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Live Review: Coheed And Cambria – Coventry, Kasbah- 14/11/2013

We headed along to the Kasbah nestled in Coventry to catch Coheed & Cambria alongside support from Hawk Eyes and Arcane Roots. Check out what we made of the night here.


Band:
Coheed And Cambria
Support: Arcane Roots & Hawk Eyes.
Venue: Kasbah, Coventry, UK.
Date: 14/11/2013

I will attempt to be unbiased. The majority of my friends are aware that I am a die-hard Coheed and Cambria fan boy, a ‘Child of the Fence’ as we term ourselves, taken from ‘Heaven’s Fence’, the galaxy that frames the band’s fictional concepts. I could write pages and talk for hours regarding the stories within Coheed’s numerous albums and subsequent comic books, but the topic is raised in every single feature or interview with the band and besides, tonight is all about the music.

We find ourselves at The Kasbah, Coventry. Nestled amongst a handful of non-franchise fast food shops in a desolate part of town, perhaps the wrong side of a retail park, it doesn’t seem like there is much else going on tonight. There is little time to wonder however, as the autumn chill has followed us up the M1 from London, pushing my party and I inside in search of warmth. In recent years I have avoided heading to the venue early, with low expectations of rainy queues and iffy support bands, instead favouring more time in a warm bar and (slightly) less expensive drinks.

Running inside early has paid off as Hawk Eyes get the evening off to a rousing start. The stalls are already crowded with a quiet yet attentive audience. The room takes a little time to warm to them, but their off-kilter, heavy tunes fit perfectly within tonight’s line up. The band draw from their eclectic back catalogue and latest single ‘Cheap’ from their new EP ‘That’s What This Is’ fills the room with energy and anticipation for what follows tonight.

Arcane Roots follow with a mighty set, launching into ‘Energy Is Never Lost…’ from their debut album ‘Blood and Chemistry’. Their comparison to Biffy Clyro is common; imagine the Scottish trio turning towards melodic post hardcore rather than accessible pop anthems, but I also hear shades of Circa Survive. Every breakdown and song transition has been meticulously rehearsed and they are the definition of professional efficiency. It’s no surprise that they have previously been seen supporting Muse and Twin Atlantic. Fan favourite ’You Are’ is a highlight tonight and the bustling audience are loud and appreciative of a set that is over way too quickly. Arcane Roots have definitely conquered a number of the audience today, including myself.

There are no ballads or acoustic tangents from Coheed And Cambria tonight, their set is all about the hits and heavier fan favourites. With an ever increasing discography, Coheed have managed the impossible and found a broad collection of songs spanning all of their albums. Opener ‘No World For Tomorrow’ is a call to arms; fists punch the air in time with every snare hit and every word is sung right back at them. Of course we were going to hear ‘Everything Evil’, ‘A Favor House Atlantic’, and a finale of ‘Welcome Home’, but to hear both ‘Vic The Butcher’ and ‘Gravity’s Union’, highlights from both halves of the band’s latest 2 part opus ‘The Afterman’, is a generous treat. They shy away from ‘Year Of The Black Rainbow’, what could arguably be considered their least popular album, but luckily their encore treats us to ‘Here We Are Juggernaut’, one of the album’s highlights.

Frontman Claudio Sanchez has never been one for addressing the audience, and tonight is no exception, but the band are in good spirits, visibly impressed and enthralled by such a passionate audience on their first night of the tour. The band are not completely silent though; an amusing moment when lead guitarist Travis Steever is put on the spot and struggles to address the audience during some technical issues – “Stage Banter from a dumbass, part 1”. “I wrote this song about the hood”, Claudio remarks before launching into ‘Vic The Butcher’, a reference to an almost violent altercation at a show in New York and the subsequent frustration that inspired the song.

Classic anthem ‘In Keeping Secrets…’ brings their main set to a mighty close with twirling mosh pits, chanting and every epic line sung by the crowd in unison till their throats give out, as if the band weren’t about to return to the stage with a contracted encore. With our clothes sweaty and our voices gone, there is no denying that the entire night has been a fulfilling one.

I was hard pressed to find any negatives about tonight’s show, there’s no denying that the band gave it all they had and I couldn’t expect them to play for any longer; I’m pleasantly exhausted. Unfortunately, as with many overseas bands, Coheed’s visits over here are irregular. With such a passionate following, fans old and new, the pressure is on to ensure their set pleases everyone and tides them over for what could be a year until their next appearance on our shores. Because of this, Coheed’s sets do tend to be enjoyable but unchallenging ‘best of’s. The lack of recent single ‘Dark Side Of Me’ or favoured ballad ‘Wake Up’ was jarring, and either would have provided some respite amongst their tightly packed heavier offerings.

No set is going to be flawless, and there will always be a song or two (or more) that you wish they would have played, but Coheed’s shows, familiar or not, are always astounding and captivating for new listeners or old fanboys alike. The band havn’t even completed their UK tour and I’m already eagerly awaiting their next venture over here. You’re welcome back here any time, boys.

9/10

Review by: Jason Thorn

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