A few weekends ago I made the hike back to Philadelphia for The Color Before The Sun Tour with headliner Coheed and Cambria alongside Glassjaw and I The Mighty, with opening act Silver Snakes. Unlike the Safetysuit show last month which was upstairs in The Foundry, this took place in the main venue downstairs at The Fillmore. It’s a bit of a strange set up to say the least. There’s a wide open pit/GA area in front of the stage that’s flanked on either side by a metal barricade behind which there’s a wall-length bar on either side. There’s also a GA balcony upstairs and a few seats towards the back on both levels. All in all not a bad venue, but the having to flash your wristband every time you pass the barricade from bar to GA area and back did get a little annoying.
I got to the show a little early and headed over to will call to pick up my photo pass. This was my first show ever having a photo pass so I was naturally nervous and feeling pretty out of my element. Everyone else who was in the photo pit with me had crazy equipment and were talking shop about what shows they’d already shot this month and where they were headed next. I do have to say though that all of them were welcoming, pleasant, and helpful and not once did they make me feel out of place.
The show opened with up-and-comers Silver Snakes who are new to Evil Ink. It was a good energy to start a show. Everyone was sort of feeling out the venue and the sound these guys had really helped warm up the audience. Unfortunately their set was rather short and by the time I was really getting into what they had to offer they were calling it a night. I look forward to seeing where these guys go because I feel like Silver Snakes are really going to come into their own over the next few years.
I really cannot say enough good things about I The Mighty. They’ve got the sound, they’ve got the energy, and they’ve got the stage presence. Yet another disappointingly short 5 song set list had me wishing I could catch another show on this tour just to see these guys crank out a few more songs. These guys know how to use a whole stage to their advantage; running from one end to another and never letting the flow slow down. From the second they opened with “Lady of Death” off of their most recent release Connector right until the last note of “Speak to Me” they honestly never. Stopped. Moving. It was incredible and it had me so pumped up for the rest of the show…
Which is maybe why I was so underwhelmed by Glassjaw. I KNOW, I KNOW I’m going to catch a ton of flak for this but honestly the only energetic thing about this performance was their strobe lights on steroids which I lovingly called a an epileptic’s death wish. Their lights were nauseatingly fast and bright and their songs just didn’t translate well live. At one point I had one of the guys standing next to me ask if they had just been playing one long song for their entire set because it all ran together. It didn’t help that their fans were rowdy and rude either. If there’s one thing I pride myself on and look for in other people it’s show etiquette and that all went right out
the window for this set. Right after “Mu Empire”, their second song of the night, lead singer Daryl Palumbo stopped everything to have security escort “that asshole in the button down starting shit in the pit” out the emergency exit for trying to throw punches and (allegedly from what’s I’ve heard) spitting in a girl’s face. Two people got helped out of the pit after getting kicked in the face by crowd surfers and a couple were escorted out for drunkenly stumbling around the bar with their hands down each other’s pants (AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE). So between all the distractions and trying not to throw up from the light show from hell I have to say I enjoyed Glassjaw’s set the least. Maybe it was just a bad experience for me, or maybe they just aren’t my style. I plan to give them another listen outside of the live music scene and maybe then I’ll find a new appreciation for them. Until then? Meh.
And then… like a (solid… not strobing) beacon in the night, there was Coheed and Cambria. Enter Claudio and Travis, two acoustic guitars in hand and a soft, purple spotlight. They opened with just the two of them doing an acoustic version of “Ghost” off their newest album The Color Before the Sun for which the tour is named. After a quick gear change the band came on stage for “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” and the crowd when nuts. Coheed and Cambria always put on a great show and this was no exceptions. They played a variety of their repertoire and played at least one song from every album excluding Year of the Black Rainbow and Afterman: Ascension. They closed their primary set with “Audience” and “Peace to the Mountain” which, being the last two songs on the latest studio album, felt like a fitting end to the show. These two songs feel like they belong together and I’m glad they were played back to back as they appeared on TCBTS. After a 5 minutes departure the guys came back for an encore starting with “You’ve Got Spirit Kid” which ended with a confetti drop and a very happy audience.
Their second encore song choice was “Everything Evil” which felt fitting as that particular day with the 13th anniversary of the release of Second Stage Turbine Blade. At this point I had navigated my way out of the GA area and had hung out at the bar stage left. There was a bearded guy to my right who was belting out every word to “Everything Evil” with me and we were having a total blast. Coheed ended the show with “Welcome Home” which of course had everyone screaming and going insane from the first note. Me and my buddy at the bar were singing to each other arm in arm through the entire thing and after the last notes were play we high fived and hugged each other. As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, the people you find at a show can make (or break) a show as much as the artists themselves can.
I left the venue with no voice, a ringing in my ears, and a camera with a full SD card and I couldn’t have been happier.