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Review: Coheed and Cambria at Royal Oak Music Theatre

by David Gimpel

I am just an average fan of Coheed and Cambria, however as I was working my way through the sold out crowd at the Royal Oak Music Theater, I was very impressed to see how many fans were wearing the VIP lanyards. These lanyards not only got the fans some unique merchandise, but they got a chance of witnessing sound check where the band will play deep album cuts , and covers. They were treated to Leonard Cohen cover, which I felt was a very interesting choice. The more I thought about it though it did not seem to odd. Coheed and Cambria are not just a good rock band, the majority of their albums tell a story, so no big surprise they are influenced by one of the best storytelling musicians of all-time.

Tonight’s performance was part of Coheed and Cambria‘s Neverender series, where they tour and perform an album in its entirety. This show is going to the performance of perhaps the band’s finest album: Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV / Volume One : From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness. You would need a few hours with a Coheed fan to hear the backstory of the album’s narrative. The band has created many comic books that go along with the albums, and I have even heard rumors of a movie in the works.

The nice part of hearing an album front to back in a live settling is the chance of hearing songs that band does not often play, and in the case of Coheed and Cambria the fans get to celebrate the band and witness the visuals on display as they play an integral part of the storytelling of the performance. The band’s backdrop consisted of three different screens that displayed images and animations to go along with the narrative of the story behind the songs.

The performance started out with the instrumental first track of the IV album, “Keeping The Blade,” being played over the speakers as the band’s leader Claudio Sanchez, arrived with alone with an acoustic guitar. The crowd, after the initial screams of his arrival, became nearly silent for the opening acoustic number “Always & Never.” Soon after the song finished the rest of the band came out and then the opening and very recognizable riff of the band’s biggest single “Welcome Home” starts playing and Royal Oak Music Theater’s roof flew off. The crowd sang along to every word, and sounded like an army toward the end of the songs rally call.

The band’s energy never let up, giving the crowd exactly what they showed up for witnessing Claudio’s guitar chops, while he plays his instrument in about every position imaginable, even playing part of the solo with his teeth. The crowd’s energy was great and ranged from head banging adults, to kids playing an imaginary guitar hero game. Tonight’s show was a lot of fun, and turned this average fan into someone who wants to dive more into their world.

PHOTO ALBUM

Setlist:
Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Maddness
Keeping The Blade
Always and Never
Welcome Home
Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)
Crossing The Fame
Apollo !: The Writing Writer
Once Upon Your Dead Body
Wake Up
The Suffering
The Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court
Mother May I
The Willing Well 1: Fuel for the Feeding End
The Willing Well 2 : From The Fear Through The Eyes Of Maddness
The Willing Well 3: Apollo 2: The Telling Truth
The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
Encore:
Island
Delirium Trigger
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth 3

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