“You’re gonna love it,” a fan in the front row tells me. She’s traveled from states away by train to be here, and she’ll go back at midnight tonight. “Just wait, you’ll see, seeing them live makes all the difference.” Coheed and Cambria played Forest Hills Stadium on Saturday alongside the legendary Alkaline Trio and your new favorite artist, Mothica. I talk a lot in these reviews about the fans, I always felt that the way they treated each other and the artist was a more telling story than “the band did good!,” this show solidified my thinking.
Mothica hit the stage first, fighting balmy weather and a super early show time, but she came out ready to go. I spoke to fans clutching to the barricade with VIP Coheed lanyards around their neck and before she took a step out, they were singing her praises. “She’s awesome, she’s just awesome.” As soon as she came out, she reminded me of a new age Maria Brink of In This Moment. At a time when it was hard to grab people’s attention, she had the stadium in the palm of her hand. She asked how many people knew her and how many were here from the Coheed VIP, the same people screamed. Though her set was short, it was impactful. She spoke a lot about mental health, her personal connections to each song, and most importantly, moths. “Vices” and “Buzzkill” stood out as they are her viral hits, allowing more passive fans to connect the dots. She encouraged fans to meet her during the changeover, which, since COVID, I haven’t seen. It was something I thought was really special.
Fans were buzzing between sets about how soon Coheed would be out, but not before Alkaline Trio gave an incredible performance. Kicking the set off with “Warbrain” got everyone moving, even in the heat. They played a great mix of their catalog with an insane amount of energy, getting everyone ready for the main event, while being on main event level themselves.
Fans handed out glow sticks to crack to prepare for Coheed and Cambria’s set, along with stickers, car decals, waters. There was a sense of community all day long, and all they wanted to do was share their love for this band with everyone. When it was time for the band to come out, they were counting down the seconds, and when their mystical creature backdrop inflated, the energy shot up. Coheed opened up with “Prologue,” “The Dark Sentencer” and “The Gutter” one into another. Their musicianship is incredible, and their stage presence is out-of-this-world. As I was leaving the photo pit, the same fan grabbed my arm and said with the biggest grin I’d seen, “What’d I tell ya?” I replied with a simple, “You were right.”
Check out some highlights from the show below: