August 15, 2018 Coheed and Cambria & Taking Back Sunday Bring Down FivePoint Amphitheater Irvine, CA 8-11-18 w/ The Story So Far
Nothing beats a summer tour! What could be better than catching your favorite bands while enjoying the warm weather and perhaps a few drinks? While there are plenty of massive summer tours snaking their ways across the U.S., few are as exciting as Coheed and Cambria co-headlining on tour with Taking Back Sunday on tour and direct support from The Story So Far. On Saturday, August 11th, this stacked tour made its way through Orange County, California, for its penultimate show at the FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine.
Fans packed in early to grab some grub from one of several food trucks and stands parked on the grounds, or maybe to play a rousing game of Jenga or cornhole to get warmed up for the first act of the evening. The Story So Far, a Pop Punk band from the East Bay area of California, took the stage just as the first hints of dusk colored the sky. This five-piece powerhouse has been rising up the ranks since forming in 2007. With three albums out in the world, including their 2015 self-titled, The Story So Far are gearing up to release their fourth record, Proper Dose, on September 21st on Pure Noise Records, and released their first single “Let It Go” in June.
Judging by the cheer that rose up from the crowd gathered by the barricade when Vocalist Parker Cannon, Bassist Kelen Capener, Drummer Ryan Torf, and Guitarists Kevin Geyer and Will Levy made their way onto the stage, there were plenty The Story So Far fans who showed up early for some Pop-Punk goodness. Crowd surfers started flying through the air as soon as the band kicked off their set with “Empty Space” and “Things I Can’t Change,” two tracks from their fan-favorite 2013 LP, What You Don’t See. Tambourine in hand, Cannon led the charge through “Roam” and “Heavy Gloom.”
Despite its recent release, plenty of fans were singing along to new single “Let It Go,” seemingly stoked about the mention of the band’s upcoming album. Though the band were pretty still on stage, they let the music speak for itself as they ran through a few more classics including “Bad Luck,” “Solo,” “And Out of It,” before closing out their set with fan-favorite “Quicksand.” The band received a big cheer as they left the stage, getting everyone hyped for Taking Back Sunday and Coheed & Cambria.
Just as the sun began to finally set and the lights sprang to life around FivePoint, thousands – yes, thousands – of fans crowded around the stage or set up camp in their seats for Taking Back Sunday. Originally formed on Long Island, New York in 1999, the band had a bit of a rocky upbringing with constantly changing members, but since releasing their first album, Tell All Your Friends, in 2002, Taking Back Sunday has been one of very few bands who found popularity in the early aughts to keep that same popularity. That is likely because the band, often abbreviated as TBS, has consistently released excellent records in spite of continuing lineup changes. Currently, the band consists of Vocalist Adam Lazzara, returning original member John Nolan on Guitar, Bassist Shaun Cooper, Drummer Mark O’Connell, and a new touring guitarist who replaced the last remaining founding member Eddie Reyes, who parted ways with the band this past April.
While the band’s debut album remains a seminal favorite among fans, the band have seven albums under their belt, including 2016’s outstanding Tidal Wave. Those in the crowd who were hoping for a set packed with classics were certainly in for a treat, as the band were ready to bless everyone with a sampling of their entire discography.
Huge cheers erupted as the band’s banner was raised, but that was nothing compared to the massive applause that roared across the grounds when the band appeared on stage, starting their set off strong by asking fans “What’s It Feel Like To Be a Ghost?” and calling in “Error: Operator,” two tracks off their 2006 LP Louder Now. Lazzara did a few of his classic mic swings, strutting around the stage and showing the crowd a good time during “You Can’t Look Back” and beloved fan-favorite “Timberwolves at New Jersey.” Just about everyone in the crowd sang happily along with that and “Liar (It Takes One to Know One).”
The band kept the momentum going with a little something for everyone as they served up “A Decade Under the Influence,” “Death Wolf,” and “Flicker, Fade.” Then, Lazzara took some time to tell the story of “Beat Up Car,” describing an old friend stuck in a bad situation before continuing the fun with “Set Phasers to Stun” and “Call Come Running.”
With the energy of the veteran headliners they are, the band got everyone to put up their hands and clap along to “Tidal Wave,” and following that got everyone to chant “Coheed, Coheed!” just to make sure everyone was sufficiently hyped for what was to come before closing out their set with three massive hits “MakeDamnSure,” “Cute Without the ‘E,’” and “You’re So Last Summer.” All told, TBS blessed the crowd with seventeen songs, keeping the energy at maximum the entire set. It even seems as though some fans cleared out following that killer set, but anyone who might have left early missed out on an explosive, theatrical set from Prog Rock vets Coheed and Cambria.
Coheed and Cambria, often shortened to simply Coheed, came together all the way back in 1995, though the band’s debut album, Second Stage Turbine Blade, was not released until 2002. With a lineup currently consisting of Vocalist/Guitarist Claudio Sanchez, Guitarist Travis Stever, Drummer Josh Eppard, and Bassist Zach Cooper, Coheed is known for their massive concept albums that detail the Amory Wars storyline, a series developed by Sanchez. Only one album of the band’s eight does not follow this concept, and fans have been drawn to Coheed’s unique flair for theatrics and storytelling. Recently, the band teased their upcoming album Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures with a single release, stating that band will once again follow the Amory Wars storyline for their ninth release.
Judging by the roar from the crowd as the band’s banner dropped to reveal an intricate lighting rig depicting the band’s “Keywork” logo, fans were ready to see Coheed pull out all the stops for their headlining performance. They began their set with two songs off their upcoming album: “Prologue” and “Dark Sentencer.” Hardcore fans in the audience were certainly excited for these new tracks, but the first few notes of “Here We Are Juggernaut” and classic “Devil in Jersey City” had the crowd surging toward the barricade and singing along to every word.
Even more impressive than the band’s stellar musicianship was the stunning lighting and production that powered their set. While many bands seem to prefer dark, moody lighting, Coheed opted for brightness, making their set feel especially theatrical. Sanchez and Eppard seemed especially hyped to be playing for such a massive crowd, running through tracks like “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” and “Blood Red Summer” with infectious enthusiasm.
That wild energy kept fans eagerly singing along with classic hit “A Favor House Atlantic” and “Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial),” before dropping in a few more recent tracks like “Here to Mars,” and new single “Unheavenly Creatures.” Then, sporting some beautiful pigtails, Coheed closed out their set with the chugging “Welcome Home,” during which Sanchez whipped out a double-necked guitar and a grisly hockey mask, showing off by wailing the song’s guitar solo with the guitar behind his head. A stellar, explosive finish for the band’s incredible set.
With a perfect ending like that, there was really no need for an encore, and so fans happily exited FivePoint chatting animatedly about their favorite moments of the evening. Though this tour might be over now, there is no doubt that with new material on the way, these bands will be hitting the road again soon. You would be a fool to miss them!
Purchase Proper Dose:
Purchase Tidal Wave:
Purchase Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures: