Armor For Sleep/Owel/The Moms/The Cold Seas – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ – 9/18/15

I’ve been getting hit with nostalgia these past couple of years.  Bands that I thought were over and done with started coming back to do a few shows or maybe even make new music.  The music industry is a weird place as always, but I feel bands are starting to make some money doing reunion shows compared to when they were touring full time.  Some think it’s a cash grab, but personally for me, getting to relive these past memories through their songs is worth the price of admission.

Opening the show was The Cold Seas featuring Nash Breen of Armor For Sleep on the drums.  This band shows off how good and versatile Nash is behind the kit.  It is also a different sounding band than Armor For Sleep.  Slower pace and melody driven.  The Cold Seas is a band I can see opening for heavy hitters like Of Monsters And Men or Death Cab For Cutie.  Don’t be surprised if you hear their music on the alternative radio stations soon.  I expect this band to start getting recognized by labels in no time.


The next band was the odd band on the bill, but still got the crowd going.  The Moms played their quick set of, “music for the ADD nation,” as they put it.  The longest song The Moms had might have been 3 and half minutes.  The Moms are a band that would be enjoyed the best at a basement show where the crowd is yelling back the words to them in their face.  Regardless how big the stage was, they put on a energetic show and seemed to be having a fun time.  Hopefully I will catch them again, but in a smaller venue.

Owel was the most surprising band of the night.  With almost a theatrical sound and presence, just like The Cold Seas, Owel is on the verge of something big.  Reminding me of bands like Muse and Coldplay, Owel has a unique sound of almost Victorian era style.  It is hard to explain, but listen to “Every Good Boy Does Fine” and maybe you will see/hear.  The crowd seemed in awe the whole performance.  The use of piano and violin can mesmerize you to pay attention.  I hope to see Owel again soon, they are definitely a band to watch.


Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of What To Do When Your Dead was Armor For Sleep.  I was actually surprised that they didn’t play the album front to back.  Growing up this was one of my favorite albums and my favorite by the band.  I remember going to my local record store during lunch in high school t pic this album up.  I sat through Physics just reading the lyrics and looking at the companion booklet.  Reading these lyrics without music may have one thinking this is “emo” or “dark”, but once you read that it is sort of a concept album it makes a lot more sense.  For a sophomore album, this was a risk but became a success.  During this time Armor For Sleep had great tours and growing a fan base.  I believe I saw Armor For Sleep twice during this time.  This show blew those shows out of the park.  Ten years may have passed, but Armor For Sleep still has their energy.  I forgot how bassist Anthony Dilonno’s stage presence is intense.  Armor For Sleep covered all three of their albums and when songs from Dream To Make Believe were played, the crowd was roaring with joy.  Playing about 20 songs, I was glad this wasn’t a front to back album show and instead we got what an Armor For Sleep show would be like if they were touring full time.  I know there are more dates coming up for Armor For Sleep, but after that I am unsure.  If we have to wait another 10 years, that is fine because the wait was worth it.

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