Concert Reviews

Last Night: Coheed and Cambria, Torche and Circa Survive at the Palladium Ballroom

Coheed and Cambria
Palladium Ballroom
April 29, 2010

Better than:
"Slappin da bass" or any other potential live offering ever attempted by Rush.

All work and no play definitely makes Coheed and Cambria anything but dull. From the opening chords of their set Thursday night to the very last note played at the end of their encore, the band never let anything distract them from putting on a show.

Opening with "The Broken" off of their recently released Year of the Back Rainbow, Coheed set the tone for an hour an a half of rock music that never came close to losing the audience's attention.

Weaving tracks from their previous four studio albums in between the more mature (albeit less catchy) numbers from their new disc, Coheed wasted no time addressing the audience or narrating the post-apocalyptic concept that runs the gamut of their discography.

The first 20 minutes or so of the set were spent on lesser-known tracks from Black Rainbow, and, even still, the energy emanating from the stage was only surpassed from the energy coming off of the audience. That energy, from both band and crowd, hit fever pitch mid-way through the set when frontman Claudio Sanchez and Co. launched into "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)."

Sanchez spent the bridges between verses head-banging and running back and forth on stage, challenging the almost packed house of moshing, crowd-surfing fans which spanned every age, race, and gender demographic imaginable. Later on in the set, when he switched out his electric for an acoustic guitar, pulled back his massively curly coif, and serenaded the crowd with "Pearl of the Stars," the audience responded with a bevy of lighters and comparable lit cell phone screens to slow the show down, even if only for a minute.

The crescendo of the night came towards the end as the band played favorites, "No World For Tomorrow", "A Favor House Atlantic", and the final song of the regular set, the title track off of their second album, "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth." With each consecutive song, the entire crowd seemed to move as one, their fervent singalongs almost drowning out Sanchez's vocals.

Perhaps one of the only criticisms of the show comes in the scenery: The stage lighting bathed the band in a fitting glow; yet, for this tour, the band mysteriously abandoned their usual dragonfly backdrop, instead relying on a distracting video reel of what appeared to be '80s-esque, campy horror and science fiction images that flashed across the 10 raised video screens.

After the set came to a close, the band finally returned to the stage, after emphatic chants from the crowd, for a three-song encore, the high point of which was their biggest hit to date, "Welcome Home." At that point, bassist Michael Todd finally took a break long enough to thank the crowd for coming out and for their persistent support of the band.

With that, they quartet launched "2113" and flew through the 9-minute long track to end the show.

Critic's notebook
Personal Bias:
I discovered Coheed and Cambria in the 11th grade and from then on, they may or may not be one of my top five favorite bands (OK, maybe they're number one...).

By The Way: Openers Torche and Circa Survive offered interesting sets. Torche was predictably as hard-core as their studio offerings suggest and their fans were in no way disappointed with their output. Circa Survive was a more interesting act to behold: Frontman Anthony Green had a overwhelming amount of energy on stage--so much to the point that I was sure he was having an apoplectic fit. And even though a certain amount of his lyrics were undecipherable, it was apparent that the band was there to put on a show.

Random Note: After a pretty decent history of summers spent at Warped Tour and a host of numerous other emo/punk/rock shows, I have never seen so many people leave a rock show so drenched in sweat in my life. To that end, these bands really should encourage their fans to invest in some deodorant.