Coheed and Cambria at The Academy, Dublin, 19th of November 2013
Coheed and Cambria collected a neat little following of Irish fans when they supported Linkin Park and Queens of The Stone Age in the RDS in 2008, followed by a performance in the now defunct Ambassador Theatre the same year. They rarely play Ireland, so needless to say there is a buzz about the venue tonight and The Academy is the perfect setting for this big sounding band with a niche fandom.
Support in The Academy is delivered in a lumpy fashion by No Spill Blood. This band performs the kind of set that belongs in the start menu of a ’90s Beat ’em Up game. Some melody would be nice as the keyboard adds a little movement to the stern and tuneless set.
With that out of the way Coheed are welcomed warmly by an anticipation-riddled crowd. We’re off to an energetic start with No World for Tomorrow and A Favour House Atlantic. From the outset the band’s natural talent for performing is obvious, particularly where frontman Claudio Sanchez is concerned. His astonishing vocals, shattering guitar mastery and startlingly large hair all add to the show.
Goodnight, Fair Lady follows, showing the band’s funkier side with an air of Thin Lizzy in the guitar, bass line and tone of the vocal. The mood is sky high at this point as the crowd dances and sings toward the stage in an otherworldly euphoria. As is the case at most shows in The Academy the audience contributes wonderfully to the experience. There is a great atmosphere in the place by the middle of the set and even a slight hiccup with the rhythm guitar, played expertly by Travis Stever, couldn’t dampen the spirits of the devout fans.
Coheed switch from fun and melodious to heavy and ominous with Gravity’s Union and Ten Speed continuing as such for the remainder of the night. Sanchez’s vocals do not fail him at any point, truly shining during the heavier songs. He is a marvel and a fantastically talented guitarist with unique vocals and – with his trademark hair – he is a singing afro for the majority of the show.
Everything Evilis one of the night’s highlights. It’s a heavier moment and the band’s instrumental talent renders the audience awestruck as they perform with a punch and the vocals are simply perfect, there is no other word suitable to describe them. The crowd are lapping it up as they become a well rehearsed choir for the band. They are stunned into silence by a face-melting solo which eventually sends them into a frenzy. The main set is ended with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. This one is pure musical-show boating which culminates in a roar from the crowd.
Two songs make up the inevitable encore; Here We Are Juggernaut and Welcome Home, with the latter serving as the overall highlight of the night. The fan-favourite hits home with a massive thud. The band is bursting with energy, Sanchez is pandering to the fan’s expectations, playing the guitar with his teeth and swinging it behind his head to continue an apoplectic solo. This guy is just showing off now.
Coheed and Cambria are not the biggest band out there but they sure have a huge sound, not to mention that huge hair. There is little fault in the performance as they are energetic, perform a seamless and fan-pleasing set, exude talent and evidently enjoy being on stage. A satisfied audience left The Academy with the luxury of having a rather flawless set and performance to harbour in their memory bank until the next time they play these shores. Evidently the fans are hoping that it won’t be such a long wait this time.
Coheed and Cambria Photo Gallery
Photos: Sean Conroy