As soon as I heard one of my best buds; Phil Labonte was filling in for Howard Jones on the current Killswitch Engage tour… I knew I had to be there to see it.
So I drove up with Phil and Adam D, because carpooling is excellent! and I didn't have any photo shoots to do, so I got to go up later then I normally do. The drive up was pretty incredible... lots of laughing my ass off cause of Adam D. Also found out that CRO-MAGS! were opening the show, which got me super stoked! (I've never shot them before!)
I walked in just before Dark Tranquility went on - and started shooting right away. The lighting was mostly side lighting and was VERY strong, which RULED! I stayed at ISO400 but Jumped between a flash-blend of F5.6-8 at a 20th-45th (because of the strong side lighting) and turned the flash off at F2.8-4.0 at a 125th-250th shot with the 16-35 lens.
The singer of Dark Tranquility as well as the guitarist with dreads really know how to pose for the camera. See unedited images below
Next up were the CRO-MAGS! Now… with the Cro-Mags – everyone was super super stoked on them playing. THEY ARE LEGENDARY! The Killswitch dudes were side stage to watch their set. I’m pretty sure Mike D has a Cro-Mags tattoo as well.
They had brighter lighting but much more frantic movement then DT, so I upped the shutter speed and Fstop to lock them in a bit better. The setting for this were closer to F10 shot at a 30th again with the 16-35 lens - See unedited images below
Next up was Killswitch (or Philswitch) Engage! As most know, Howard was not able to do the tour, so Phil stepped in to help out on vocals. As best put by Adam D “As you can see, Howard is shorter, smaller, and WHITE!, no no, this is our good friend Phil Labonte from ALL THAT REMAINS! So tonite we are not Killswitch Engage… We are PHIL…Switch Engage!”
The lighting for KSE or PSE - was much more even, and much brighter - with lots of whites. I ended up shooting more shots with out flash rather then with flash blend, i was shooting at 2.8-4.0 at a 160th or so. and when i popped on flash - i dropped the shutter to a 30th and 45th - then F8. for this one
I shot with both the 16-35 and the fisheye. I really really wanted to get alot of shots that showed Phil or Jessie with the rest of the band and other band members - rather then more close up solo shots.
After about 5 songs, everyone cleared the stage which went back and played the intro to “My Last Serenade”. With out any announcement or prior knowledge to the majority – as they kicked into that song – Jesse Leach (original Killswitch Vocalist) was right there on stage singing with them.
So So after 4 or 5 old songs, Phil came back out to finish the set, which had A LOT of crowd participation, especially during “End of Heartache”, which was announced to be their last song.
After the stage went black, the “one more song” chant rang loud, as Adam eventually took the stage to say “You want another song? Well… things are going to get WEEEIIIRRRRRRRRD”. Adam got behind the drum kit while both Justin and Phil sat on the stage, awaiting what was about to happen… Jesse came back out, and for the first time in about 8 years, the ORIGINAL Killswitch Engage line up (Adam on drums, Joel on guitar, Mike on Bass, Jesse on vocals) was on stage performing some classics from Alive or Just Breathing and the self-titled CD.
After hanging out a bit, we began the trek home, which was also full of laughs as Adam is pretty much the funniest dude in metal.
Got home, crashed so I could be ready for day 2 of PHILswitch Engage!
Quote of the night… “This song is for women, because they don’t have balls! When you sit down too fast a clip one… it SUCKS!.. When you are on a rollercoaster and they go into your throat… it SUCKS! When its hot out and they become the great salt lake… IT SUCKS!” – Adam D
also check out - http://www.metalarmyamerica.com - for a longer blog (less photo related) about my two days with the dudes. (should be up by march 23rd)