Coheed and Cambria rock the House of Blues

A review of Coheed and Cambria at the House of Blues on May 17, 2010

, Contributing Writer

There are bands that have devoted fan bases and then there’s Coheed and Cambria. Whether or not you actually like their music, there’s no denying the fact that the people who do like it have a passion greater than the average fan. At most bands’ shows there’ll usually be a group near the front singing all the words along with the singer. At a Coheed and Cambria show every person in the venue, from front to back, is singing along with lead singer Claudio Sanchez and dancing to the music, and the band’s show at Boston’s House of Blues on Monday might was no exception.

After opening performances by Torche and Circa Survive, the crowd was all warmed up and ready for Coheed to hit the stage. Touring in support of their latest release, Year of the Black Rainbow, Coheed played a number of songs off the new album. After the album’s opening interlude “One” they jumped right into the heavy and catchy “The Broken”, accompanied by the animated music video featuring large robots battling in a kind of apocalyptic wastelenad projected on a white screen behind the band. The band quickly followed with “Here We Are Juggernaut”, the lead single off Year of the Black Rainbow, which sparked the first of many passionate sing-alongs.

As the set progressed, Coheed and Cambria alternated between new tracks such as “World of Lines” and “Pearl of the Stars” and old favorites like “Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)” and “Time Consumer”. The band only delivered one song off 2007’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume 2: No World for Tomorrow, but the title track of the album proved to be the high point of their set: Hearing the entire House of Blues sing “Bye, bye world” was truly spectacular.

While frontman Claudio Sanchez gets most of the attention with his Geddy Lee-esque falsetto and crazy guitar antics, including playing behind his head, with his mouth and at one point witha police baton, the real star of the night was new drummer Chris Pennie (former drummer for mathcore legends The Dillinger Escape Plan). Pennie’s absolute skill behind the set added so much to the band’s back catalogue. His precise fills and thundering double bass added a new depth to many of the songs the band could never have pulled off live before. Pennie’s pounding double bass drum rhythm during the guitar solo in “Welcome Home” made it even more powerful and epic, and that is really saying something.

The band closed the main set with two fan favorites, the infectious “A Favor House Atlantic” and the epic “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. Coheed and Cambria returned for the obligatory encore performance where the band, after the slower “Far”, launched right into the monstrous riff of “Welcome Home” as the whole room shook and every fan screamed with joy. The band ended the show with another epic tune in “21:13” that stretched beyond ten minutes before finally saying goodnight.

Joining Coheed and Cambria on their current tour are Circa Survive, who were given a very warm welcome by the Boston crowd. Eccentric lead singer Anthony Green certainly knew how to get them energized too as he danced and flailed all over the stage. While his rather high pitched voice may be off-putting to some, it’s safe to say none of those people were in attendance that night at the House of Blues and they ate up every bit of his stage presence and somewhat cheesy between song banter. While Green was certainly the center of attention, the other members of the band played their part. The fast paced “Get Out” kicked off the set perfectly and closing track “Imaginary Enemy” ended with a monster riff (both songs being the first two singles off the band’s most recent album Blue Sky Noise). Other than that, the songs tended to fall into the more mellow and melodic side of the spectrum.

For those that arrived on time and took notice, the real surprise of the night proved to be Torche. Unfortunately, the band’s poppy take on sludge metal fell on a mostly docile crowd. After a few technical difficulties, the band launched right into their unique combination of poppy vocals, thundering percussion and massive guitar riffs which reverberated throughout the whole place and set the bar real high for the bands that followed. Torche played their well received 2008 sophomore album Meanderthal in its entirety; it’s just a shame the crowd wasn’t more on board.

Leave a Reply