Being a fanboy and a critic at the same time can produce some of the most anxiety-ridden experiences. Having to love something and dissect it is nearly torture at times, kind of like that pet frog you had in grade school that you decided to bring to your biology exam, only, ya know, the WRONG biology exam. I still miss you, Hoppy. No, I never had a frog, but I have been a diehard fan of New York, NY’s unsung progressive rock HEROES, Coheed and Cambria for over a decade. If you choose to take that statement lightly in my presence, I will then regale to the other five times I’ve seen these cats, or show you my collection of Amory Wars Comics that I hold ever so dearly. This past Wednesday was another opportunity to belt the lyrics of “Welcome Home” at the top of my lungs, and you’re gonna read about it AND like it.
The night opened up with a more recent favourite of mine Plano, TX’s Polyphia. I’ve said this time and time again, but it is truly the only way I know how to describe this fantastic instrumental act. This band is what progressive instrumental sounds like when it’s making sweet Barry White style love. I swear to fuck if every porno for the rest of time used these cats for soundtracking, babies would be made over and over again. Sadly, Polyphia played to about a quarter-filled room and had an air of road wear to their presence. Despite little transition clips from time to time, they were still more than entertaining. Go light some candles, turn on some Polyphia, and make some sweet immaculate conception.
Before we dive into the following act, I wanna take this moment to remind you, the reader, that what is said is my opinion. Please take it the way I like it, or leave it. That said, Princeton, NJ’s Alt rock quartet Saves the Day straight up did not do it for me. They may, in fact, be your cup of tea, but to me, it, unfortunately, sounded like a poor man’s Our Lady Peace if the singer from Wheatus and Raine Maida had some weird love child with an odd nasal problem. Now, let’s be real: I’m no world-class musician myself. The only reason you’re reading this is to load up your spank bank with my weird jizz and fuck jokes, but I could not get into these dudes. The vocals felt way too over the top on the Alternative Nasal vibe, and the music made no effect to at least tickle my prostate.
Then came the moment my balls longed for. The mighty mane of frontman Claudio Sanchez takes to the stage. As per standard Coheed performance, we got a taste of acoustic jams as Claudio opened with “Ghost” off their latest release The Color Before the Sun. The mood was set, and I felt nice and lubed when in came “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3.” The night rolled on, classic after classic, nailing every moment of the instrumentals seemingly without effort. And now, I need to dissect; sorry, Hoppy. Very cool things include the ease with which Claudio was able to stop singing and the room still buzzed with what would seem like his vocals (yeah, I was singing every word like a little girl too). Not so cool things included the very apparent exhaustion from all parties of the evening, a setlist that was heavy on the new record (painful lack of Year of the Black Rainbow and The Afterman material), the lack of liveliness of the crowd. This, of course, brought about a fantastic realization: you either love Coheed, or you don’t listen to Coheed. Those who love them are either musicians, typically, or seeing the light of day for the first time since their last Dungeons and Dragons raid. The odd crowd and tired bands aside, the room, sounded great, the musicians brought their A-game, and I somehow can still mosh a little bit without shitting myself.
Wins all around!
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Danielle Kenedy