While New York City's Central Park has played host to the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, the Dave Matthews Band and Bon Jovi, it recently played host to one of the heavier shows to ever play there, as the Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive and Torche tour stopped there to kick off the unofficial start of the summer concert season. While Memorial Day was still nearly almost a week away, it sure felt like a Summer show, with 85 degree heat, plenty of concertgoers stretched out on blankets, and the expanse of one of America's best-known parks for the setting of the show.

For Circa Survive guitarist Colin Frangicetto, it was a sort of homecoming. "I couch surfed for about a year in [Jersey City, N.J.] and interned at Roadrunner Records for a year, so I have this affinity for New York City, and I love it," he told Noisecreep. "Ever since I've been a gypsy and moving around, I've always missed New York and living here. Central Park has always been this place of sanctuary. It's a place that I think of as historic and meaningful, and to play here is really cool."

Everyone in attendance seemed to think so as well, as both opening bands were well received. Much of the crowd enthusiastically sang along with Circa singer Anthony Green, and by the time Coheed took the stage in the setting sun, the 5,000 capacity Summerstage was even more alive with energy.

The iconic setting didn't matter much for Torche vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks, though. "It's cool, but I prefer smaller, intimate places," he tells Noisecreep. "The bigger the place, the more you're relying on someone esle for sound." Torche had just played a show in the much smaller and more intimate Charleston in Brooklyn, N.Y. The band's van had been broken into in Chicago earlier in the month, and they were playing as many shows as they could to make up for the loss of equipment. "We couldn't get into Canada without passports, which were stolen. It's been helping out a lot. It's happened to a lot of bands, and it's really sad. I mean, I feel fortunate because we still have a lot of gear left. They took over 10 grand of stuff from us. These are our tools. You take away our tools, and we don't have insurance for it. It's not like somebody just gave us a bunch of equipment. We earned it and worked for it."

Both Torche and Circa Survive say that the crowds have generally been accepting of their brand of punk/sludge and ambient rock, respectively. "You couldn't ask for a better band to play before and a better band to play after," Frangicetto says. "Torche and Coheed are so inspiring and they're great people. That's good enough as it is, but the crowds have been so receptive and so respectful; and in general, the tour has been really energizing for us. To get back on the road and play in front of new people is really exciting." And having been handpicked by Coheed and Cambria to open for them, Brooks says Torche are also meeting lots of people that had never heard their band before.

And although New York was still on edge following the attempted bombing of Times Square earlier in May, Neither Torche or Circa Survive had any concerns about their safety while playing America's most public and well-known park. "What we do brings relief to people and their lives," Frangicetto says, "and brings an escape from reality and the BS that surrounds our world when it's in turmoil and chaos. We'd never expect something f---ed up to happen at one of these shows.

"Everything this is about is love and respect and energy being transferred in a positive way. We're really excited to go to places that are dangerous, and we never considered America to be one of those places. I suppose that might be a logical concern, but we're not very logical people."

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