A crowd of people dressed in black and holding beers gathered in from of Penn's Landing's Festival Pier for Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday on Wednesday.
The rock bands, both New York natives, date their starts in music back to the mid-to-late 1990s. With emotionally fueled lyrics and powerful guitar riffs, the co-headlining performance was a natural fit. While new songs from each band were sometimes overpowered by impatient fans there to see the hits, when the bands performed popular songs off older albums phone screens came out, hands went up and voices got loud.
The music industry has gone through drastic changes since both bands released their first albums in 2002, when CDs were king and the Vans Warped Tour, which just came through Philadelphia for the final time, was at its peak. But Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday have stayed consistent since and still release new music — Coheed and Cambria have an album coming out in the fall. In the glow of the stage light and the haze of the artificial fog it was clear: punks, emos, rockers, whatever you want to call them are full of nostalgia for the early aughts. Bands with careers dating back to the early emo days have retained their fans and can keep releasing music.
During their performance of "Tidal Wave," the title track of their latest album, Taking Back Sunday asked for the crowd to provide them with light from their cellphones or a lighter. Zippos shot up.
"Look around. Do you want to know why that feels so good? Because we're doing it together," said TBS frontman Adam Lazzara.
The crowd roared with excitement when Lazzara announced the start of "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)." The audience shook their hair and shifted their feet to the beat while they sang along to the Tell All Your Friends hit.
"Why can't I feel anything from anyone other than you?!" They chanted with Lazzara.
The set slowed down and lost the attention of some fans with "Better Homes and Gardens," a song off of the 2014 TBS album Happiness Is. TBS closed their set on a high note playing emo favorite "MakeDamnSure" that reengaged the crowd and got everyone jamming again.
Along with the large amounts of fog and colorful lighting, the sense of community and togetherness carried on through the final set as the crowd greeted Coheed and Cambria with a loud chant: "Co – heed! Co – heed! Co – heed!"
The band appeared on stage and the audience pushed up against the barricade trying to get as close as possible to the performers. Frontman Claudio Sanchez commanded the space. For most of the set, Sanchez threw his hair back and forth in forceful thrusts highly complimenting the stage production.
With their heavier sound, Coheed and Cambria brought with them bigger head bobs, higher jumps, stronger points and angrier shouts.
"They're like metal," said a fan standing behind me. (They aren't.)