by Alison Angel
Coheed and Cambria
March 10, 2013
The Fillmore was bursting with energy last night as Coheed and Cambria took the stage to play for a sold-out crowd. A mix of hardcore fans - young and old - transformed from the typical, subdued, Sunday-night head-nodders into a group of people who had lost their minds the moment frontman Claudio Sanchez struck the first chords of "Pretelethal" with his ukulele. A far cry from their typical mix of metal and progressive rock - or so it would seem - kicked off the show.
The ukulele was all the crowd talked about, amping them up before the drums or bass broke into the opening number. Admittedly, the stage setup alone was enough to excite anyone - two sets of featureless mannequins flanking either side of the band, an epic light show, screens flashing concept art and a Stanley Kubrick-esque sonic drone serving as the segue between songs.
Coheed's penchant for excessive showmanship was front-and-center, but thanks to Sanchez's guitar playing prowess, signature mane of hair (so recognizable to fans it's garnered a following of its own) and tendency to play guitar with his teeth, nothing seemed too over the top. The show walked a fine line between being visionary and becoming a visual assault.
The quartet launched the show by bringing out songs from its new album, the just-released The Afterman: Descension. The album's only been out a month and yet the crowd knew every word, screaming lyrics back to Sanchez almost before the words were out of his mouth.
Tracks like "Goodnight, Fair Lady" and "Key Entity Extraction IV," clearly fan-favorites off of Afterman, allowed the group to show off its amazing technical ability. The band loves theatrics, but when it comes down to it, they are virtuosos who can shred and improvise at will.
The 100-minute set consisted mostly of The Afterman, but they whipped out a couple of classic Coheed and Cambria songs in the encore with "Wake Up" and "Welcome Home." By the time they left the stage in a flurry of lights and smoke, people were crowd surfing just to get closer to the stage and make them stay. Coheed and Cambria have had an exhausting year producing two albums back to back, but they clearly haven't let that effect their energy or performance. They rocked it out, to say the least.
Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant
A Favor House Atlantic
Goodnight, Fair Lady,
No World for Tomorrow
Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher
Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful
Here We Are Juggernaut
Dark Side of Me
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute