Coheed & Cambria @ 9:30 Club – April 13th, 2004

As noted a couple of posts ago, I said that I was going to write a concert review for DOA about Coheed & Cambria. Well, I finally met a deadline and got it in before the weekend festivities and first kickball game of the season. The weather was great this weekend, perfect for our BBQ. Cops only came once this time, but the noise level was under control.

Since my friend and I only knew of Coheed and Cambria out of the four-band bill, we decided to go out a little bit later than normal. Fortunately, we showed up at the 9:30 Club near the beginning of Brazil’s set. Having never heard Brazil before, I was pleasantly surprised. The band was melodic all while being heavy and articulated with a healthy dose of screams. The audience did not react much to the band’s music, but instead stood stone-like on the floor of the sold out club. Probably a little too early for everyone to get crazy.

Fifteen minutes, a sound check, and another beer later, I was bracing myself for a potentially sub-par opening band. Funeral for a Friend came out and totally blew Brazil off the stage. Incorporating screams, industrial-sized riffs, interesting lead guitar work, and tremendous use of silence to create dynamics, FFAF instantly sold me. The lead singer’s vocals were accompanied by the drummer’s low growls and screams. It took me a while to locate where the extra screams were coming from, until my friend pointed out the Britney Spears-esque microphone attached to the drummers head. He would need a mic like that since he was screaming and executing the double-bass pedals with precision at the same time. FFAF was as tightly knit as any band I’ve seen. One of the songs demonstrated their “tightness” by ending the song with complete silence after each member of the band instantly muted their respective instruments, stopping their wall of sound simultaneously. The stage lights followed suit, leaving the club pitch black, with only the sound of screaming fans to fill the air. Funeral for a Friend finished up their six or seven song set, and I was left wanting more. But, this meant that we were one band closer to Coheed and Cambria’s set.

Could it be true that each band was going to get better and better until Coheed and Cambria came out? Enter Rainer Maria. The three-piece band was the obvious odd man out of the four-band lineup. The crowd responded politely and let Rainer Maria finish their set.

Finally, Coheed and Cambria’s set was next. The band came onstage with trademark piano theme blasting over the PA system. Late in the set, lead singer Claudio Sanchez asked for some audience participation because he was losing his voice. It didn’t show when he was singing, and was only noticeable when he dropped out and let the fans take over. Moving from one rocking song to the next, the first set was over in about an hour. The band came back out for an encore and supplied me with my only disappointment of the concert. Instead of finishing with one of the band’s own songs, C&C jammed out to a reggae song. Guitarists Sanchez and Travis Stever looked completely comfortable onstage and started to have fun by playing a little call and response with guitar solos. Stever used a talk-box to do his best Peter Frampton impression.

House lights on, exit stage left. The combination of Funeral for a Friend and Coheed and Cambria made this concert well worth the 12 dollars admission price. I’d see it again in a heartbeat.

Also see some pictures from the show: [Pic 1] [Pic 2] [Pic 3]

Read my entire review of the Coheed show at DOA!

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