This Valentine’s Day, the House of Blues Chicago hosted an evening of metalcore so fine, Cupid had to wear earplugs in order to get his job done. The night began with a moderate performance from Swedish melodic metal group, Dark Tranquility and followed through with a jumping exhibition from Christian metalcore group, The Devil Wears Prada. When Prada walked off the stage, the crowd was ripe and ready for the main event: Killswitch Engage.
The topic on everyone’s tongue throughout the concert was the state of Killswitch’s lead singer, Howard Jones. As announced on February 9, Jones had departed from the tour due to “unforeseen circumstances” (blabbermouth.net). To date, no further details have been released as to the wailing vocalist’s state. Needless to say, the support from the Killswitch fans surged throughout the crowd and they all welcomed Jones’ stand-in replacement, All That Remains’ Philip Labonte.
The curtains opened with lights blazing amongst the mosh pit. In no time, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz presented the band as “Philswitch Engage” for the evening. Although all missed Howard Jones, this current concert was nothing to toss away: the performance rang superb. From Dutkiewicz’s lovely banter involving what the young lovers in the arena should do each other that evening to Killswitch knocking out favorites from all albums, the sold-out show pleased everyone. Fans were elated by the time KSE rocked out with “The End of Heartache” and came back for an encore with their famed remake of DIO’s “Holy Diver.”
We wish the best for Howard Jones, no matter what the perplexing case may be, and say congrats to Philswitch Engage for a clever recovery and a job well done.