Haste The Day played the second of four release shows for their new album, Coward in Denver on Friday night, and the turnout couldn’t have been better. As soon as the doors of The Marquis Theater opened up, fans were already lined up and piling in the venue for a good spot in front of the small stage. Having been sold out already for nearly a week, the show was bound to be packed full of excited and most of all, rowdy fans, both new and old.
Only one opener took the stage before haste the day, and the choice was perfect for the Denver fans in the crowd, who were more than familiar with local act, Forty Fathoms. I say Denver fans, because it was apparent that nearly half of the crowd at The Marquis Theater was from out of state and even out of county - I saw a few people from Canada and New Zealand walk through the front doors early in the night.
Within no time, Forty Fathoms took the energy in the venue to a new level, prompting stage dives and crowd participation. Their set was polished and fun to watch, from the synchronized headbanging and jumping to the great sound, to a friend of frontman Taylor MacNicholas jumping on stage and pouring beer all over his face mid-set.
By the time Forty Fathoms left the stage, however, the anticipation in the room seemed to skyrocket. Fans were pushing forward to get a good view of the stage, and by the time that the first note of Haste The Day’s set finally rang out, it was apparent that they had the crowds full, undivided attention. The lineup throughout the night consisted of frontmen Stephen Keech and Jimmy Ryan, (who swapped places on stage throughout the night and even teamed up on some songs, both new and old) Mike Murphy (bass/vocals), Brennan Chaulk (guitar/vocals), Scotty Whelan (guitar), and Giuseppe Capolupo (drums) and guitarist Dave Krysl jumping in on a handful of songs as well.
For Krysl and Keech, this Denver show also served as a hometown show, and the band and crowd absolutely fed off of that energy. Throughout the explosive set (which was divided well between old and new material) members of the band were leaping into the crowd, fans were crowd surfing and stage diving, and at one point, I even watched a girl hang from a water line in the ceiling, only to flip upside down and leap back into the crowd. The room was completely packed, the crowd nearly so big that the fans in the back were almost standing in the front room of the venue, and with good reason.
Haste the day opened up their set with the title track from Coward, straight into fan-favorites “68” and “Fallen,” before transitioning into another new song “Take” (which of course, everyone in the crowd already knew all of the words to). It wasn’t until Ryan took the stage again and the band played the first notes of “Blue 42” that the crowd really exploded, though. By the end of the song, mic stands were falling on the ground, venue security was helping fans off the stage, and Ryan had nearly spent more time in the crowd than he did on the stage.
For a band who hasn’t played any shows together in about four years, Haste The Day still sounded spot-on live, especially in their newer songs. There were a few minor faults here and there - a few missed notes or some feedback early on in the set - but neither the band nor audience seemed to mind.
Starting and ending the set strong, the band continued to pump out fan-favorite tracks such as “Stitches” and “American Love,” which had the entire crowd singing along with the clean parts, climbing on top of one another, and even some people walking on top of the crowd. The last three songs closed out the set flawlessly, as the band took the stage after much demand from the crowd. New track, “Reconcile,” opened up the encore, followed by “Pressure The Hinges” and “When Everything Falls,” leaving the room in ruins by the time Haste The Day left the stage.
Quite possibly the last time Haste The Day will play Denver (at least in the foreseeable future) the band provided the crowd with a night they won’t soon forget. Despite a few years away, Haste The Day still had that same energy and heart that they did the last time I saw them in Denver for their farewell tour, and the crowd was just as packed (if not more) and even more enthusiastic and energetic. With only one more show left as I write this (as the California date happened last night) Haste The Day’s last show in Indianapolis on June 6th promises to be one for the books.
Dog Like Vultures
The Place That Most Deny
White As Snow
The Minor Prophets
Pressure The Hinges
When Everything Falls