Coheed and Cambria stopped by Oakland's Fox Theatre last Friday to honor the 12-year anniversary of the band's third full length Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. This makes for the third proper NEVERENDER tour, each honoring a specific album from the band's rather extensive catalog.
After a 45-minute set from the Dear Hunter, the lights grew dim and the crowd erupted while the opening strings from Coheed's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One's "Keeping the Blade" began to leak from the speakers. Claudio slowly walked to the front of the stage, acoustic in hand and hair in face, and began to perform the album's second track, "Always & Never." After a brief moment of silence over an unsteady crowd blistering with anticipation, the remaining members of the band stormed onto stage as Claudio switched to his double-neck Gibson SG to perform "Welcome Home."
Over the next 60+ minutes, Claudio and the band performed all 15 tracks of the band's third release, and while this marked only the third day of the tour, you wouldn't know it from this tight performance. If a song required a guitar change, backing music would keep the energy alive, or Claudio would speak on what the album meant to him when he wrote it versus what it means today. He also paused briefly to thank the A&R rep, Matt Pinfield, who brought Coheed to Columbia.
As the notes of the album's final track, "The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut" rang out, Claudio and fellow guitarist Travis Stever departed the stage to allow one epic drum & bass solo from members Josh Eppard and Zach Cooper. It felt like a true homage was being paid to the classic prog-metal bands of old. Shortly after, the guitarists returned to the stage for a 3-song encore that included a track from their first, second, and eighth albums respectively.
Coheed and Cambria are no strangers to performing albums from beginning to end. In fact, the concept of Neverender was born when the band performed their entire catalog spanning four days for three different cities (read all about it in our 2013 Coheed cover story here.) But what is never disappointing is the group's ability to bring something different to every tour -- from a three plus hour set that included acoustic renditions for their first Neverender tour honoring The Second Stage Turbine Blade, to their extensive 30 minute encore for the second Neverender tour honoring In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. This year, being no different, the band showcased a digital tryptic backdropping bringing Claudio's words to life behind the band the entire performance. Can't wait to see what the future holds for the band's faithful fans and members of "the fence."
Text by: Andy Mesecher | Photos by: Patrick Cooley