Photos by Chris Besaw
Edited by Kelly Besaw
As Krock’s 20th anniversary celebration was in full swing at the NYS Fairgrounds Chevy Court, there was a huge buzz amongst the concert goers attending, the anticipations builds, fans begin chanting and growing more restless as they eagerly await Breaking Benjamin to take the stage.
Breaking Benjamin, who has been on a short hiatus, makes a celebratory return to the scene after their new release “Dark Before Dawn” debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at #1; Quite a feat for any rock band these days. The stage lights slowly start to glow and the first haunting and eerie notes begin to ring from the stage. Ben Burnley charges out and tears right into their hit “So Cold.” Ben Burnley and company didn’t waste any time before ripping right into the next song “Follow.” The band took the stage with such force that for a moment, the crowd didn’t know what had hit them.
Breaking Benjamin has always had an appreciation for their Central New York fans. Between songs Ben shared laughs and interacted with the crowd, repeatedly thanking Syracuse fans for their continued support. One thing that caught this fan by surprise was their cover of the classic Queen tune, “Who Wants To Live Forever.” Even though Ben is no Freddy Mercury, I thought that the band did a great job capturing the spirit of the song and from the crowd’s the reaction I think they felt the same. It was an unusual choice of cover tune by them but none the less a good one.
The band tore through their newest radio single “Failure” and the classic “Breath.” Then, Ben took a moment to step away from the center stage allowing bassist Aaron Bruch to step up. I don’t think the crowd or myself was prepared for the song Aaron started to play; it was another cover song and this time it was “Aenima” by Tool! Mosh pits and bodies erupted everywhere! Truly a rare treat considering I have not heard them cover this in many years! When the song ended, Ben didn’t waste any time rushing right back to center stage and shredding into what I can best describe as one of the best live versions of the band’s very first hit “Polyamorous” that I have heard to date. Ben paused for a moment to state “You got four pits out there and that’s how you know you’re doing things right!”
Like all good things, they unfortunately must come to an end and Ben prepared to depart from the stage leaving this message to the fans: “Syracuse until we meet again, thank you, rock is not dead, thank you for helping us debt at number one on the billboard charts” and he sent the masses into a frenzy with “Diary of Jane.” This is one band I am looking forward to seeing again in Upstate NY very soon. Stay tuned for their upcoming tour with Godsmack and Sevendust!