New England metalcore stalwarts Killswitch Engage recently had to cancel the bulk of their North American tour with August Burns Red and Light the Torch due to the coronavirus crisis. “There’s nothing we enjoy more than playing for our fans,” the band said in a statement posted to social media, breaking the news, “and if the first two shows of this tour were any indication, this was going to be one of the most fun tours we’ve ever had.”
Killswitch weren’t exaggerating. At the tour kickoff show, at the Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, the group gave fans a special treat by welcoming their former vocalist Howard Jones — who now fronts Light the Torch — onstage to perform two songs with them. The singer joined his longtime band for the classic anthem “The End of Heartache” as well as the new cut “The Signal Fire,” a duet with Killswitch’s current frontman, Jesse Leach, which appears on the group’s most recent album, 2019’s Atonement. See fan-shot video of the momentous cameo below.
If you’re still catching up on your Killswitch history, Leach was the band’s original singer, appearing on their first two albums, 2000’s self-titled offering and 2002’s watershed LP Alive or Just Breathing, before bowing out due to depression and anxiety. Enter Jones, who would take the group to a new level of fame, fronting them for nine years and three albums before stepping down himself, opening the door for Leach to rejoin Killswitch in 2012. The two vocalists never held any animosity toward each other but also were never legit friends until coming together to record “The Signal Fire.” “We are brothers in metal, anxiety, hardcore music, love of medicinal marijuana and fighting depression,” Leach has said of Jones since. “We may be very different-sounding voices, but, in truth, we are similar in many ways in our minds.”