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Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday Night: Coheed and Cambria Perform Two Possibly Magical Sets at the Fox Theater

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 8:32 AM

click to enlarge Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria

Coheed and Cambria
The Second Stage Turbine Blade Tour
May 7, 2011
@ Fox Theater, Oakland

Better than: The next three fiftysomething chuckleheads you hear

pronounce rock dead.

The scene outside Oakland's Fox Theater last Saturday night was as old

as Dick Clark's eardrums, yet new as a just-pierced lip. Scads of

frolicsome teens and twenties capered under the negligent eyes of some

few slick, elder-indie-parent types, themselves seemingly divided into

two factions consisting of the wised-up and the clueless. Inside the

restored 1928 picture palace was much more of the same, with the

cocktail waitresses not particularly hard-pressed for work and the

front of the stage swarming with doe-eyed collegiates in band schwag

or some de minimus gesture at gothwear.

click to enlarge Coheed and Cambria - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Coheed and Cambria

Like The Psychedelic Furs' bravura run at Slim's last week, the headliners were themselves the opening act, with guitarists Claudio Sanchez, Travis Stever, and Mic Todd unobtrusively lugging out acoustics and perching onstage almost before the crowd noticed. Once it did, an impressive series of massed chirps and squeals rattled the ornate hall, as these unshowy showmen proceeded to knock the audience members on their collective asses twice. The first set displayed the lighter, sprightlier side of the band's long multi-album Amory Wars saga. More lightly acquainted with C&C's self-contained universe than most of those in attendance, I could deny neither the melodic raptures nor audience commitment to them. All swayed Beavis-like, crooning along in massed harmonic bombardment. Lighters were already going up by the middle of the second song. Staffers were very helpful about letting my photographer run to the very lip of the stage during the opening salvo, an experience she likened to being thrust directly into the beating heart of rock 'n' roll. A stentorian bellow of "That was fucking magical!" discharged from behind me, as some fellow lost composure entirely.

click to enlarge Coheed and Cambria - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Coheed and Cambria

The first set ended after about 45 minutes of such operatically emotional stuff, and the audience settled in for a wait nearly as long until the second set. This consisted of the band's full-length 2002 debut, Second Stage Turbine Blade, played in its punky entirety followed by numerous bonus cuts and addenda. This was drummer's Chris Pennie's time to shine as proceedings took a much harder turn. C & C's bombastically proggy song-cycle wrings an almost Trekkie-like sense of self-identification out of fans who presumably see themselves somewhere in the sprawling space-opera plot. It was a little past ten when the clamor for the first encore began to start -- a fierce hullabaloo went on until the band slumped out for 20 minutes more, with the crowd hooting and chanting as if some Spielberg mothership were about to take them home. Then the band left again, and another demonstration unwound before Sanchez and Stever came out again for a muted acoustic finale and tender goodbyes. "This is a gift," Sanchez cooed, and so it was.

click to enlarge Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria

Setlist (possibly incomplete):
First Set

Always and Never
Mother Superior
Pearl of the Stars
Iron Fist
Milk Foot
Who Watches the Watchmen?
Here We Are Juggernaut
Wake Up

Second set

Second Stage Turbine Blade
Time Consumer
Devil In Jersey City
Everything Evil
Delirium Trigger
Hearshot Kid Disaster
Junesong Provision
God Send Conspirator

First encore

Ten Speed (Of God's Blood And Burial)
No World For Tomorrow
Welcome Home
The Black Rainbow

Second encore

Elf Tower New Mexico (acoustic)

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