I'm pretty sure you can still hear "woahhhhhhhs" echoing from the streets of Los Angeles after Coheed & Cambria absolutely shut down the Wiltern last Saturday.
The New York natives' appearance wasn't part of just another national tour, however, it was a celebration of what some consider the most touted Coheed record to date: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.
Playing the album from beginning to end, the band's agenda seemed clear: this is about the music, not the musicians. There was very little spotlighting, and instead amazing light work which showcased the group's Keywork logo, varying color schemes (coinciding with lyrical content) and an overall feeling of musical storytelling. Frontman Claudio Sanchez barely spoke, and instead saved his strength for the vocal challenges he once placed on himself 10 years ago.
The crowd erupted for the standards "In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3," "Blood Red Summer" and "A Favor House Atlantic," but for many who are one among the fence, "The Crowing" and "21:13" ran chills down our spines. Additional guitar leads were also placed in varied parts of the album, giving the tracks a little polish to its original 2004 sound.
As the performance concluded, Sanchez and company walked back stage for a short breather. The chant "Coheed, Coheed, Coheed" shook the walls like thunder before the band came back out to perform various tracks, new and old, from their catalog. While technical difficulties seemed to cut the set short an acoustic song or two, the band kept it pro, wrapped the performance up in a neat "Welcome Home" bow and thanked the crowd for being so supportive over the years.
Coheed & Cambria have always gone above and beyond for their fans through creative avenues. This show was no different. Rather than quick pressing a vinyl for cheap profit (like so many from the early 2000s post-hardcore movement are now doing), Claudio and company decided to get the record remastered for this specific tour. Fans were given the opportunity to purchase a "limited-edition remastered vinyl" to commemorate not only 10 years but the tour as well.
The physical vinyl is a complete retake on an original story. While no tracks have been rearranged, sounds have definitely been retouched, tempos have been readjusted and an overall feeling of change is apparent. I am happy to say the record doesn't give off the "let's just remaster this for iPods" crunch that so many classic albums have succumb to (see Pink Floyd or the Doors). For audiophiles salivating at the chance to grab this pressing, I suggest waiting for the 180-gram black edition hitting record stores in October.
As Claudio said live before the band broke into the last 3 songs of the album (paraphrasing), "This album really showcased where we were developing as a band. What was to become. And honestly, I think it still holds up." If the Wiltern box office's "SOLD OUT" sign is indication, this album seems to be holding up just fine.
Reasons To See This Tour (Even if you saw previous Neverender)
*First time the album has been performed live beginning to end with original drummer Josh Eppard
*The band has made some fun additions to the tracks
*No fans shouting what they want to hear…. it's pretty obvious what will be played!
Words by Andy Mesecher
Photos by Patrick Cooley