For those that know me personally, Coheed and Cambria could easily pass as my favorite band for the time being. With that being said, I’ll try my best to keep this review as non-biased as possible.
I should also mention that I spent a majority of the show in the “pit” at The Tabernacle, which will also have an affect on this review.
First off, I want to give a shout out to the venue itself. If any of you find yourselves in Atlanta, Georgia, you should definitely go check this venue out. It’s beautiful, spacious, and perfect for concerts. A balcony surrounds the stage area, two layers with a perfect view of the stage itself. In front of the stage is the “pit” area, also known as the area where crazy kids try to destroy each other in sync to hardcore… I may or may not be one of those kids. Anyway, the floor of the pit declines so that short people like me are given a slight advantage of still being able to see over tall heads under the right circumstances. It was my first time at the venue and I really enjoyed it. It reminds me a lot of the way a House of Blues would be set up. The staff was also very courteous and did a great job of controlling the crowd. A lot of places don’t even allow moshing anymore, but these guys did their best to make sure no one got injured, and got crowd surfing down to a science. If I had to find something to complain about, it would be the price of their drinks, but that’s a pretty normal thing these days. They can pretty much charge whatever they want, why not make a profit.
Check it out here!
Inside the Tabernacle
Let’s get started with the music, shall we? I never really know what to expect of the openers for Coheed and Cambria. The bands always end up seeming kind of random to me, but for whatever reason metal/hardcore bands end up opening for Coheed. I’m pretty sure musicians from every genre have ended up playing with this band. Some people prefer to go to concerts where each band reflects a common musical style, others like something different each time. There’s always something new to expect when it comes to a Coheed tour.
Russian Circles, hailing from Chicago Illinois, started the crowd off which was an experience in itself. There was no mike on the stage, firstly. They started out with one of their more intense songs. I told my friend next to me that I felt like I was almost scared to know what would happen next, it really was a perfect opening song.
Russian Circles played a completely instrumental set. I’ve never seen that happen before. I kind of kept expecting one of the members to say something eventually, but they never did. I’ve also never seen a band fail to introduce themselves or say anything to the crowd at all. But, they did. The only real glimpse of personality the audience saw of these guys was when the drummer started counting off too early and threw off one of the beginning of the songs, causing a cute little “heh heh oops” throughout the band itself and giving the audience a little chuckle, too.
Normally that would have bothered me a little, personally, but with these guys it seemed to fit their music perfectly. I was really impressed by their performance, and by the end of their set, I was convinced that they actually prepared the audience really well for the other two acts. The crowd was moving. I listened to a song or two beforehand and thought they were okay, but even though these guys didn’t interact with the audience at all they had a massive stage presence. The best way I can describe their music is pretty much an ambient type of hardcore, almost like an edgier, rougher version of Explosions in the Sky. All three members are skilled in each of their instruments – guitar, bass, and drums. Who needs lyrics when you can play instruments beautifully together?
This would be Russian Circle‘s website. I looked around there and two members of the trio are featured in magazine articles. One article describes their music as “… almost filmic compositions”, which actually describes their music perfectly. Seriously guys, go check them out if you can appreciate the beauty of an instrument. As always, tour dates are posted on their website so go check that out too.
Next comes Between The Buried And Me. I used to be a pretty big metal/hardcore fan, I still listen to it now and then but definitely not as much as I used to. These guys definitely put on a show. On stage there was a backdrop and lighting props set up around them. Their fans really know their music, it was easy to tell. In the crowd it was like everyone was either really into them or completely over it.
I don’t think I can give a fair review of these guys because I was much more concerned with defending myself in the pit instead of paying attention to their music. I definitely remember there being some pretty great breakdowns, and Tommy Giles Rogers Jr. (vocalist) is excellent live. Their recorded music translates well to a live performance. That’s always a nice treat because I find a lot of vocalists who use guttural techniques never really perform well live, but this guy’s got it down. Previously I really only knew the band’s name and not really any of their music. After that performance, I think I might still go check out their music and see if I want any of it in my library, but I don’t know if I’ll make it a priority.
(I didn’t manage to get any pictures of them because of the pit, bummer.)
If you’d like to check out Between The Buried And Me, here’s their official website which currently has the video for “Astral Body” on the home page for you to listen to, along with their upcoming tour dates if you want to see them for yourselves.
And then the finale, Coheed and Cambria! Even if you’re not a fan of the band I think everyone can agree that this band does their best to entertain whenever they put on shows. They always use lots of stage props in their performances and make the best use of the lighting in venues and whatnot. Their performance started with “Prelethal”, which I was a little surprised about. Having seen them live three times now, I’m used to them starting out with “Second Stage Turbine Blade”. I guess it makes sense though seeing as they just dropped a new album (The Afterman: Descension) last month.
I really just can’t say enough about this band live. They always blow me away. Claudio ([Sanchez] vocalist)’s voice has never been stronger live. Zach ([Cooper] bassist) has definitely found his place in the band, he appeared much more comfortable and confident on stage than he did when I saw them last, last April. I ended up missing a song or two trying to escape from the pit, but other than that I definitely enjoyed their performance overall. The band is interacting more with each other on stage than I’ve ever seen before, and personally I think that’s a really awesome thing to see. Usually they play a good mix of all of their discography, but for this show they only played a song or two from Second Stage Turbine Blade and Good Apollo collectively. They did a lot of promoting their newest albums, which is completely understandable, that’s what they’re on tour for in the first place. I always like seeing how many different instruments this band uses, seeing the techs hand them different guitars throughout the show because so many songs are written in different tunings. This band is not afraid to experiment and that’s one of my favorite elements about Coheed and Cambria. Seeing a recorded song come to life on stage is the breathtaking thing about going to shows, and Coheed fills this delight for me completely. Their fan base is definitely “one among the fence” for the most part, as well. Another amazing thing about live music is seeing people singing along with musicians, it’s like the crowd and the musicians come together as one in this beautiful thing the musicians have created.
Alright, I’ll stop with the cheesy language now.
Of course Coheed always plays an encore, but the songs they play are always a mystery to fans (until the setlist is recorded and posted, of course.) Last night they played “Wake Up”, which is one of my favorite if not my most favorite Coheed song. You can imagine how much I enjoyed that. As far as I know it’s been a few tours since they threw that song into their set, so I’m really glad I finally got to see it live. Ending as they always do with “Welcome Home” and Claudio’s double-necked guitar, I think everyone in the crowd was pleased with their performance.
Coheed & Cambria
Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria “Welcome Home”
If I didn’t sell my favorite band to you, then shame on me, but regardless, this is their official website for all things Coheed-related.
Overall I had a great night, minus a little bit of the crowd itself. With the musicians, though, I can’t complain at all. They all performed at their best tonight and I couldn’t let little inconveniences ruin my enjoyment of that.
Hopefully I stayed true to my promise not to become too biased in this review for you guys! As always, leave rants and raves for me.
Until next time.