Coheed and Cambria
August 14, 2022
Photos by Raymond Ahner.
As the aptly titled intro song “Prologue” played over the PA on Sunday night at the Greek Theatre, there was a sense of excitement in the air as the members of Coheed and Cambria took to the stage. Once singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez took the guitar from his tech and began to play the intro to the sprawling epic “The Dark Sentencer,” it was clear that this was going to be a memorable night. Between interlocking guitars, fist-pumping chants, and a soaring vocal from Sanchez, the song was the perfect way to open the night.
Next up was the anthemic pop-rock of “The Gutter,” which had plenty of twists and turns, punctuated by some slick bass runs from Zach Cooper. While the piece had plenty of complex music in it, the brilliance of Coheed and Cambria is that they can take even a complicated piece and make it stick in your head. Following this, the band played three more new songs, with the rocking “Shoulders” standing out from the rest due to its slick intro guitar riff along with some booming drumming from Josh Eppard.
With ten albums of material to pull from now, the band is always working on that mix between old and new material, so it was a great surprise to see them pull out “The Running Free,” a blistering track from their fifth record, which was chock full of soaring guitar leads from Travis Stever. In keeping with the theme of switching between old and new material, the band rolled into one of their latest singles, the surprisingly danceable “A Disappearing Act,” which saw Sanchez trade in his guitar for a synthesizer.
Following this was another towering epic (and fan-favorite), the title track from their breakout record In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. The song began with a gentle clean-toned guitar intro before cranking up the distortion and speed. Between the start/stop dynamics and the loud crowd participation, the song was one of the highlights of the evening. After a few downbeat songs in the form of “Ghost” and “Blood,” the band began to pick up steam to close out the night by playing a couple of fan-favorites. Even standing far back at the Greek Theater, one could hear the crowd in front singing along to just about every word on songs like “Everything Evil” and “A Favor House Atlantic,” with the band even leaving some space where there would normally be vocals to allow the fans to shout the words.
Coheed and Cambria closed out the main portion of the set with another lengthy prog epic in the form of the title track of their recently-released record Window of the Waking Mind. The multi-part suite featured all sorts of mood/feel changes along with plenty of interesting guitar work. After a short break, Sanchez and the rest of the band returned to the stage, thanking all of the fans for supporting them for the past twenty years they have been together, before ripping into a two-song encore that started with the poppy “The Suffering.”
As is the custom at most Coheed and Cambria concerts, Sanchez strapped on a giant double-necked guitar to play the last song, “Welcome Home” (arguably the band’s most well-known song). Despite playing the song at just about every concert, it never fails to elicit a huge reaction from the crowd due to its catchy guitar licks, driving rhythms, and soaring vocal melodies.
Few bands can continue to write/perform music at such a high level as Coheed and Cambria do. Despite all of their relentless sonic experimentation over the years, they are always able to write songs that resonate with their dedicated fanbase, no matter what style of music they might be in. Saturday night’s concert was even more proof that the band is still at the peak of their powers 20 years after their initial formation.
Setlist: Prologue | The Dark Sentencer | The Gutter | The Embers of Fire | Beautiful Losers | Shoulders | The Running Free | A Disappearing Act | In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 | Ghost | Blood | The Liars Club | Everything Evil | Blood Red Summer | A Favor House Atlantic | Window of the Waking Mind || Encore || The Suffering | Welcome Home