Coheed and Cambria w/ Aeges 10/04/12
Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justitio
I would be lying if I said I didn’t throw a mini temper tantrum when I was shut out of the Coheed and Cambria Troubadour on-sale because TicketFly assumed I was a scalper. It was after all only one of my all-time favorite bands playing in the best club in Southern California. Yet as it turns out the universe was on my side. I decided to check out the Troubadour website around 4pm on the day of the show and as luck would have it a few tickets were released. Instead of heading home from work on a Thursday night to watch the idiot box I was flying over Barham (okay crawling) from Burbank to Hollywood for a night with Coheed at the Troubadour.
The night kicked off with a thirty minute opening set from Aeges. In my expert opinion there are three types of opening acts you can encounter. Bands who can’t get off stage fast enough, bands that fill the role perfectly and then bands you wish could have played another 15 minutes. For Aeges it was the last type. Holy smokes how have these guys not popped up on my radar before this particular Thursday night in West Hollywood? For 30 minutes Aeges mixed deep stoner metal grooves with sci-fi sensibilities. Most of the material from their set came off the recently released album The Bridge (which I only know because the drummer told me this after I bought the album from him after the show). I can’t stress this enough, if Aeges hits your town check them out because they are one of the best rock bands I have seen in a long time.
With the tiny club now as packed as I can recall seeing it, Coheed and Cambria hit the stage around 9:30 pm. The band opened with a 1-2 punch from the 2007 album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume II: No World For Tomorrow. After opening with the song No World For Tomorrow the four piece moved right into the raucous Gravemaker & Gunslingers. From there fans went crazy as the group went all the way back to the start with Everything Evil, the only song from the band’s debut album Second Stage Turbine Blade to make it into the set.
On this particular night a rare thing happened. Where most shows you attend fans have zero desire to hear new material, this was not the case inside the Troubadour. Fans were screaming for the band to play new songs and Coheed was happy to feed those requests. In fact those lucky enough to make it into the pint size club witnessed the band perform some songs for the first time. One of those songs was Key Entity Extraction III: Holly Wood The Cracked. Sure the upstate New York band may have put a space in Hollywood, but everyone inside the room knew there was no better place for this dark creepy number to make its live debut.
For the rest of the evening, the band mixed classic Coheed with material from the soon to be released double album The Afterman. You could see the band was clearly having fun as they played songs like Blood Red Summer, A Favor House Atlantic and a relaxed take on Mother Superior. With this being my 10th Coheed show, I enjoyed small tweaks the band made in the music. The way the band has added a pause in In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 so fans can scream MAN YOUR OWN JACKHAMMER – MAN YOUR BATTLESTATIONS is nothing short of brilliant.
Here was something that boggled my mind. Granted we were packed in like sardines, when was the last time you hit a show and a pit finally broke out during a new song? That’s exactly what happened on this particular night as the crowd finally erupted during Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant. Another interesting occurrence was the moment when fans chanted for the first single from The Afterman Ascension. Front man Claudio Sanchez couldn’t help but laugh as he assured fans that Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute would be played later before launching into another song making its live debut, Goodnight, Fair Lady.
After playing for well over an hour the band wrapped the night with a lengthy four song encore. Crowd surfers started to find their way onto the stage as the band played a smoking version of Welcome Home. Armed with a double neck guitar, Sanchez even allowed fans packed up front to strum the stings during one of the songs solos. The band finally brought the night to a close with the lengthy jam heavy The Willing Well V: The Final Cut. I moved towards the back of the room and just took it all in for a moment. From being shut out to seeing Coheed live at the Troubadour I am truly grateful that the universe had my back and allowed me to make it in.