I made my way to Madison Square Garden last Friday on what hopefully was the last cold weekend in NYC this year. I have actually never seen a show at “The Theater at MSG” so I was interested to see what that was like as well as checking out Coheed And Cambria who I haven’t seen in maybe over 10 years. This show was part of their The Color Before The Sun Tour named after their most recently released album. If you are familiar with this band, you would know that this record is their first non-concept album. All of their previous releases are part of a continuous storyline, The Amory Wars written by singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez. Whatever the case, I’ve been listening to The Color Before The Sun often since it came out so I was excited to get a chance to see Coheed again.
Apparently I had missed the first band Silver Snakes and I The Mighty from San Francisco was up next. Almost all shows gradually fill up as the night progresses into the headliner, but I was surprised how packed the house was already. I wasn’t sure if the night was sold out but it was certain close to it as every seat seemed to be taken and the standing area was packed against the barricade. These guys put on a solid performance with many in the crowd singing along to their tunes. It was great to see this kind of energy from the openers and this is a band that you should check out if you’re not familiar with them already.
This band was another reason I was looking forward to this show, such an influential band in the scene back in the day from when Long Island, New York was the hot spot for the best bands. I don’t know anyone who followed the post hardcore scene that didn’t own Glassjaw‘s first record Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (2000). A lot of the photographers in the pit were visibly pumped to see them perform. We had a little chat speculating which songs they would play or if any of us had shot them before. That is the fun part of doing live music photography, shooting bands that you actually like. They sounded tight, and lead singer Daryl Palumbo still had his screams and singing on point.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
The lights turned off except for a spotlight on a lone mic stand. The gentle notes from an acoustic guitar began to ring out as lead singer Claudio Sanchez walked into the light casting a silhouette of his signature hair style followed shortly after by guitarist Travis Stever. The two performed the song “Ghost” off of their latest album The Color Before The Sun, sharing the mic for the main vocals and harmony duties. Although I was concentrated on taking photos, you can clearly hear the crowd singing along to every word.
The two then briefly faded out into the darkness and moments later drummer Josh Eppard and Bassist Zach Cooper joined in as Coheed And Cambria erupted in full form with the title track from their 2003 release In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3. Every single person in The Theater was jumping up and down as all of the photographers including myself looked at each other feeling the ground literally shaking. The next song was “Blood Red Summer” and the floor continued to shake and even with the full band, the chant of the audience was fully audible matching Sanchez word for word. Their performance was a reminder that a show such as this is truly an experience and why we all love music so much.