7th Street Entry
On a hot evening in the Twin Cities, Cold brought an emotional chill to the famous First Avenue building. With a line of patrons forming and extending down the block, the tiny 7th Street Entry was a prime location for the intimate performance. The mythical building that Prince turned into the classic performance hall had Cold’s sold-out performance all set. Once inside the black walls and floors were packed with patrons this barely left the enthusiastic crowd room to breathe. The heat rose and moisture filled the air above the crowd.
Armed with a catalog of beloved songs, Cold chose to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Year of The Spider. Something no one could argue was a momentous event within the band’s history. The album itself moved up to 3rd on the Billboard Top 200 in 2003. Eventually selling over 500,000+ copies marking it as a Gold record. Their single Stupid Girl charted on the rock charts as high as 4th and 87th on the Top 200. Most artists never get close to those sales in their careers. It truly was an impressive feat in a time when there were a million different Nu-metal and Hard Rock bands saturating the airwaves.
With a dimly lit room and a few various blue lights illuminating the stage, the band is mainly incredibly talented revolving parts these days, but are anchored by bassist Lisa Manfredi as the lone long-time mainstay next to founder and vocalist Scooter Ward. Ward then proclaimed, “Welcome to the Year of the Spider” and the band kicked immediately into Remedy. The song emitted strong vibes and a rather joyous atmosphere. Towards the end, the music stopped before the final chorus and the crowd anxiously finished it bringing a smile to the face of Ward. Overall, Cold ripped through the titles of their most popular release. The room was deafening, but the crowds singing rang out over everything all the way through.
Frontman, Scooter Ward, lived on the edge of the small stage. Standing in front of the monitors and consistently leaning into the riled-up audience. Often he shared the microphone to share in singing the words that have been memorized over the past 20 years. Despite being an obvious ode to the famous grunge scene The Day Seattle Died Ward spoke about wanting to meet Layne Staley and simply have a conversation with him. He spoke about talking to Jerry Cantrell trying to see Layne while performing two shows in Seattle. Cantrell replied that he was in a bad place. He continued with his story saying actually showed up at their Halloween show. Staley arrived dressed in a fisherman’s vest and moved his way across the room eventually to the front of the stage and onto the side stage watching the performance. After the set, they spent an evening together drinking and talking in-depth. Scooter claims knew then that Layne didn’t have long in the World. The song was written in 2 parts. The first is for Kurt Cobain and the second is for Layne. You could see the impact on Scooter’s face. It was somber and honest. These 2 deaths left craters of emotions within the music community and fans’ hearts as well. The song became an immediate vibe.
Perhaps the most emotional toll on the evening was the tale of Scooter’s sister. His sister has been dealing with cancer her entire adult life. The songs Cure My Tragedy and Black Sunday were written on piano. Cold performed the tracks in their original forms. As piano ballads such as on their COLD LIVE release. Ward spoke about purchasing a house for her to stay in and placing their childhood piano in her room. The song was written in her room in the classic style of piano and acoustic guitar. He continued speaking about how she has had surgeries and a few weeks previous she had stopped chemotherapy. Her prompt stopping of therapy led to her having massive surgery to remove multiple organs. How he kept his composure while singing was incredible. You felt the pain and angst within every note sung. His voice shook and ached. This hit home and clearly was the most stunning moment of the entire evening.
At another point Ward and the rest of Cold came out for their encore set to large roaring applause he then went into a story about recording Gone Away and not hitting a specific note. Producer Howard Benson continues to push him to hit a specific note while recording. Scooters claim he recorded for hours until he finally hit it then quips to Benson about having to hit it live and what if people like the song. Benson’s reply to him about who cares they are making a record elicited massive laughter from the crowd. The caveat to the story was they wanted the entire crowd to sing it back to them and they will grade the crowd. Needless to say, Minneapolis passed the test overwhelmingly.
Sierra Swan, whose vocals are on Suffocate made a rare appearance with the band as well. Performing Suffocate and You Got Away. Once her final appearance on the evening was celebrated and she left the stage and 3 final songs remained. Scooter went into a story about him wanting to commit suicide while at a beach where he often wrote lyrics at. He then had a realization and threw a gun into the water. A proceeded to take everything in. It leads to the album and song with the same title, A Different Kind of Pain. He explained that even the cover of the album was an attempt to recreate his view at that moment. In the end, his will to be there for his daughter was too great. His daughter was also running the merch area and meet and greets. It is truly a full-circle moment. With Wasted Years being left as the evening’s final song another inside story to the song came out. The song itself was a story of regret and addiction. Ward explains his continued struggles with sobriety. Something that hits me personally.
Cold remains one of the biggest emotional roller coasters in the music industry. The lyrical content is very real and honest. Virtually every song is a moment fans can feel and relate to. The show itself was incredible. The band has never been tighter. To hear the behind-the-scenes stories that lead to the beautiful works that made a pivotal album for many in attendance. The moving intros were filled with empathy and conviction lending depth and insight from the artist’s perspective. This band continues to deliver very real tales of life, pain, and its intricacies. Witnessing this special performance in a cherished and cozy setting only added to the legacy of the music.
3. Stupid Girl
4. Don’t Belong
5. Whatever You Became
6. Sad Happy
7. Rain Song
8. The Day Seattle Died
9. Cure My Tragedy
10. Black Sunday
11. Change The World
12. Kill The Music Industry
13. Gone Away
14. Just Got Wicked
15. No One
16. You Got Away (performed for 2nd time ever)
17. A Different Kind of Pain
18. Happens All The Time
19. Wasted Years