Hi, MD here…
Coheed and Cambria started their tour (of 22 U.S. cities and Toronto, Canada) Friday night in Kansas City, MO and their second stop was last night (April 9th) in Dallas, TX at the Palladium.
For their 10 year anniversary, the band wanted to do something special for their fans. Coheed and Cambria decided to perform their first album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002) in its entirety in addition to an intimate acoustic set plus another set of just random songs through the years.
Coheed and Cambria is a progressive rock band composed of four members (Claudio Sanchez, Travis Stever, Michael Todd and Chris Pennie). Front-man, Claudio Sanchez developed a series of comic books, The Armory Wars http://theamorywars.com/coheed-and-cambria/ (originally Bag.On.Line Adventures) published by Evil Ink Comics at the beginning of the millennium. Coheed and Cambria are the main characters of the graphic novel The Armory Wars, as well as the name of the band. The focus of the band Coheed and Cambria’s music lead to the progression of all five of their concept albums. Each album that was released represented a corresponding chapter of the concept narrated by Sanchez’s lyrics. The albums were not released in order of the science fiction storyline.
The story: The Amory Wars takes place in Heaven’s Fence, a collection of 78 planets held in place by interconnecting beams of energy, known as the Keywork. The story revolves around the messianic Claudio Kilgannon, son of Coheed Kilgannon and Cambria Kilgannon. Over the course of the story, Claudio assumes the mantle of The Crowing, foretold savior of Heaven’s Fence. In the end, he must face the “Supreme Tri-mage” Wilhelm Ryan, absolute ruler of Heaven’s Fence and the one ultimately responsible for the death of Claudio’s family. (from Wikipedia)
The album that was played during the second set, The Second Stage Turbine Blade (the debut album) was the second part of a five-part tetralogy, telling the story of The Armory Wars. The story introduces us to Coheed and his wife Cambria, the characters from whence the band’s name originates. Sanchez’s website, www.evilinkcomics.net, lends the following description of the story behind the lyrics as it is described here:
Man and wife Coheed and Cambria are used as the centerpiece to enable Supreme Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan’s attempt at destroying his archrival Mage, Mariah Antillarea. Due to a memory swiping years ago, the couple are led to believe that their former lives have now come back to haunt them. They’re told by General Mayo Deftinwolf (Ryan’s Right hand) that they were long ago implanted with a great threat to Heaven’s Fence, The Monstar Virus. A virus with the ability to turn its host (Coheed) into a being powerful enough to drain the Keywork’s energy sources to spark Armageddon, while their dear old counterpart, Inferno was given the only means to unlock it. Through more lies, they are led to believe their children have genetically acquired a mutated form of the virus, the Sinstar. This new strain only requires its host to mature to a certain age, and has no antidote unlike the Monstar. Their children cannot be saved and time will not side with them. Coheed and Cambria are faced with an unimaginable dilemma: to murder their own children or face Armageddon. (from Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Stage_Turbine_Blade
The evening started out with about a half-hour acoustic set. Members of the band played sitting down with little movement and very focused. There were images of two characters in the background, as well as non-moving fans and minimal lights on the stage and the crowd was content.
The second set was the entirity of their first album The Second Stage Turbine Blade, in order. As the band started to play, the blades of the fans started moving and the lights started to flash and dance. The background had clear pictures of our protagonists Coheed and Cambria. To add to the intensity and powerfulness of the performance, I think they should have actually had a slide show of artwork from the graphic novel that went along with the lyrics of the songs to show the story visually. Either way, at this point, the crowd started to get hyped and move around.
The third set which was just a mixture of songs from all other albums seemed to please the audience just as much as the first two sets. There were arms in the air, dancing, singing and some crowd surfing too! The “merch” included everything from albums and t-shirts to the graphic novels… people were walking around with all sorts of merchandise! Coheed and Cambria fans were not let down with this experience.
pictures courtesy of Melissa Bonham