Beantown, Massachusetts home of one of America’s oldest and most historic cities. In a single visit, hell in a single day you can see the historic Bunker Hill Monument which is a 221-foot granite obelisk that marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution or if the weather cooperates, which it thankfully did for me you can head down to the Boston Harbor and see where the historic Boston Tea Party took place. If exploring some of America’s history isn’t your cup of tea (see what I did there) and you prefer beer in your mug you can go tour the Sam Adams brewery which only requires a donation to enter and yes you get to sample free beer at the conclusion. This visit wasn’t all history and beer for me though I’m in town checking out the first night of the Coheed and Cambria tour and embarking with them is the infamous Glassjaw opening for them as well as I The Mighty, and Silver Snakes.
This tour commences with two back to back sold out nights at the Boston House of Blues on Lansdowne St. nestled deep in the shadows of the historic Fenway Park. Upon entering I’m blown away and the size of the inside of the venue as it’s much larger than the other HOB I’ve been too with a floor area, a second floor with mezzanine seating, and a third level with a balcony going around the entire top of the venue and I instantly begin to imagine how intense this night is going to become. As the massive crowd that just never seemed to stop piling in arrived they were treated to the sounds of two California bands. The first being from SoCal in LA was Silver Snakes and the the other I The Mighty from the Bay Area. Both provided to be suitable openers and sadly due to the massive line of fans outside I only caught the tail end of Silver Snakes which I really hope to catch more of and their post hardcore sound. I The Mighty had a good following of their own representing in Boston and played a solid set with definite influences from Coheed and Cambria which was just fine by the people in attendance that might of never been exposed to them. After their set they were even kind enough to hang at their merch table to converse and take pix with fans.
After two solid openers came perhaps one of the most seasoned and mystifying bands around in Glassjaw. They haven’t toured much, haven’t put out a studio album since 2002s Worship and Tribute and has undergone numerous lineup changes so one would think they might of lost some of their luster but the simple fact remains, they are THAT damn good and when they do come to your town you better not miss out. Despite only having two original members left in lead singer Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck you wouldn’t be able to tell as they emerge on stage with no fancy intro or lighting and got right down to business with “Tip Your Bartender” which sets the ton for the rest of their performance. Throughout the set there was very little talking between Palumbo and the now massive crowd which was treated to the bands newest single “New White Extremity” which already felt like a classic tune and would hopefully mean a new album is on the way. From beginning of the set all the way to the conclusion when they played “Two Tabs of Mescaline” the strength of new members Chad Hasty (drums) and Travis Sykes (bass) both formerly of Glass Cloud were on display as they brought a new dimension of awesome to an already powerful band. I personally cannot wait to see what’s next for Glassjaw.
With the sold out Boston crowd now making this once seemingly huge venue feel like the size of a bird house everyone stood eager in anticipation of Coheed and Cambria who was in no apparent hurry to take the stage thus making their loyal fans thirst for them even more and suddenly it happened. The lights went down and lead singer Claudio Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever appeared to perform for the first time live the song “Ghost” off their most recent album The Color Before The Sun in which they are out on tour promoting. “Ghost” was just the first of four live debuts they played, others included “Atlas” and “The Audience”. It wasn’t all about the new stuff however as they played a diverse set littered with a complimentary combination of older classics as well such as “Blood Red Summer” and “A Favor House Atlantic”. As great as the set list was shaping up to be on thing that amazed me was the lighting and production that went into their stage show, the synchronization of the lights as they told a story all their own was a sight to be seen. Numerous times throughout the night Sanchez too time to acknowledge the crowd and how amazing they were and as he announced that “Peace To The Mountain” was set to be their last song you could hear the crowd being deflated but have no fear did you really think there wasn’t going to be an encore? Well there sure was and it was spectacular! As Sanchez’s big floppy mane reappeared for a three song encore that consistent of “You Got Spirit, Kid” followed by “The Running Free” which featured a really fun moment when confetti exploded from both sides of the stage out into the crowd and this perfect night was capped off by “Welcome Home” which proved to be the perfect way to wrap up a perfect show.
The majority of the crowd was clearly in its 20s & 30s and got the chance to grow up listening to these songs on Discmans (remember those) while rocking out in Jnco jeans and enjoying every second of it. With that being said its time to face facts and that is we’re getting older and all we can do is hope bands like Glassjaw and Coheed never meet Father Time and keep selling out shows. As for those in Boston that enjoyed the show or for those who missed out hopefully they made it out to the second night and for everyone reading this I strongly suggest you make it a priority to catch on of these shows when it comes to your town.