The first time I saw Coheed and Cambria was in 2006 at Reading festival, they reeled me in, hook line and sinker. Fast forward 12 years and 9 albums later and I’m stood eagerly awaiting them in one of my favourite venues, The Roundhouse in London, which although large still manages to pull off a slightly intimate feel.
Coheed and Cambria have stood the time where other bands haven’t with their unique prog rock sound but not afraid to also dip into indie, metal and pop-punk genres. They have created a sci-fi world with a collection of mostly concept albums that have to led to a series of comic books called The Armory Wars, a series written by their singer Claudio Sanchez.
Coheed and Cambria are touring the U.K to promote new album, Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures, released October 5th 2018 via Roadrunner Records, returning to the Amory Wars concept with the first instalment of the Vaxis series, which introduces new characters and a new cinematic story. The record, in part, tells the story of a pair of romantically involved “unheavenly creatures” that are attempting to escape the clutches of this penal institution. The prison is one of the fictitious galaxy’s many privatized detention zones.
First on stage supporting, are American math rock band CHON, from Oceanside, California. Their music is largely instrumental with only a few songs containing vocal performance, they were a nice warm-up for the explosion that was Coheed and Cambria later.
Half an hour after CHON have left the stage, we’ve all had a beer and a gawped at the merch stand. The lights go down and crowd begin to cheer, drummer Josh Eppard is first on stage, followed by Zach Cooper, Travis Stever and then Claudio Sanchez.
Coheed and Cambria ease us in gently with subtle piano, synth and narration of album opener “Prologue”, before things kick off properly with anthemic “The Dark Sentencer” from the new album. During the set they play no less than four songs from In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 album, but “A Favor House Atlantic” being the highlight as always, sends the crowd into a frenzy.
Claudio stops to thank the fans and crowd for supporting their music which he explains are “are basically glorified love songs”, then they perform “Wake Up”; a tear-jerker with its touching lyrics and gentle acoustic guitar.
They finish the set as they started with one from the new album; “Old Flames” is a blast of pop rock which incites the fans into “Na-na-na-ing” along! The band returned to stage for a single encore of “Welcome Home”, one of their heaviest songs but a great way to end the night.
Photos by Danni Garner