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Coheed and Cambria — A New Kind of Auroral


For over two decades New York-based American Progressive Rock band Coheed and Cambria has thrilled audiences with its epic concept albums (seven to be exact) based on the science fiction saga The Amory Wars, a comic book series penned by frontman Claudio Sanchez. Tour Press Force (TPF) took a jaunt down to Tucson, Arizona to witness the band touring its eighth album, The Color Before the Sun; their first album to break away from the epic storyline. The Rialto Theatre was packed with long-time fans ready to experience Coheed and Cambria’s Fall North American 2016 Tour with openers Saves the Day and Polyphia.

The flux of the night was evident as moods were discernably shifted with each opening act. The sans vox performance of Polyphia set the tone for a blissfully-sonic progression into the rest of the evening. The Dallas, Texas based triad with Timothy Henson and Scott LePage on guitar and Clay Gober on bass, are known for their Instrumental Progressive Rock sound. Throughout their set Henson and LePage were intensely engaged playing the harmonizing technique behind their progressive and melodic sound. It was bassist, Gober who actively engaged with the crowd, shouting out to the fans and announcing tunes from their recent album Renaissance, which was released in early March 2016.

YouTube | Crush – Polyphia (Official Music Video)

From sonic bliss, in popped sugary hooks mixed with tart vocal tension* auditorily-emblematic of the grapefruit on the cover of the latest self-titled LPS of decades-old American Emo, Melodic Hardcore, Pop Punk band Saves the Day. Hailing from Princeton, New Jersey, the band Saves the Day, like Coheed and Cambria, has been playing for over two decades and features veteran leader vocalist and guitarist Chris Conley, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Arun Bali, bassist Rodrigo Palma, and drummer Dennis Wilson as the present members. There was a prompt, frenetic shift in the energy throughout the theatre as a new frequency radiated off the stage and movement erupted in the audience as fans reacted. It was a good-old blast!

YouTube | In the In Between – Saves the Day (Official Music Video)

Eclipsing the night, was a transcendence from Space Prog to Pop Rock** in a reveal that liberated the once-façade-clad frontman Claudio Sanchez in a new kind of auroral. Within The Color Before the Sun, Sanchez wrote his most personal, straightforward music yet. “I wanted the songs to speak for themselves,” he says. “Now that I’m 37 years old, I don’t need the mask at this point in my life.”*** This is Sanchez’s explanation behind this album’s diversion away from the epic first-seven concept albums dropped-to-date by Coheed and Cambria.

The decades of interplay amongst most of the present Coheed and Cambria members was an evidenced fusion, with lead vocalist and guitarist Claudio Sanchez, guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Zach Cooper and drummer Josh Eppard. Sanchez’s stage-presence alone amazed, with lyrics wafting from the audience as fans sang along to favorites such as “Ghost”, “Island”, “No World for Tomorrow”, “Peace to the Mountain”, and their traditional finale encore “Welcome Home”. Eppard projected visually, his ecstasy behind the drums, with his mouth set into an “Oh!” throughout the night. Stever and Sanchez titillated the crowd with their dueling guitars, while classically-trained Cooper really smashed it expressively! The lighting FX emanated further the expression of audible and abstract moods perceptible in all the colors of resonance – it was beyond epic.

YouTube | Island – Coheed and Cambria (Official Music Video)

* Megan Ritt, "Saves the Day—Saves the Day," Consequence of Sound Album Review. September 19, 2013. (Accessed September 2016)

** Richard Whittaker, "Coheed and Cambria - The Color Before the Sun," The Austin Chronicle Friday Fun Fun Fun Fest Album Reviews. November 6, 2015. (Accessed September 2016)

*** Suzy Esposito, "Coheed and Cambria on Why Their Nerdy Comic Book Saga Had to End," RollingStones News. September 16, 2016. (Accessed September 2016)

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