"Haste the Day, Haste the Day, Haste the Day" chanted the crowd on May 22nd at Irving Plaza in NYC – the band was back, and they were ready to rip the stage.
The band has just dropped their first record in roughly five years after calling it quits four years ago. This record was formed when a reunion show to celebrate their ground breaking record Burning Bridges, sparked some inspiration for a few of the members, they knew it was time to do something about it.
The members of the Haste the Day, (yes, all nine of them throughout the decade), decided to combine collaborative forces and make a record, Coward. To celebrate this much anticipated album, they set on doing a four day tour run, and Friday night they kicked it off in NYC.
After two openers, it was time for the marquis event, and at 9:45 pm Haste the Day took the stage to thunderous applause and screams. The lineup consisted of Stephen Keech (vocals), Mike Murphy (bass/vocals), Brennan Chaulk (guitar/vocals), Scotty Whelan (guitar), and Giuseppe Capolupo (drums). Then of course the band's first vocalist, Jimmy Ryan, would pop in for certain songs or pull double duty with Keech. Guitarist Dave Krysl would also appear on a handful of songs as well. The only members of the nine that were missing through the night were, Devin Chaulk (drums) and Jason Barnes (guitar).
Considering the band has been apart for the last few years, and practices have come sparingly, everyone sounded pretty tight with a few minor faults here and there. The night was a perfect blend of old, middle, and new as they showcased some of the new songs off of Coward, and then filled the set with Haste the Day classics that both Jimmy and Stephen could let loose on.
With Keech opening the show on vocals, it gave the opportunity for Jimmy to be reintroduced, which allowed fans of the original lineup to get excited about his return.
Jimmy would come in on the new song "Take" and triumphantly led the song into the chorus that had the place screaming, "We know who you are/ And where you came from/ We will never compromise/ Because we know who you are!"
The raucous crowd opened up a circle pit in the middle of the floor and fans began moshing wildly, spurred on by Keech's, "I want to see a huge circle pit for this one!" However, the thrashing was just one form of the energy being released that night, as those who crowded the stage were jumping up and down surfing on each other back and forth. Keech's charismatic presence on stage, definitely helped hype the audience.
Fan favorites "Stiches" and "Pressure the Hinges" erupted Irving Plaza, and really sparkled. On these tracks Murphy and Chaulk absolutely flawed everyone with their perfect harmonies over choruses and interludes. Despite the lead vocalist of both eras being the highlight with their growls and screams, their clean vocals have always been the backbone of what Haste the Day is.
Drummer Giuseppe was a real treat to watch as he beat away on the drums all night, and cranked up the speed on breakdowns. He even had a chance to shine as the only member on stage soloing while the band prepped for an encore.
"Blue 42" and "When Everything Falls" had the venue stoked as well, as the signature opening riffs and Jimmy's vicious screams took center stage for 2002-2005 era HTD. Keech contributed a bit as well, and the two worked together closely on "American Love," which broke down into the melodic "I'm never gonna let you" part by Murphy and Chaulk who once again killed it.
Of the new tracks, perhaps "Shadow" provided the best impact, as Jimmy screamed and Keech sang. Live, they even featured the female guest vocal spot.
Overall the band provided an incredible perhaps last performance in NYC for the faithful HTD fans. Irving Plaza may not have been completely sold out, but the die hards that were there sure got a big time arena concert from the band. It was easy to tell that the band enjoyed being back together and playing. At the end of the set the fans started chanting "10 more songs," and while HTD did not oblige, everyone who left felt satisfied.
Haste the Day still has three more shows, May 29 at Marquis Theater Denver, CO, May 30 at Glasshouse Pomona, CA, and June 6 at The Old National Centre Indianapolis, IN. Get links to the tickets here.
SET LIST (Songs in no particular order ):
Pressure the Hinges
When Everything Falls
The Minor Prophets
Dog Like Vultures
BREATHEcast recently reviewed Coward, which can be read here. Here's a small snippet of what we said: "Coward is an amazing welcome back for the band who seemed to not miss a beat. It captures the essence of what the band was, and still adds the relevancy to stand up to any other band's album in the genre. The screams are dynamic, the guitars soaring, bass and drums driven, and the lyrics are vulnerable. Haste the Day reveals a lot about where they are in life now, and also share in the hope that comes with their belief."