Porcupine Tree/Coheed and Cambria 08/12/10

Wiltern: Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

Nothing says a party like a Thursday night in Korea Town.  While many gathered to drink Soju and sing Karaoke, I entered the doors of the historic Wiltern Theatre for a night of progressive rock and roll.  With Porcupine Tree and Coheed and Cambria joining forces for a two week tour across the states, what better place to kick off a summer tour than frigid Southern California?

Sadly, I missed The Deer Hunter (thanks traffic), but made it inside the venue in time for England’s premiere prog-rock band Porcupine Tree.  To be fair, before last night, I knew Porcupine Tree.  I went in with an open mind, and for the first 45 minutes I tried to convince myself that what I was hearing was enjoyable.  Parts were really solid, but a lot of it was a struggle.  I get that they are very talented musicians, but when it came down to it, the music went nowhere.  I reminded myself many times that if I was familiar with the music, this would be epic.  Yet by the 46 minute mark, I was bored to death.  24 minutes later, it was finally over and I could not have been more relieved.  So is Porcupine Tree lame?  With my last three reviews being about Phish shows, you know I appreciate long complex songs.  The Between The Buried and Me set I caught a few weeks back throws out the argument that you need to know the material to appreciate the show.

While waiting for Coheed and Cambria to start, I was asked by a fellow fan what I thought of Porcupine Tree’s set.  I told her everything you just read in the last paragraph.  She smiled and informed me that they were here favorite band and this was show #17.  After making fun of Phish, she then told me that of the 17 shows she had seen, this was without a doubt the worst one.  So I am going to keep an open mind to Porcupine Tree.  I don’t know if I will seek them out, but if we one day connect in the future great.  If not, thanks for your time, you at least have my respect as musicians.

(You would see a video of Porcupine Tree here, but the cowards lead singer of the band had it removed.  While I understand that this video is not mine, I am not sure how this hurts Porcupine Tree or WMG.  I paid to enter the show.  There are no plans that I am aware of to release this show via commercial outlet.  All I have done is given their band free publicity and allowed fans worldwide to share in a moment that they have missed out on.  Shame on you PT, you are cowards, you are dinosaurs and perhaps if you were more fan friendly the show would have been able to fill the Palladium versus being moved to the Wiltern.)

I somehow missed out on the information that this tour was a co-headline.  I assumed as with past Coheed and Cambria shows, that they were the main attraction and all others were simply there to warm the stage for the upstate New York prog-metal-jam-polka-sci-fi-rock Gods.  You all know what happens when one assumes – so yes while we only got 75 minutes of Coheed and Cambria, those 75 minutes was nothing short of amazing.

The foursome kicked off the set with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.  Underage boys quickly formed a pit in the venues front section of floor, sending bodies both willing and otherwise flying as the band cranked out the ten plus minute battle cry.  After blasting through Ten Speed (of God’s Love and Burial) with great ease, the group busted out the self-fulfilling prophecy  Here We Are Juggernaut.  From the recently released record Year of the Black Rainbow, fans went nuts for the raucous number that rock radio fans foolishly failed to grasp onto.


The band did a great job of performing a good range of songs from their catalogue.  Modern day classics like Everything Evil and The Willing Well I: Fuel For The Feeding End mixed well with new material such as Pearl of the Stars and When Skeleton’s Live. I know I got goosebumps from the sweet intro jam into Delerium Trigger, but don’t think it mattered what the band played, they audience was thirsty for anything Coheed.  Fans even went wild for front man Claudio Sanchez’s tale of throwing an early demo tape at Deftones (and of course totally missing the stage).


Where Porcupine Tree did not use their time for an encore, Coheed and Camrbia did.  The band performed three songs, which was lead off by Sanchez performing Wake Up alone upon the stage.  I would have preferred another song then World of Lines, but hey at least the band closed the short but sweet set firing on all cylinders with Welcome Home.  The highlight of the closing number was Sanchez allowing those in the front row strum his guitar and complete the songs final solo.  I know post show chants for bands never work, but on this particular night I gave it a try.  75 minutes of Coheed and Cambria simply doesn’t satisfy.  Fingers crossed I don’t have to wait long for the next time.


A direct descendant of the outlaw Jesse James and star of a 1983 Kilpatricks Bread radio commercial, Reverend Justito has taken his gift of ADHD and put it to good use by creating one of a kind concert reviews. A bootlegger at heart, the man lives off Whiskey, Taco Bell and the love of San Francisco sports teams.
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