Coheed & Cambria Puyallup Fair 9/29/09
What a show! One of the best day-long concert experiences I’ve ever had. Mos def one of their best concerts that I’ve seen. Went to comic signing earlier in the day at one of the finest comic shops I’ve ever encountered- Comic Evolution in Puyallup and once again met the man with the plan, Mr. Claudio Sanchez. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
The setlist for The Puyallup Fair 2009 performance from Coheed and Cambria:
1. No World For Tomorrow
2. Gravemakers & Gunslingers
3. In Keeping Secrets Silent Earth:3
4. Ten Speed
5. A Favor House Atlantic
6. Al the Killer
7. Under a Milky Way Tonight (cover song originally done by The Church)
8. Devil In Jersey City
9. Blood Red Summer
10. The End Complete/Trooper Medley
11. Welcome Home
12. The Crowing
13. The Final Cut

This was my 13th time seeing them live. My 7th time seeing them headline a show. I’ve seen them in 9 different venues in 8 different cities in 4 different states over 5 years. Not only are they one of the greatest bands in the world in my book but have the best and most dedicated fans bar none which typically enrich each concert experience in one way or another. This show was no different.
I was in the left (E) section in front of stage right (Trav’s side) in the 7th row. By far the closest I’ve ever seen the Heed from. Made my pics come out much better than usual. Even my cell pics looked pretty damn good. It was ticketed seating for the floor so even though the rows of chairs were ridiculously too close to the rows in front of them, I had a chair that was all mine. Normally shows I attend are general admission and I prefer them that way, too. I usually stand near the soundboard because I just don’t have the desire to go mix it up with the kids in the pit especially if I’m taking pictures. But this show I had a spot in the seventh row. Bitchin’!
Opening acts were Jaguar Love (I missed them completely but it seems they did the opposite of impressing people because way too many people said negative stuff about ‘em) & Brand New. Brand New wasn’t bad. Some pretty cool, textured stuff there that had some nice dynamics. I honestly wasn’t giving them a fair shake and was growing impatient because I had been told by the “Concert Info” booth earlier in the night that Puyallup had a 10pm noise ordinance & the show is over at ten. So with that by 8:30 I was getting really annoyed with Brand New. They started at 8pm and by 8:40 I just wanted them the fuck out of there. They played til 8:50 and by then I was feeling pretty confident that the info booth guy was way off. I drove over 2 hours to get here and would have been terribly disappointed if the headlining act played less than an hour. I had faith as Coheed has never let me down. No worries.

At 9:24… the lights went down and the crowd went crazy… I thought to myself “Allll right…I hope you bitches are buckled up…”

They fired it up with the usual “go to” openers “No World For Tomorrow” & “Gravemakers & Gunslingers”. Time tested, proven, tried and true. The majority of the shows they’ve played for the last 2 years straight have opened with these two cuts from their 4th & most recent album. It’s quite effective and a sure fire way to get… it… ON!
“NWFT” starts with such a great riff that has so much anticipated excitement built into it-accentuateded by a couple of well placed tribal-like drum beats and a big crash that lets you know something fucking huge is about to go down. “Raise your hands high!… young brothers and sis-ters!…”
Everybody’s stoked as they haven’t played anywhere in the Pacific NW in 16 months.

“Gravemakers & Gunslingers” busts in next like a jacked up cowboy kickin’ open the saloon doors with both barrells-a-blazin’ intent on merciless slaughter. The guitars are rippin’ ass & deliver the necessary proverbial beat down right outta the gate. Fuck, YES Coheed is the house! Holla!

“In Keeping Secrets Silents of Silent Earth” is next. The title track to the 2nd record & one of my absolute favorites still! It opens so hauntingly calm yet has that anxious anticipation because… this is the war anthem… and alllll hell is about to break loose. “Man your own jack hammers!!… Man your battle stay-yay-ayay-shuns… We’ll have you dead pretty soon!!!…”

“Ten Speed” is a punchy joint from their 3rd album “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV” and was followed by “Favor House”. I was delighted & kind of surprised/yet not so surprised to hear this one. “A Favor House Atlantic” was the first song I ever heard on the radio from these guys back in 2003 & it caught my attention. It was their 1st single that got any kind of national radio airplay and it wasn’t much at that. It’s a great song with a unique kind of power punch to it, yet has a very catchy and pop chorus that always has everybody singing along. This is one of their most popluar “hits” if you will, but hasn’t been played much this year. They’ve kept the setlists stocked with their heavier fare as they’ve spent most of the year playing 50 minute sets on tour opening for Slipknot and then with Heaven & Hell. This song wouldn’t have gone over very well in front of some of the Slipknot fans. But tonight Coheed is the reason we’re all here & we loved it. Favor House’s chorus is bouncy and fun and has a real “feel-good” feel to it. I notice it always makes us “children of the fence” smile… even the emo kids with the funny haircuts smile. Check it out next time you see them play this. Look around the room when it gets toward the end of the song… everybody is smiling. Let’s try this at home… click here and see if it makes you smile:

Next up is the heavy duty “Al the Killer” from IKSSE:3. Until the Neverender shows this song had not been played in several years. Since it was freshly revived for Neverender and it’s pretty metal, it made the setlist every night on both the Slipknot tour and the Heaven & Hell tour.

Then they brought it down a notch and they played the cover tune, “Under the Milky Way Tonight”. It was weird because I knew the song & seemed to know almost all of the words but couldn’t peg who originally sang it. It was driving me freakin’ crazy. After the show I found out it was The Church. I remember when this song was a minor hit back in the late 80’s and it didn’t anything for me back then… and not much has changed. They did a fine job playing it & while it was most certainly amusing to see Coheed play it… once. I hope they never do it again. I would much rather them go back to doing “So Lonely” by the Police or perhaps they could have played another amazing original song like EVERYTHING EVIL! lol.
Here’s a clip someone else shot of “Under A Milky Way Tonight”. It’s worth checking it out. Enjoy it here so they don’t have to play it every night on tour in the future:

Anyway… onward with another classic crowd fave “Devil Jersey City”. It’s the only song they’d play tonight from the first album “Second Stage Turbine Blade” and the crowd is pleased and sings along gleefully. “Don’t Let them scare yooooouuu…”
This was followed by another catchy pop single from IKSSE:3- “Blood Red Summer”. After that was another heavy one that got played every night this year: “The End Complete/ Trooper Medley”. As a teen & into my twenties I LOVED Iron Maiden. They were my fave. One of the initial reasons I fell in love with Coheed and Cambria is I could tell just by listening to them that they loved Maiden, too! Coheed doing Maiden is just awesome wrapped in awesome, and then topped with a nice melted layer of awesome sauce.
After that it was time to take it to the next level with their quintessential rock juggernaut “Welcome Home”. I consider this their best song. Everything Evil might be considered my favorite but “Welcome Home” is in my opinion their best song indeed. Tonight they delivered it with absolute authority… pounding it like the fist of an angry god. Justice is served. “Hang onto glory at my right hand…”. The crowd knows this one well, too. Lately this song is being used in the trailer for the animated movie “9” as well as it’s appearances in the Rock Band video game. A worthy tune in any book. Travis Stever shredded this song playing a beautiful gold-top Les Paul with the Bigsby rig on it. I think he played this same guitar all night. Claudio, too who is stunningly shred-tastic added a bit of improv to his face-melting solo parts as he jumped around enthusiastically playing one of his many Gibson Explorers. They looked like they were having a ball. We sure were. They ended the song and raised their hands up saying thank you and good night and walked off of the stage! We cheered emphatically as we knew it wasn’t over. The lights hadn’t come up so we kept on yelling. –Here’s a video of the solo… sorry it’s blurry. I zoomed in and hit record before the camera had a chance to focus. But it sounds okay.

After several minutes our pals from Nyack, New York returned to the stage with their hands waving to much applause for an encore.
They fired right in to The Crowing” from the IKSSE:3 album. Definitely one of their finest 6 minute epics. The crowd is pleased to hear this one as am I. This was played many times during the Slipknot tour earlier this year but not the night I saw them in Dallas. They had to skip that song from what I guessed was a time issue. Too bad because it would have went over well then. At least tonight I get to hear it as it is one of (sing it) “you…you know, you were…my fav-orites”. They do a fine job indeed with bassist Mic Todd and drummer Chris Pennie just getting brutal on their respective parts. Damn I love this band… are they are in superb form tonight! Without hesitation as the last notes of “The Crowing” ring out in the comfortable September evening air… the drum beats in with the–” brack- blap-ba-blap boom!” To begin the expected set-ending “The Final Cut” as the guitars cry & wail away emoting all of the angst, fear, torment, loss, & unreqited love of that the “story” has subject us to as this tale has unfolded and twisted continuously throughout the 4 albums of theirs. They’ve been closing with this one since the summer of 2005 at just about every headlining show and even some of the shorter shows, too. This is where you see some spontaneity from these guys letting them jam and play around a bit. Great voicebox work from Travis. Claudio is really getting the hang of that Theramin. He was doing notes I’d not seen him do before and doing a damn good job of being in key with the melodies that Travis was putting out there. Chris Pennie has some really impressive, yet subtle flair tossed in but it’s more subtle, nuance stuff with soft rolls on the snare and hat. Great stuff if you pay attention but most folks aren’t aware of the complexity of the stuff he’s back there doing.

Chuck Messinger & the good folks at Comic Evolution were KILLER! Super nice people! Chuck was the guy wearing the black hockey jersey with the keywork on it that I gave him as a gift for hooking me up. What comes around goes around and sometimes the goings are really good. He rocked that thing much better than I ever could have. On him it looked like a rockin’ hockey jersey… on me it looked like I was wearing a monk’s robe. LOL. Thanks, Chuck! I met many really nice people at this show. Coheed fans are so awesome!!
-Rich Testa
Aka Rockstizzle
Portland, OR

I love going to shows/ concerts... even travelling just to go to a show. 100+ and counting. Faves: Coheed & Cambria, Foo Fighters, Black Crowes, and many more!
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