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Coheed and Cambria & Taking Back Sunday Rock The Garden State

Lights, Sound, and a Ton of Nostalgia in New Jersey

One of Summer’s most exciting and nostalgic tours is the team up between Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday. Coheed are out in support of their upcoming record release for their new album The Unheavenly Creatures, due for release on October 5th, 2018 via Roadrunner Records. Then there’s the return of Taking Back Sunday, who is currently out in support of their 2016 record Tidal Wave.  

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The Unheavenly Creatures is Coheed’s ninth studio album. The new record is the band’s first on Roadrunner Records and will continue their Armory Wars narrative, which dates back to their very first album. The Unheavenly Creatures is the band’s self-produced 78-minute long record comprised of 15 new songs from the prog rock masters. Coheed released the single “The Dark Sentencer” recently and, as usual, it received strong praise from their devoted fan base.

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I was really looking forward to hearing some of the new material live, so on July 19th the tour made it’s long awaited stop in New Jersey at The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and there was no way I was missing it. The stop is one of a few homecoming stops around New York’s Tri-State area. TBS is from Long Island and spent their early years pounding the pavement around these parts of the East Coast; Coheed has a loyal fan base (which is such an understatement) all around the area since the band originated in New York. With that said there’s something a little extra special about these bands playing around here. 

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Legions of fans packed their way into PNC ready for a good old fashion rock show. The show’s openers come in the form of the band The Story So Far and find the Taking Back Sunday crew in the middle spot.

CA pop punk legends The Story So Far filled up the first thirty minutes of the night with their somewhat nostalgic but quite energetic sound. Known for their relentless devotion to the pop punk scene, The Story So Far have cultivated a brand in the wake of the genre’s resurgence. The California bred The Story So Far are coming out with their new album Proper Dose on September 21st thus making this tour the perfect opportunity to show old school fans some of the new sound and also make new fans.  The band formed in California back in 2007 and got their name from a New Found Glory Song (totally on brand). Now, with the follow up to 2015’s self-titled album the band looks to reignite the flames that once burned bright for the band. Proper Dose is led by the single “Let It Go” which is a catchy pop rock tune that doesn’t distant itself to far from the band’s previous work but definitely freshens things up a bit. The band’s performance still carries a familiar vibe as they have in years past but is tightened up and for the first time it feels exciting again. The band’s new set consists of two new songs “Let It Go” and “Out of It” plus classics off of their 2011 album Under Soil and Dirt like the track “Quicksand”.

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As the 8pm hour hit, Taking Back Sunday made their way onstage, feeling like they never lost a step. They made sure to come out strong playing fan favorites like “Timberwolves at New Jersey“, “You’re So Last Summer”, and “Cute Without the E“.

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The band was as energetic and explosive as ever, whether playing classic material or songs off Tidal Wave. Vocalist Lazzara is known for his charismatic swinging of the microphone during each song, and leaving the opportunity open for the crowd to sing along; Lazzara really knows how to engage the crowd.

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The band changed pace a bit midway through the set, slowing it down for tracks “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Flicker, Fade“.

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Adam made mention during the set about remembering being teenagers in this band and how much he looked up to Coheed as a band; he showed a great amount of gratitude for not only being on tour with one of his favorite bands but also to the fans for supporting through the years.

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Taking Back Sunday closed out their time on stage with the ever popular hit  “MakeDamnSure”, which had the entire amphitheater singing along at the top of their lungs; as the set came to a close a standing ovation came which was well deserved.

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With the New Jersey audience warmed up and excited, it was time for headliners Coheed and Cambria to take the stage for what was an unforgettable show-stopping performance that only they can deliver!

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Coheed frontman Claudio Sanchez is a man of few words; he speaks to the fans with soaring guitars and catchy, mystical lyrics. When the band’s set began, the stage was completely blue and the members were merely silhouettes.

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The band, as usual, played nonstop from start to finish one glorious song after another. I don’t think they slowed down but for only a few water breaks while changing out guitars. They began their set with their new song “The Dark Sentencer” from their upcoming album Vaxis Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures.

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They then rolled right into classic hit songs like  “Here We Are Juggernaut” and “Devil In Jersey City“. Fans, myself included, were in complete awe, only a few songs in. The sound was massive, the light show downright impressive and the band flawless as they made playing the songs look easy. Hearing songs like “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” live was like going on a journey; looking around fans were captivated by the total package of the set. It was truly amazing to see and I remember thinking “Have these guys always been this good live?” According to Coheed fanatics the answer was “Hell Yes”.

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The venue was also the perfect setting for Coheed’s out of this world, multidimensional music. PNC’s mainstage has a roof covering that looks eerily similar to a UFO spaceship, and if you stood on the lawn of the Amphitheater it looked as if an abduction was happening. Song’s like “A Favor House Atlantic” and “Ten Speed (of God’s Blood and Burial)” went over extremely well with fans. “The Suffering” and ballad “Wake Up“ were also surreal highlights of the performance.

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Coheed switched gears between older classic fan favorites and newer material, like the single “Unheavenly Creatures” giving fan’s an exciting look into the band’s future. Near the end of the set frontman Claudio Sanchez showed how much of a family man he is by getting a security guard’s attention and asking “Hey Sir, can you please get out of the way, that’s my Mother and I want her to be able to see the show”. The crowd erupted with laughter and the show continued on.

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The band’s 13 song set, which spans about an hour and ten minutes, is properly closed out by one of the most amazing song to witness the band play live, “Coming Home”.  It is an absolutely  can’t miss finale for any music fan. Claudio Sanchez is one of the most underrated but greatest guitarists of today, and he proves it showing all his abilities when playing this song. The crowd was engulfed by his solo, and remained for minutes after the song ended, cheering for the show they just witnessed. Coheed and Cambria with Taking Back Sunday may have been the underdogs when it comes to this Summer’s tours but I think if you see this show you may agree with me that the Summer rock tour crown easily goes to them.

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The tour isn’t over yet, and there is still plenty of time to witness the extravaganza. The tour will come to end on August 12th in Phoenix, Arizona. The band will also be crossing into Canada from September 11th until September 22nd joined by Protest The Hero

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The band’s new album will be released on October 5th, so I’m sure we will be seeing Coheed dates in the states real soon. For more information and for pre-order packages for The Unheavenly Creatures head to www.coheedandcambria.com.

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See full gallery of the night here!

Coheed and Cambria Setlist PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ, USA, Summer Tour 2018

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