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Cold - September 15th, 2005 - New York, NY @ Rare

By: Christa Titus

Some New York-area Cold fans lucked out by catching the band at a Sept. 15 showcase during the CMJ Music Marathon. The group made an appearance at Rare, a tiny, cement-walled basement located in Greenwich Village where small but potent cocktails are $8 a pop and ’80s hair metal blasts overhead.

The maximum capacity for Rare’s performance area (the stage is in a room separate from the bar) pushes 100, and the line of Cold fans hoping to catch the group in such an intimate setting snaked down the street. The unfinished interior and cramped stage (curtained with a white sheet until show time) made it feel like you were watching a famous band play in a friend’s cellar just for the neighborhood kids.

The limited accomodations didn’t stop Cold from rolling out quality lighting, which emitted blinding flashes and fans of white and blue during its 11-song set. In keeping with the theme of water that’s expressed throughout its new album, A Different Kind of Pain, the sound of a thunderstorm boomed during the interludes of blackness between tunes.

Cold performed, in sequential order, all but two songs from its lastest record. The decision was ballsy: It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since the group has been in the spotlight, and fans were eager to hear older favorites, calling out “Tragedy!” and “Suffocate!” since there was no way the musicians could miss the requests. Because A Different Kind of Pain mainly comprises midtempo rockers, their pace and unfamiliarity made the room’s energy stagnate. Shuffling the set list would have rejuvenated it. The title track to the album was a sweeping ballad (a keyboard was squeezed onstage so one of the guitarists could play it), but it came too soon in a lineup that needed some juice.

However, as they say, Cold did bring it.

Vocalist/songwriter Scooter Ward looked frail, and so was his voice on occasion. But he grew stronger as the evening progressed, and the band moved in a smooth, unified step throughout. Touring guitarist Mike Booth fits in as tightly as permanent members Sam McCandless (drums), Jeremy Marshall (bass) and Matt Loughran (guitar). They gave the rhythm to 'Feel It In Your Heart' a raggae tinge and charged up new single 'It Happens All the Time', 'When Heaven’s Not Far Away' and 'When Angels Fly Away'.

The group finally delved into older catalog for its last two songs. During the storming 'Just Got Wicked', the front line physically transformed into KoRn, hunching over in a deep slump as they performed. Having pumped the audience up once and for all, the instrumentalists quit the stage, leaving Ward to do finale 'Bleed' with a guitar plugged into a slight echo effect. The spare ballad was originally recorded as a duet with Staind frontman Aaron Lewis, but Ward pulled it off solo. Whereas the crowd had shouted the words to 'Just Got Wicked', this was a Kodak-moment singalong.

With four other bands scheduled to play after them, that was all the Cold fans got that night. But it was enough to show that the band is still swinging. [END]

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