By Jared Allen
July 18, 2018
It was your typical Saturday night at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre–good times and good music courtesy of Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday. The duo linked up for a major summer trek after realizing they’ve been running in the same circles for years, but never actually toured together.
The three band showcase with The Story So Far was pretty complimentary from front to back. While the California five-piece, who opened the night, didn’t boast the stage show the latter two bands did, they satisfied the amphitheatre crowd that showed up early to catch them. While the onstage energy wasn’t there and each band member stood relatively still for the entirety of their stage time, the band performed a lengthy 13-song set which for an opening act is rare. Musically, they were spot on. They played their hits and played them well. By the looks of the fans in the front, who were jumping up and down and orchestrating mosh pits, The Story So Far was certainly not a disappointment.
Taking Back Sunday, playing more or less a hometown gig, was impressive. Frontman Adam Lazzara’s mic-swinging and mid-song banter about how he lives just a few miles from the venue gave the performance life and a very personal feel. While Taking Back Sunday rolled through at least one song off each of their seven albums, Louder Now took center stage. Not only was it the lone album they sold, other than Tidal Wave, at the merch tent, but the band led off with “What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost” and “Error: Operator,” finishing with “MakeDamnSure.” Maybe it’s because of where the songs fell in the setlist, but Charlotte certainly reacted with the most excitement when they heard the opening note to each track.
By the time Coheed and Cambria came out, the audience had already received a full meal and their money’s worth. With a new album on the horizon, the band gave Charlotte an early taste of what it would sound like live. Claudio Sanchez strolled out to the new single, “The Dark Sentencer” before diving into older work. The heaviness of Coheed’s performance is never overpowering and always takes a backseat to artistry that’s lined throughout each tune. The show is designed to match the technicality of the band’s studio work and is accompanied by quite a light show. Vibrant strobe lights that flashed multiple colors illuminated the band and helped create a mood that matched the journey of sounds heard in Coheed’s music.
While Sanchez remained steady behind the mic that stood at center stage, his fellow bandmates were quite lively. Guitarist Travis Stever and bassist Zach Cooper bounced around their respective sides on stage, while drummer Josh Eppard headbanged in unison with each beat of the drums. It’s impressive how the band as a whole can put forth a performance that’s so focused on the craftsmanship behind the music, but also generate a presentation that’s visually satisfying. Even the way it all ended, with just a simple fist pump from Sanchez in front of a luminous white glow, was fulfilling even without a proper encore.
Check out the remaining dates on the Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday tour.