As Glassjaw rip into Tip Your Bartender, heads move throughout the audience, and looking around at the T-shirts being worn, there’s the strong impression that there are nearly as many Glassjaw fans as there are Coheed fans present tonight.
Glassjaw occupy a curious position: not as prog as Coheed or The Mars Volta, not as unhinged as At The Drive-In. But their subtly askew, melodic yet thrashy songs retain a reverential cult following. On stage, it’s Ape Dos Mil that really revs the audience up, the balladeering and powerful vocals from Daryl Palumbo proving a standout moment in their set.
The songs are irresistibly arresting with their massive hooks and slash-and-burn guitar riffs.
When Coheed arrive on stage, it’s to the self-assured stadium prog swagger of Island, a single from their new LP The Color Before The Sun, the band’s first non-concept album to date. Even if they reportedly hadn’t even heard a Rush album until after their second album was already out, Coheed have had a strong classic rock and progressive rock vibe to their songs ever since they were just post‑hardcore upstarts. On their Afterman diptych and this latest record, they’ve embraced that to its fullest extent, and the result is a more confident, comfortable band – even if the fans still hanker for the hits. Luckily, Coheed deliver. Following quickly with Eraser, they then detour into early material, with Devil In Jersey City, from the Second Stage Turbine Blade album, and Blood Red Summer proving irresistibly arresting with their massive hooks and slash‑and‑burn guitar riffs.
Ballad Here To Mars, from The Color Before the Sun, is rather forgettable, but lead single You Got Spirit, Kid goes down well, with the crowd screaming the lyrics back at the band. It’s quickly time for the classics again though, and early single A Favor House Atlantic proves just as potent now as it ever was, with The Camper Velourium III: Al The Killer and expansive prog-out In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3, all from their breakthrough album of the same name, keeping the kids moshing and the party going.
Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood And Burial) is a slightly odd choice for an encore, but it’s only to forestall the inevitable, as frontman Claudio Sanchez swaps his guitar for a double‑neck Gibson SG and launches into the iconic opening riff from Welcome Home. Between the liberal 12-string use and high melodrama, it’s hard to see this as anything but the highlight of the gig, and most of the crowd are on the tarmac outside the venue before they can fully process the finale.