vocalist Howard Jones (for the one person that doesn’t know, former frontman of Killswitch Engage) bringing an intensity that far outmatched the usual vigor you could expect from an opener, and the crowd responded. Even better, Light the Torch could recognize the love they were getting, with Jones noting that the energy the crowd was bringing for “just the opener” was blowing away the performers on stage. Their (relatively) short set packed an insane amount of intensity into their brief appearance.
Following the craziness that was Light the Torch, August Burns Red are a name that needs absolutely no introduction in the Metalcore scene. Having built a legacy upon intense shows since their very inception, it’s an absolute pleasure to report that they haven’t for even a second lost a fraction of that explosive presentation. Firing out of the gates with The Truth of a Liar and swinging right into Meddler, their set is packed with hits from across their 20 year discography, ending on (for me) highlight White Washed, with an insane light show accompanying throughout. A standout of the night (even including the Killswitch set) is August Burns Red’s cover of the Legend of Zelda theme, with a blanket of green lasers in theme with that classic to accompany it.
Following up August Burns Red is a feat that few bands can do well, but of course Killswitch Engage is effortlessly one of those bands. The group has been on an absolute reckoning since Jessie (to be honest, before too) returned to the band, with killer record after killer record. This tour was to introduce a lot of the material that they had intended to tour on heavily for Atonement, but which they couldn’t as the 2020 legs were cancelled during the Pandemic. Opening with Unleashed, Killswitch rolled through an absolute arsenal of amazing songs, leaning heavily on Atonement but also dipping into the past for fan favorites like Daylight Dies. At the very end of the show, Howard Jones retook the stage to bang out all time greats like The End of Heartache and The Signal Fire (and do a solo-vocalist performance of Rose of Sharyn). A truly unforgettable night and one that will be served by ear ringing for likely days to come.
Light the Torch
August Burns Red