Coheed and Cambria performed 'Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume 1: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness' in its entirety.
I swear Neverenders never get old.
For those of you not familiar with Coheed and Cambria, a Neverender is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a concert where the band plays one (or a few) of their albums sequentially cover to cover. It’s a beautiful thing. If you’re like me and enjoy appreciating songs as part of the full picture of the album they were released on, it is a live music event dream come true!
In celebration of the 12th birthday of their most successful album, this year’s Neverender was a full play through of Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Volume 1 : From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. GAIBSIV was the band’s third studio release and is the proud holder of their mega-hit single “Welcome Home” (which I believe was required by law to be everyone’s Myspace profile song for at least 2 months back in 2005). GAIBSIV is a continuation of a story from the albums prior which chronicles The Amory Wars. You can pick up companion copies of the companion comics for this album which are currently being released at BOOM! studios.
Opening for Coheed and Cambria was Rhode Island-based prog-rock band The Dear Hunter. The band originated as a side project of Casey Crescenzo, formerly of The Receiving End of Sirens. The band boasts and impressive discography of seven studio albums, a demo, two live albums and 13 EP’s.
The Dear Hunter put on an energetic and entertaining opening act despite a lack-luster (and honestly a little headache-inducing) light show accompaniment. I was not previously familiar with the band’s music at all prior to seeing them perform at this show and was pleasantly surprised. Though I don’t know that I will be going out of my way any time soon to look up their full discography, I wouldn’t mind stumbling across them again on Pandora in the future. I do appreciate that they have an extensive storyline to tell across their albums in true prog-rock fashion, although I think I have my hands full enough following The Amory Wars at the moment.
I may be a little biased, but I do honestly believe that Coheed and Cambria consistently put on some of the best live shows. This year’s Neverender was no exception. The visuals on screen behind the band ranged from video clips to trippy, moving artwork and really added to the feel and experience of the full album. The energy from the band was high and engaging. Something about being able to anticipate the next song in the lineup also seems to really amp up the audience in a way that is incomparable to other concerts.
After the conclusion of GAIBSIV (including hidden track Bron-Y-Aur, a nod to Led Zepplin), the band ended the set with a three song encore that included “Island,” “Delirium Trigger” and “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.”
Coheed fans are an interesting group. We refer to each other as Children of the Fence (COTF), a reference to Heaven’s Fence: The universe in which The Amory Wars takes place. By the end of the encore, most of us in the back row had one arm around our neighbor and our other index finger up in the air during the lyric “we were one among The Fence.”
Machine Gun Kelly will join Linkin Park on their world tour to support their upcoming album, 'One More Light.'
In anticipation for their seventh studio album, One More Light, Linkin Park has announced a world tour with Machine Gun Kelly.
To help get tickets into the hands of real fans, first access to tickets will be reserved for fans in a presale powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan. The presale will help to ensure fans are competing against other fans for tickets, instead of scalpers or bots.
In This Moment will tour with Motionless In White and Avatar.
This summer, L.A.-metalcore band In This Moment will embark on a tour to bring their one-of-a-kind theatrics to fans across North America.
In This Moment’s debut album, Beautiful Tragedy, was released in 2007. Their 2014 album Black Widow debuted at number eight on Billboard’s top 200 chart, giving the band their highest position in the charts to date. The album featured radio hits such as “Sick Like Me” and “Sex Metal Barbie.”
Joining In This Moment on tour will be Motionless In White and Avatar. For a full list of tour dates, visit www.inthismomentofficial.com/tour.
As maybe all of you now know from my album review of David Cook’s Digital Vein release, I love this album. So, of course I was more than happy when we received the news that our coverage of the show was, in fact, approved. As it usually does, my heart grew little stick legs and did the happy dance of joy, feeling pretty confident that it was going to be one hell of a night.
Pulling up to the venue, I was more than a little impressed with the ambiance. The Gas Monkey in Dallas was to be the host of the evening, all with the glitz and glam of the outdoor patio setting. It couldn’t have been a more perfect night. It was a blissful 75-ish degrees with a cool wind blowing. Somebody special order heaven on the night of David’s show? Thanks for that. We shared iced tea and some pretty amazing Gas Monkey snacks pre-show…. and then it was magic time.
Around 6:30 the line of fans formed for the Meet n Greet, and David sauntered out with swagger. Looking fresh off the idol stage, clad in his staple open-shirt-over-t-shirt look, spiked hair and skinny jeans…even his single key, given to him by a fan, was on a chain hanging from his neck. This key was on the cover of Digital Vein. A look of genuine happiness crept over his face with each hand he shook and hug he gave. I watched to see if his smile faded or even caught for a second.
He was genuinely interested to speak with each fan. Henry, a 6 year old boy from Dallas became a fan favorite. David got down on one knee and listened to Henry’s story. This was clearly just for them. David leaned in close and listened intently to whatever Henry had to tell him, and at the end was the biggest genuine hug ever given.
I couldn’t have expected anything less, though. David and his crew are currently on the 2nd leg of their USO tour. Military fans across the United States have the privilege of seeing this tour up close and personal. I’m not sure if it’s more invigorating for the fans, or for David. My money is on David. Later, during the show he would joke about riding in flight simulators and going up in jets. He says “But we are all certified pilots now, which is cool”, and I’m not sure whether to believe him or not.
Somehow I think he’s not joking.
Back to present time, and I’m waiting for the show to start. The crowd is smaller than I anticipated, and quite a different demographic from what I imagined. At $40 a ticket, I actually had purchased two just because I could. I knew I was on assignment, but seats are always nice. These fans in attendance are dedicated. In speaking to them, I’m learning that so many of them actually follow him from town to town and have seen him no less than 10 times. Around the balcony and into the rest of the patio, I’m guessing are maybe 250 fans. I’m more than a little disappointed.
Suddenly a stir from backstage, and the opening act takes the stage. We learn soon this act is “Starmother” out of Denton, Texas. Wow. This is a happy surprise. So much so that I’ve saved their coverage for a whole ‘nother article. If you’re a fan of Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind or the like, do yourself a favor and go ahead and download their album from iTunes. You’re welcome in advance.
The sun sets. Blackness settles over the pond, and suddenly a faint pulse emulates from the stage. With it, the red pulsating LED lights. In an instant I knew “Heartbeat” would be the opening song. With it emerges David and his band: guitarist Daniel Damico, bassist Andy Wildrick, and drummer Adam Reidelbach. David is clearly in his element. The audience is going mad, and the sound is riveting.
I knew from a conversation with a crew member from earlier in the day that David wasn’t feeling his greatest. From this performance, there was no indication of this. The music swelled seamlessly into “Paper Heart”, and the entire front row almost passed out. So much amazing sound in such a small amount of time. After song two, David paused for a chat with the audience. I’d forgotten one of the reasons I love David so much. The brains on this man just make me smile, and his sense of humor is just delightful. I like him. In fact, I want to be friends with him. David, can we hang out? I think we should do that.
One song fades into another, each one maybe a little better than the last. The audience is singing maybe louder than David, and a gentle lopsided smile indicates that David likes. At some point drummer Adam stands up and leads the group in a clap-out, and we are happy to oblige. The best of David Cook, This Loud Morning and Digital Vein are all laid out in roughly 90 minutes of insanely intense musical perfection. “Broken Windows” finishes out the set, and we all know the night is about to wrap. I look up at the band and no one has broken a sweat. Are these guys just so cool that it’s not hard work?
That’s when it hits me. I look into the crowd, and over half the audience is at least 55+ in age. The younger half is in the pit dancing their hearts out. And while I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the music was so good it brought tears to my eyes, to them it was effortless. The band played. They didn’t perform. David, while clearly intent on meaning every single lyric, didn’t necessarily have to go into a long guitar solo to prove he was cooler than me. The band picked on each other on stage, but their performance was vocal. Their performance was focused on the job at hand; making the music perfection. So each chord, each drum beat and hi-hat chatter, each bass drone was deliberate. The sound was so good that you didn’t miss anything that maybe visually wasn’t happening.
The show was clean, simple, to the point, and fantastic.
In a clear goodnight, the band exits stage left. I’m left feeling invigorated, satisfied, and perhaps a little dehydrated. I’m pretty sure I sang my ass off and forgot to drink anything all night. In case you were there, I was the one dancing in the audience. That was me having my socks rocked off.
I’m honored to have been able to share this day with altwire.net, and share my photographs with all of you. The Digital Vein tour is still running. They will break from July-August, and then jump back on the road in September. Please, if you are reading this and you have them coming to your city- go see the show!! Give the boys our support.
To David, Andy, Daniel and Adam ~ thank you for the music.
Photos taken by Amanda Gail Photographer for AltWire.net/Beautifully Lit Photography
Fans of my columns should know by now that, as the song says, I’m only happy when it rains. However, it’s hard to be any sort of sad when you’re talking about Daryl Hall & John Oates. Merely the visual of the duo brings to mind perfectly positioned blonde locks of Daryl’s hair and John’s enigmatic, happy open-mouthed face while bouncing around in back playing guitar. At least that’s what pops in my head. Am I alone here?
I grew up on Hall & Oates. In fact, at the ripe age of 12, my very first concert was at a North Carolina amusement park palladium, and it was none other than these two. What is NOT to love? Who doesn’t love Hall & Oates?
I mean- there’s an actual Hall & Oates emergency hotline. If you NEED to get your fix, you can dial the number and pick a song to hear. This is a real, legitimate thing. (Really, Google it.) At any given time in life, if you’re feeling a bit somber, they are there for you. Also, they taught me the correct pronunciation of the word “JAG-U-AR”. Who doesn’t need to know that?
A pop duo of exponential class; other pop duos could only aspire and fail to be anything as amazing as this pair. Everyone remembers the hits “Sara Smile”, “Private Eyes”, “Maneater”, “Adult Education”, and the list goes on and on. However, did you know, that Daryl Hall is a bit of a bad ass? Besides being the first white man ever inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame, Daryl Hall has a monthly web series called, “Live From Daryl’s House”, this series is… well let’s just say… hilarious. Dedicated to all things music, it’s a one stop shop for Daryl to get together with his rock and roll buddies. His buddies are people like: Smokey Robinson, Rob Thomas, and Patrick Stump just to name a few.
Daryl has not lost an inch of his edge and talent. It’s as if God himself said “LET THERE BE ONE MOST PERFECTLY TONED KICK-ASS POP VOICE ON THE PLANET”. He created Daryl Hall, although a bit unfair for the rest of those aspiring singers, but whatever. God gave us Daryl Hall, and for that we are eternally grateful.
We aren’t done there. John Oates is more than just a pretty face with a set of guitar strings as well. For you kids out there, this man is no stranger to asserting himself. John has a number of projects including: The R&B Foundation, the 7908 Aspen Songwriter’s Festival, and providing influence to fan favorites Gym Class Heroes and The Killers.
This year we are fortunate enough to see them ON THE ROAD!! Live and in your face, Hall & Oates are touring again. Be aware, this show is a get-out-of-your-seat-and-don’t-pretend-you-don’t-know-every-single-word-to-every-song phantasm of an event. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve seen these men perform seven times in my life! I hope I haven’t seen the last of them.
This is the Reasn that my faith in music hasn’t wavered. In this age of blatant piracy, monotony, and unfiltered bantha fodder, it’s refreshing to hear music that has meaning and depth.
It’s even more fulfilling when the Colombia, MO artist behind that music is starving. Yet, he craves to feed the hungry audience even more than himself.
This is no small audience, either. Trust me, this dude is going to fill arenas one day. His music is an unreal fusion of blues, rock, hip-hop and soul that is magically translated by a voice from another era.
As I listen to his song, “Blue Flame” on my PC, I think about how unfair it is for music with such depth to be converted into the zeroes and ones that represent the binary code of my computer.
Then again, if Reasn’s music sounds this good in digital form, there is no need for the red pill anymore.
The Matrix has a new savior, and his name is…
Hey, what’s going on bro? How are you doing?
Reasn: Hey what’s up man. I’m in the studio right now, trying to do some work. I’m happy we got the chance to do this, I appreciate the love, bro.
Oh man it’s no doubt bro. I have to tell you, I was sleep on your music. I’m not gonna lie. When I first saw your press release, I was thinking, “OK, he has the image of one of today’s artists”. So, understand, my mind was prepared to hear a sound similar to today’s music. I listened to your song, “Blue Flame” first. When I heard your voice I sat up and was like, “Whoa!”. No lie dude, your voice took me back to a better time, which is a good thing.
That’s what I’m trying to do bro! Take it back to the old way, when music & lyrics meant something.
All of your music sounds that way and your lyrics are very powerful. You know for some reason, when I first heard your voice hit those high-pitch notes like the old-school singers, and your name is Reasn, the first thing I thought about was Earth, Wind, and Fire’s song Reason.
(laughing) I used to come out on stage to that song.They’d play that song before I came on the stage and then I came out.
Yeah, so it’s funny you would say that.
Seems like you have a lot of soul in you! You know one complaint I hear from my readers, they complain about the monotony and the lack of unique identities in today’s music. When I listen to your voice, it makes me wish I had more plugs in the industry, so I could be your publicist and get you out there! Then I see your videos and I’m thinking, “No way this guy only has 84,000 views!”. Seems like there should be way more.
You know man, I used to think about that type of stuff. When you’re trying to do something new, it takes awhile…but when it hits, it hits. So when it hits, I think it’s going to be all worth the wait.
I’m sure it will be! I wanted to ask you, your song “Killer”, it’s attached to your “70 West” EP right?
So, if I remember correctly, and I remember driving through Missouri, I-70 West, that’s toward Kansas City right?
Correct. That’s the truth. I spent a lot of time going up and down I-70, but then I flew west. That’s when things started happening for me, on a bigger scale. That’s why I named it “70 West”.
Everything seems to be “Out West”. I’m also from the Midwest, in Chicagoland. It seems like everyone who pursues a career in entertainment goes west.
Yeah, it’s like being a big fish in a little pond. You gotta prove you’re legit. When I came out here I saw there were even more talented people than where I’m from. I’m alright out here though. I’m gonna be alright, you know?
I hear you. So who was your biggest influence? Who helped mold your sound?
My Mom. I listened to her sing my whole life growing up. Even when I didn’t want to sing, she was the choir director so she made me do that. I listened to a lot of older singers and I always tried to listen to diverse stuff. I liked Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, people like that. Also, not listening to the radio a lot. That helped shape me into being my own person.
Your Mom sings too?
Oh man! Yeah, she goes. Whenever I come back to town, no matter what I do, I’m still second to her. I could get a Grammy and I’m still her son (laughing), but I’m OK with it. I see you’re from Gary, IN. I hear it’s pretty rough there.
Yeah, the old industrial belt. A lot of industrial jobs were lost here. When jobs go, you know what happens next.
I feel you man because, being from outside St. Louis. I see the same thing.
>Speaking of St. Louis, man, I’m trying to get to Sweetie Pie’s! That line on TV is just ridiculous though. Everybody wants that good cooking.
Right! Now, I’m trying to lift weights and get ready for this tour man. I’m eating all of this salad and stuff but, you know, I sneak over there every once in a while.
Man, you’re gonna have a problem with all of those lady fans who are gonna want to take Reasn home to cook for him.
You’re right man!
You’re going to have to let them know up front that you’re trying to maintain your weight!
(laughing) Yeah…everybody’s already shared that with me.
Speaking of women, let’s go back to your song, “Killer”. When I first heard that song I was taken back to my 20’s, the age of naive youth. There were so many women out there like the woman you’re talking about on this song. This song sounds personal. Is this based on a personal experience?
I can tell you one thing, and I hope it stays true for my whole career. Everything I say, has either happened to me, or I’ve seen. Yes, that is a person I was seeing. This happened when I first came to L.A.. I came out here with a group-sorta thing. I was 19 and went to my first big mansion-type of party. It all just went bad from there. She sold me on the lights. She was a Laker Girl but, she wasn’t talking about sh** obviously.
Seems like we’ve all been through that!You area fan of all music. What do you think about the industry today and how fans respond to your music?
Well, two things. There is a new wave coming. I’m seeing people like Jack Garrett and Anderson Paak…there are people trying new things. That’s the hardest thing about the industry today. You have to understand that it’s ok not to be a robot. Like, I shot a video with these little kids, and I dressed different. The kids are asking me, “Why don’t you have Jordans on?” I answered them by telling them because I’m not a robot, and I do what I feel. That blew their mind. In a wrap-around type of way, that’s how the industry is. Everybody has to sound like Drake. Everybody has to sound like Lil’ Wayne. It didn’t use to be like that. Everybody tried to find them and make it their own. That’s what I think left the industry.
Seems like we have a lot of clones and drones in the industry these days. It seems like it’s a lot more sheep than wolves.
That’s true. You know, I’m just a ‘lil different. It’s hard for me to adapt to L.A. a little bit , because of all the talk and not as much action. It makes sense where the industry is because Hollywood is the place where everyone wants to be. The way everybody tries to fit in by saying they were at the big party and everything, it makes sense. It all comes together if you think about it why music sounds the way it does, if that makes sense.
I know exactly what you mean. One thing I love about AltWire is, we don’t charge for reviews or to publicize independent music. A lot of blogs charge. As a journalist, I live to discover new things before every one else, to be the first to let the world hear your music.
I’m glad that people are still taking the time to do that. That shows that you really love music and we need that these days. It sounds like you love music more than views, which is hard to find these days.
Thank You! To me, views are OK but, gaining new fans is the most important thing. I’d take five real fans over a thousand views any day.
I argue with my friend about this all the time. He’s like an internet guru. He does music, but he doesn’t really care about it. He’s always telling me, “Look at my views, I got 500,000 views.”. I always tell him that even with those views, you’re not touching anyone. I’m not even sure if any of those people will go to his show.
I think it’s unfair that the first question a major investor will ask you is, “How many views do you have?”
Right! These people who wanted to work with me, this happened a couple of times, first thing they ask me, kind of shuts me down a little bit. I would hope that the first question would be similar to the first question you asked me. Something like, “What is your influence”.
I know your DM’s have to be crazy! Do you personally answer the people who want to know more about your music?
At first, I went through an “I’m not answering anybody” stage. Then I went through a stage where I’m trying to answer everybody. The people that you think are normal turn crazy real quick. Some people will ask you questions about your music and you’ll answer, and everything seems cool. Then the next day the same person is in your inbox asking why you aren’t answering them! I’m like, “Wait a second, I thought we were just talking about music!” It gets kind of crazy. Me, personally, I’m a face-to-face person. If I could speak to anyone face-to-face, it would be a dream. However, I’m trying to find a middle ground and respond to a certain amount of people per day.
I’m not going to hold you up to much longer because I know you’re ready to get back to work in the studio but, how does your summer schedule look? Are you going on tour with anyone?
Yeah, I’m doing this tour with B.O.B through 48 cities. I’m blessed to have any opportunity. I’m trying to branch into a more alternative crowd, but it’s easier to get onto urban tours when you’re still “coming up”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed to be doing anything but, when you go to an urban setting, you have to prove yourself before they start rockin’ with you. The alternative crowd is ready to rock with you from day one.
Well, you have a fan here and I am going to try to bring you even more fans. When you make it huge and start doing shows in Dubai, don’t forget my free tickets! (laughing)
Oh no man, I never forget the real ones! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. It was great talking to you bro.
Reasn will be on tour with B.o.B starting April 27th in Omaha Nebraska and ends June 24th in St Petersburg, FL. Click the flyer for dates & more info.
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 The Mighty
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.
Coheed and Cambria
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.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of hitting up the Safetysuit show in Philly at The Foundry. Let me start by saying what a cool little venue this place is! Ok, so it’s technically a venue in a venue? (How meta!) The Foundry is located inside The Fillmore; it’s an intimate upstairs area with a decent sized bar, red leather booth seating with tables along the far wall, a few neat-o leather couches towards the back, and a smaller sized stage located to the left of the entryway. The joint wasn’t huge but it was the perfect size for the crowd we had. Not once during the show did I feel at all cramped or crushed while I was in the pseudo-pit area.
Opening for Safetysuit was a newcomer kid from South Africa named Connell Cruise. For those of you not familiar (like I wasn’t up until yesterday evening) this boy has some serious pipes on him. Like… holy crap. I usually go in to opening acts with low expectations because, let’s face it, we’ve all seen that home-town crew that thinks they’re hot shit but sounds like a cat yowling over the sound your high school nemesis pulling donuts in the parking lot. But this kid blew me the hell away. He did a short set including a few personal songs about falling in love with a girl who won’t let you come home to meet her folks (to be fair she was a princess, like… an actual honest to god princess. This dude… dated… a princess?!) and another highlighting the perfect response to when someone tells you “I just want to be friends”. He also did something hella cool by inviting local Philly artist Mackenzie Johnson up on stage to duet a song called “Let it Go”. I was able to snag a short clip from his most well-known song “Into the Wild” just to give you all an idea of just how killer this kid’s talent is live. I was impressed, entertained, and I was left actually wanting a longer set for an opening act for the first time since I saw Magic Man open for PANIC! at the Disco last summer. Just excellent.
Connel Cruise – “Into the Wild” Live (Clip):
Safetysuit opened with their newest single “Looking Up” to a screaming crowd that have waiting 3 long years to see them come back around. Lead singer, Douglas Brown, even made note of this looking out into the crowd after their opening set with open arms saying “PHILADELPHIA! YOU CAME BACK!”. Of course the crowd absolutely erupted. Doug went on to say how moving and humbling it was to have everyone in the crowd knowing that they all stuck around despite the touring dry spell since 2012.
Safetysuit – “Let Go” Live:
The entire vibe of the show was so laid back despite the energy of the performance. These guys are just the kind of artists that you feel like you want to invite over for a few beers on a Saturday afternoon. I think that might be why they draw such a diverse crowd. Looking around the audience the age range had to be from preteen to mid-60’s. And every last one of them was into it. They did a rockin cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and may or may not have choked me up a bit (big girls don’t cry though, right?). They also gave us the honor of previewing two new songs. “Numbers or Faith” may be my new favorite Safetysuit song and no, I’m not overselling it. It’s a song that talks a lot about the state of the world and the way we choose the handle it. It’s powerful. But I’ll let you judge for yourselves:
Safetysuit – “Numbers or Faith” Live:
They also previewed another new one called “Pause” which is a really intimate piece about taking the time to really appreciate every moment in life as it comes. If these two songs are any inclination I think it’s safe to say that new Safetysuit is definitely gonna knock us to the floor with strong lyrical messages with some pretty intense melodies to back it up.
And leave it to these guys to do something completely out there. Towards the end of the set Doug decided to grab on to the rafters and swing himself, monkey-bar style, into the crowd where he dropped down to finish out his song. He also went around and took selfies in the crowd and even snagged a girls phone and took a video on stage of himself and his band mates for her. But that wasn’t really the out there part… Most bands throw guitar picks and drum sticks into the audience, which they did! But towards the end of the set, and this is true, Doug takes off his Nike’s, pulls out a Sharpie, signs them and, I shit you not, HUCKS THEM INTO THE FUCKING CROWD. Yep. Dude threw his sneakers into the audience. Funniest part? My boyfriend CAUGHT one of the damn things. Well… that is until the girl behind him went all Walking Dead on him and tried to claw his arm off for it after she slapped his glasses off his face. Needless to say he let her have it because his appendages and prescription lenses are a little more important that Doug’s sweaty shoes. It was kind of a cool thing to do though, can’t say I’ve seen any other artist do that before. (Don’t feel too bad for our lost memorabilia, the boyfriend was able to snatch a guitar pick out of the air about 15 minutes prior so we still got pretty lucky!)
Safetysuit – “Apology” Live:
They played a 12 song setlist and returned for a 4 song encore which included a lovely acoustic version of “Never Stop” which Doug prefaced by saying “We received a flood of emails when we announced this tour asking if we could dedicated this song to loved ones who wants to propose to their significant others during our show. We obviously couldn’t make everyone happy with that request but if you were one of those people…[whispering] now’s your chance.” Judging by the lack of screaming, I don’t believe anyone got engaged at our show but it was still a pretty cool experience to have the guys unplug for an acoustic piece. They ultimately closed with “On Your Side” and called it a night.
Overall: Incredible show, awesome venue, great opening act. Couldn’t have asked for a better night at The Foundry!
Setlist for Safetysuit @ The Foundry 02/17/16
-Something I Said
-Staring At It
-Numbers or Faith
-Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen Cover)
-Someone Like You
-Beat Of Your Heart
-Get Around This
-Never Stop (Acoustic Version)
-On Your Side