Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 11/11/2012 | Coheed and Cambria – O2 Academy, Birmingham

11/11/2012 | Coheed and Cambria – O2 Academy, Birmingham

Carrie Humphries


This year has been rather special for New York geek-rock powerhouse Coheed and Cambria. Not only has their current album marked the return of original member Josh Eppard to the drum kit, but it is also 10 years since the release of their debut album Second Stage Turbine Blade. Therefore, this tour has not only been a showcase of material from new album The Afterman: Ascension, but also a celebration of the band’s achievements so far.

The audience were gently eased into the concert with the band’s ‘unplugged’ acoustic set, as front-man Claudio Sanchez took to the stage solo for a heartfelt performance of Pearl of The Stars. He was then joined by his band mates to showcase a stripped back version of Favour House Atlantic, which seemed to be a fan favourite as the crowd sang along to every word. This was followed up by Mother Superior, which was met with a warm reception by even the heaviest of rock fans in the crowd. Finally the set was closed by my personal favourite of the short acoustic set, Wake Up, which had a beautiful lulling quality to it.

After a short interval the crowd were yet again greeted by the band, who took to the stage armed with all the instruments needed to make their set loud and powerful, and with Claudio’s trademark curly hair set loose to rock out. As they launched into set opener No World for Tomorrow, the audience chanted along to the uplifting, almost battle cry-like chorus, and as the song ended they were met with the rapturous applause of an audience hungry for more. Fans were not left disappointed in the slightest by the follow up, as the band played a fantastic mixture of tracks from their six albums including Gravemakers and Gunslingers, Everything Evil, Sentry the Defiant and Ten Speed.

The pace of the evening was then slowed down a little half way with The Afterman. Relaxing in comparison to most of their material, it provided a pleasant breather to anyone who had rocked out too hard during this first half. As the guitars of The Suffering kicked in, the chaos recommenced with a joyful roar. This was followed by yet more chanting, singing and crowd surfing, and continued throughout Juggernaut and Goodnight Fair Lady.

When the band closed on In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth 3, some people felt that the set had finished too early and were desperate for more. Luckily for them, this was a ruse and the band returned for a mind-blowing encore with Domino The Destitute, an electric version of Favour House Atlantic, and Welcome Home; which thrilled the audience as Claudio did his party piece, playing a double necked Gibson guitar behind his neck.

Overall, the band played a tight set and displayed true showmanship. They managed to keep the audience transfixed at all times, regardless of whether they were doing acoustic or electric tracks. Old fans were left satisfied and even crowd members who were dragged along by friends or family were won over by the band. Coheed and Cambria are a genuinely enthralling band with personality who are well worth a watch.


[nggallery id=176]

Photos © Carrie Humphries and must not be reproduced without prior consent