Show Review

Coheed and Cambria @ Agora 10/9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (Sanchez/2016)
Lisa Sanchez

​Everyone is all about nostalgia right now. “Remember when the 90s were cool?” or “Remember when you could catch laser Zeppelin at the planetarium?” A couple things to address with those statements. 1. No one knows what you’re talking about. 2. No one ever thought cheap lights at a nerd convention was cool unless you were blazed out of your mind. 3. All of these problems can be solved by watching Coheed and Cambria.

Coheed and Cambria, the progressive rock outfit that you may recognize for such hits as “A Favor House Atlantic” or “Blood Red Summer” or you may know them for being like millennial Rush without the ear-scraping vocals. The talented quartet rolled into the Cleveland Agora on Sunday, October 9 and delivered a show that did not disappoint, both for a fan or for someone like myself who has heard the insufferable “Are you related to Claudio Sanchez?” line for at least a decade. Clearly the answer is no. He has better hair.

Writing a review of Coheed and Cambria almost feels like a circle jerk. Of course they performed well. They’ve been doing it for more than 20 years and they’re arguably one of the best progressive bands in the genre today. Not only that, but I can’t even judge their setlist. They have enough diverse tunes throughout their career that they can always keep it fresh and keep the crowd guessing. This whole review is me basically just nodding and agreeing with your suspicions that, yes, Coheed and Cambria know how to work their music.

But that’s not all! Vocalist Claudio Sanchez has a voice like an angel on cocaine and bassist Zach Cooper pulled me in with a barrel of melodic bass lines. Also, holy shit seeing Claudio Sanchez up close is like seeing a typhoon of hair. I always, always, try not to comment on a person’s looks when they’re performing, but this hair is incredible. It’s a presence in and of itself. If that hair and Andrew W.K.’s sweaty white T-shirt came into the same room together the universe may explode.

When the show was winding down, Coheed played Nirvana’s “Drain You” and, brace yourselves, busted out a double-necked guitar. What! I’m full-blown wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man over here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone play a double-necked guitar outside of Motley Crue pretending they could do it in the 80s. Now that, my friends, is super fucking rad.

When Sanchez (no relation) busted out that killer guitar, some dude behind me proclaimed, “Dude’s a monster!” and I have to agree. Sanchez shredded on that guitar without breaking a sweat and Coheed and Cambria closed the show with “Welcome Home.”

Of course, the best way to gauge a show is by how the fans react. At the end of the day, it’s all about what the magnificent people who paid money to see them have to say. Jeremy, a fan in attendance, had this to say, “As an avid Coheed fan (going back to the Shabutie days), I have had the pleasure of seeing the band perform numerous times over more then a decade. That said, this last performance was, out of those I have witnessed, the best by far. The energy and presence stemming from Claudio and the rest of the band coupled perfectly with the masterful set list that combined just the right amount of the new with handfuls of the classics! The performance definitely set a new, gold standard for me for future Coheed and Cambria shows!”

There you have it. The fans have spoken. But, seriously, Coheed and Cambria have never really been my jam, but I respect them for what they do. The most impressive thing about the band is that Sanchez serves a dual role of master guitarist and master vocalist. You just don’t see that kind of caliber in many other bands right now.

​Coheed and Cambria: The Laser Zeppelin for Millennials is my recommended name for the band’s next tour. The band is currently touring off of their 2015 album, The Color Before the Sun, but a new album is anticipated in 2017.