Coheed and Cambria (courtesy of myspace.com/coheedandcambria)
Coheed & Cambria/Clutch/The Fall Of Troy
You know a show was good if you go to sleep that night, dream about it and when your alarm goes off in the morning your sleeping mind transforms it into a song from the set the night before.
Arriving to the horrible venue, known as Saltair, in the far-off land of Magna, I had high hopes for my fifth time seeing Coheed and Cambria, a band whose musical content is based off of graphic novels (mature-themed, intense comic books) written by the frontman and visionary Claudio Sanchez.
Walking in the doors I was blessed to hear something that pleased my ears. These sounds were The Fall Of Troy, who I don’t recall ever paying much attention to or listening to before. Wow. Impressed was I. The subtle vocals ranging from singing to growling in an instant, mixed with guitar work that went from rock to metal to chugging hardcore without warning was impressive to say the least. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Thomas Erak’s stage presence was commanding and I knew he was serious about giving a memorable performance when he spit straight up into the air, stretched out his arm and caught his own spit in his hand and then went back to pounding his guitar and thrashing his vocal chords. It’s a shame Saltair is so far from SLC, because I was only able to catch the latter part of their set after having left straight from work and I’m sure there were many others who fell into this category.
After being blown away by The Fall Of Troy, I was eagerly awaiting Clutch’s performance--not because I am a fan, but because over the years I’ve always seen people wearing their merch. Well, about 30 seconds into their first song, I was wishing I could rip my eardrums out and cut them up with razor blades so I wouldn’t have to be tortured by the horrific brand of southern rock-noise. I realize there are a lot of Cluch fans out there, but I’m not really sure why. For most of their set I was outside trying to avoid listening to it or focusing on blocking it out of my mind. Finally it ended. Finally.
If I had to sum up Coheed’s set and overall performance in one word, it would be: EPIC. The thing about Coheed that is interesting is their underground roots and following, though their music, especially their last two albums, is so complex and well, epic, that it would fit perfect in an arena setting. Though I prefer going to smaller shows and music that demands smaller venues, I realized this fact about Coheed long ago and have come to terms with it in case it ever becomes reality. Besides, I can only imagine the kind of show they would put on with a massive production budget.
After the band took the stage, I soon realized I was standing directly in front of the most infatuated fan of Coheed I have ever seen. She started jumping, screaming and hitting her boyfriend/husband on the arm. She reacted like women used to react at Michael Jackson concerts in the 80s before he lost sight of reality and became a freaking weirdo. Playing songs from all their records, Coheed put on as good a performance as they ever have and their new material from Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. 2: No World For Tomorrow, was great live, though I already knew it would be. For the first time I've ever seen, Sanchez tied his large, frizzy, trademark head of hair behind his head a few times throughout the night.
For the encore, Sanchez came back out with his double guitar (you know what I mean) and broke into the first notes of the intense ballad, “Welcome Home.” During the encore, Sanchez fancied the audience by playing the guitar behind his head and with his mouth. When all was said and done and Coheed left the stage for good, the crowd applauded their two-hour set and I went home and dreamt of it.