Killswitch engages audience at Webster

By on February 13, 2008

Some of the best acts in heavy metal visited the Webster Theater last week for a sold-out show. Despite the Webster’s bad location, horrible parking situation, and unnecessarily strict rules, Killswitch Engage, Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die and Parkway Drive put on an incredible live show that nearly made you forget where you were.

Two weeks before the concert, The Chronicle had a chance to talk with Joel Stroetzel, guitarist for Killswitch Engage, while the tour was in Little Rock, Ark. He talked about how this diverse line-up came about.

“We kind of just came up with a bunch of names,” Stroetzel said. “We probably thought about 10 or 15 bands we liked, you know, and just sent e-mails out, feelers, tried to see who was interested. From the people who responded back, we tried to pick who would be the funnest, best bill.”

After playing the Warped Tour last summer, Killswitch attracted a lot of punk and hardcore fans. Stroetzel said after playing a “super metal tour” with Lamb of God, DevilDriver, and Soilwork in the fall, the band wanted to do something that would bring those fans back rather than scare them away.

In order to do that, the band tapped some old friends to join them in Every Time I Die. Stroetzel said they had not toured with ETID since Killswitch’s first tour.

“We’ve been wanting to do something with Every Time I Die again for a long time. Those guys are so rad man. Just a great band and good friends of ours,” he said.

Every Time I Die definitely lived up to the hype from Stroetzel, playing a live set that put their recorded material to shame.

The Australian Parkway Drive also played a solid show while Dillinger Escape Plan left everyone mesmerized with their constantly changing tempos and incredibly technical musicianship.

The true stars of the night were the headliners. As something of a homecoming for the Massachusetts metal band (especially lead vocalist Howard Jones who lives in Connecticut), the fans finished out the tour in style, completely ignoring the Webster’s no moshing rules and erupting into a massive pit. The chaotic energy was infectious and prompted Jones to take multiple stage dives into the crowd. That, along with Jones and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz’s constant back and forth banter and hijinx entertained the crowd and made it a night to remember.

Nevertheless, after two consecutive headlining tours, Stroetzel was happy it was the last show. “Everyone’s in good spirits for a couple of weeks and then it’s like ready to go home,” Stroetzel said of life on the road. “You know, people have their fun and stuff but it’s always nice to get home at the end of the night.”

Before finally heading home, Killswitch closed out the night with its insanely popular cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver.” The song appears on the second disc of the “As Daylight Dies Special Edition” package but it started as one of the songs on Kerrang! Magazine’s compilation, “High Voltage.”

“They’re giving all these bands different tunes to pick from, everything from classic rock to 80s rock,” Stroetzel said. “The song that was on the list actually, [the] Dio song was ‘We Rock’ but obviously, you know, being huge Dio fans, we have got to do ‘Holy Diver’ if we’re doing a Dio song. Kind of an old favorite of ours.”

If you did not get a chance to see the band before this tour ended, you will probably be out of luck until the next album.

Stroetzel says Killswitch will embark on its first ever Canadian headlining tour soon and will spend the summer doing international festivals, and then start working on material for the band’s new record.


About Kyle Andrukiewicz