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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Polis

Killswitch Engage Brings the Atonement Tour to Terminal 5

A Review of the Killswitch Engage show on February 8th, 2022 at Terminal 5 in New York City.

Jesse Leach raises his fist at the end of "The Crownless King".

On February 8th, 2022, Killswitch Engage brought their Atonement tour, originally scheduled for the early Spring of 2019, to Terminal 5 in New York City. With them was the powerhouse lineup of Lancaster, PA's August Burns Red and LA's Light the Torch. Three killer metalcore groups, two eras of Killswitch Engage vocalists, one night in New York the jam-packed crowd will never forget.

Francesco Artusato shreds at the front of the stage while Howard walks behind him.

First up in the night, we had Light the Torch. Fronted by Howard Jones, the powerhouse vocalist chosen to replace Jesse when he decided to leave the band back in 2002, Light the Torch was merely the appetizer, the first to take the stage. Normally, bands bring smaller bands looking for national exposure to open the show. While Light the Torch might have been a smaller band in comparison to the other two acts, that didn't change the fact that many fans had already crammed into Terminal 5 by the time 7:30 rolled around and Howard and co. took the stage.

Howard Jones takes a moment to collect himself before belting a long note.

A roaring crowd singing along to nearly every song, old and new is what met the band. Songs like their closer "Die Alone", "Let Me Fall Apart", and "Wilting in the Light", the lead single for their latest album "You Will Be The Death Of Me" had the crowd in a frenzy the whole night. Even with the band overlooking the two full-length albums released before changing their name in the set, the crowd couldn't have cared, because they were witnessing one of the best returns since the Covid-19 shutdown.

Jake Luhrs doing his signature mic dangling while gesturing to the frenzied Terminal 5.

Next up was the one and only August Burns Red. The Lancaster, PA quintet have proven time and time again they know exactly what they're doing on stage, and this time was no different. Ripping and tearing through a set carefully crafted to show off songs from across their career. The band, while not known for intricate stage design, brought forth their usual expertly designed light show, anchored by their signature "U" logo lit up behind them, adding perfect accents to every moment of their set.

Matt Greiner has a moment to breathe during the set.

When I talked with drummer Matt Greiner a while back, one of the songs he was most excited to play every night was "Bloodletter", an all-around brutal beat down of a song. While this was not the song's first full tour to shine, it was definitely a crowd favorite. At that point, I had moved from taking photos to the actual pit itself, and although I had been kicked square in the nether region only a few moments before, I couldn't help but give in and go full blast with the rest of the crowd. Not only did they pull out the equivalent of using a sledgehammer to hang up a picture, they also played their instrumental cover of the Legend of Zelda theme immediately after, allowing the crowd to mellow out and those going the hardest a chance to catch their breath. The long awaited "White Washed" provided one final burst of energy for the crowd before the band left the stage, leaving only a single group left.

Mike D'Antonio shows off his showmanship and bass skills to the crowd.

Ending the night, the reason this tour happened, was Killswitch Engage. One of the biggest Metalcore acts that just keep on growing. The crowd was beyond frenzy by the time August Burns Red left the stage, but when these guys came out, there isn't even a word in the English, Latin, or even unga bunga cave paintings to describe how insane the crowd was going. A tour years in the making, finally reaching the stage of the Big Apple brought out a crowd fit for a king. And even though there were some choice words thrown around after Adam D reminded everyone they're from Massachusetts, the place was jumping.

Justin Foley prepares to strike.

The band's goal to play a different set each night did not falter, with deep cuts mixed in with hits creating the perfect blend for day one fans and new fans alike. Songs like "Rise Inside" and "Soilborn" absolutely demolished the New York crowd, while staples such as "My Last Serenade" and "Hate By Design" hate the whole crowd singing along. Even with members of August Burns Red and Light The Torch having to fill in, as Joel had tested positive for Covid, the band rocked the house with their rotating cast of help. The real big deal though, the thing every single person in the room knew was going to happen, was the arrival of Howard Jones to the stage.

Adam D. and Jesse Leach performing side by side.

Howard came out to replace Jesse singing "Rose of Sharyn", causing the already insane crowd to turn absolutely rabid. The crowd only ascended from there, as it wasn't a single-song event. Howard stayed out for "The End Of Heartache", making the song into a duet of epic proportions, and then helped the band close the night with his parts for "The Signal Fire". An absolutely incomparable event with some of metal's biggest names, all packed into almost 4 hours.