PHILADELPHIA, PA—When the announcement was made that Chiodos was bringing back members once thought gone for good, their short summer tour couldn’t have come soon enough. Reuniting with vocalist Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost, Chiodos fans everywhere must have rejoiced. Also floating around was the question as to whether or not the band would be just as good as they were a few years ago. Turns out, they’re even better.
Supported by Set It Off, Before Their Eyes and A Loss For Words, the evening held a full lineup. What I didn’t anticipate was what an early show it was and had just missed ALFW, who I had seen over Warped Tour and was anxious to hear them in a venue setting. As the stage was being set for Chiodos, the crowd was quickly filling the main area in front of the stage. One of the band members had made the mistake of helping to set up equipment, because once seen, the cheering from the crowd started.
The first few moments were caught up in this blur of knowing every word to the songs, but still in awe that Owens was back with the musicians that were a part in making the albums that would contribute to the evening’s setlist. The night would alternate between All’s Well That Ends Well and Bone Palace Ballet, and the floor shook especially two lines into “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered.”
There was a flow amongst the band as though playing these songs was like going on autopilot, with Owens seemingly fully entranced by his bandmates’ music. When he wasn’t all smiles and expressing the joy that Chiodos has for being back, Owens was adding to all the dramatics on stage. Early on in the evening, he took to the crowd—‘Jesus walking’ and crowd surfing back to the stage.
You were treated to their classical side with tracks from their second album like “Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?” But it felt that the biggest reactions still came from their older material. The highlight of the evening was “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last A Minute On The Creek,” and you could almost see the fans in the pit trying to claw their way to the front.
Owens gave a good lead into the song and the whole place sang along, not missing a beat. Then came the break in the song, that moment that’s just iconic Chiodos with Owens’ perfect, sometimes pitchy singing against the tension-filled power music from the band. But what fans didn’t expect was the long pause before entering this part and a countdown was given to ensure perfect timing on the sing-along.
Rounding out the night was a quick encore, the last song being “The Words ‘Best Friend’ Become Redefined.” It was a perfect end to a rather short set. I had expected more from Chiodos, thinking they would want to play as much as they could, but hopefully this is only a teaser for the future. Something else celebrated that night was Owens’ birthday a few hours after the show and I think I may have heard fans singing “Happy Birthday” as I was walking out the venue doors.