Coheed and Cambria (usually referred to as Coheed, for short) are known for their eclectic sound, the fact that all, but their latest album are based on a comic book series – penned by frontman Claudio Sanchez – and their rabid fanbase, who refer to themselves as “Children of the Fence.”
Around this time last year Coheed released their eigth studio album The Color Before the Sun and set off on a U.S. tour that was so nice, they did it twice. Now, on the 2nd leg of the tour, Coheed has attempted to reach more of their fans by playing in smaller metropolitan areas.
One of the reasons the Children of the Fence are so fiercely loyal is that the band rewards their fans who continue to support them over the years by allowing members of their fan club first dibs to “Platinum” level tickets. These allow early entry to the show for an exclusive set and a meet-and-greet with the band. Their lineup has changed periodically over the years but now consists of Sanchez (vocals/guitar) – instantly recognizable by his large stature and even larger than life mop of hair – Travis Stever (guitarist/backup vocals), Josh Eppard (drums), and most recent addition Zach Cooper (bassist).
Photos by Andres Alvarado
Most meet-and-greets consist of the performers taking a quick photo-op with the cattle and then shuffling them on through, however Coheed truly connects with their fans and seem incredibly down to earth as they talk baseball (Go Mets!) and share pleasantries. Claudio then plays an extremely intimate set and equally intimate song from his forthcoming children’s book and accompanying CD, made even more touching by the sight of his doting wife and young son visible onstage watching the performance.
Openers Polyphia and Saves the Day preceded Coheed and Cambria. Polyphia – an instrumental band, which can be a hard sell to some played with such finesse it left the crowd in awe. Saves the Day front man Chris Conley serenaded the crowd in his signature falsetto and left everyone yearning for the pop-punk glory days of the late ’90s to early 2000s.
As the lights began to flicker and sound checks wrapped up, the excitement in the room became palpable. To start the show, Sanchez and Stever played a sentimental opener “Ghost,” written by Sanchez about coming to grips with being a new father. The soft melody elicits a calming vibe that is immediately shifted when the opening chords of “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3” begin to sound. This power ballad is a crowd favorite and it’s obvious by the way fans belt out their favorite lyrics.
Photos by Andres Alvarado
Coheed then show off their impressive versatility and foray into the much more upbeat tunes “Blood Red Summer” and “Island.” The atmosphere doesn’t remain optimistic for long as the ominous sound of a door creaking open signals “Everything Evil,” a song from the bands early repertoire, and the dark theme continues with another power balled entitled “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant.” The band then continues the trend of varying between the more cheerful sing-along songs (“A Favor House Atlantic” and “Here to Mars”) with a few oldies (“The Crowing,” “Delirium Trigger,” “No World forTomorrow“) thrown in that resonate with all of the fans in attendance – from those who may not be familiar with their earlier work even to those who have been around since the early days of Shabutie.
“Peace to the Mountain” made for a rousing finale as the band drifted off stage, only to quickly return for an encore performance and break into their hit single “You Got Spirit, Kid.” A cover of Nirvana’s “Drain You” followed and no one can claim Coheed didn’t do the classic justice. Just when the fans thought their hoarse throats and sore necks couldn’t take any more abuse, Sanchez’s famous double necked guitar emerges from a stage hand (and any Coheed fan could tell you what that means).
“Welcome Home,” a heavy metal hit and arguably their most well known song brought down the house. A mosh pit immediately opened up and crowd surfers overflow throughout the song as fans and performers gave this final ballad everything left in the tank. Almost always, Sanchez plays a portion of his famous double neck guitar solo with his teeth, but in the case of this night – behind his head. The lights went down and fans stumbled out in a state of euphoria.