Thursday, December 6, 2007

Concert review: Coheed and Cambria

Coheed and Cambria, Clutch, and Fall of Troy
The Tabernacle

Ah, Tabernacle. Where once the peal of church bells rang out into the grimy Atlanta night, choirs lauded the love of God, and congregations…er, congregated to press their otherworldly cases. I wonder if, even then, the venue had deteriorated into a veritable cesspool of limited parking and horrible area road planning?

No matter; the place is now one of the city’s most celebrated music venues, usually playing host to the variety of metal and rock tours that fall somewhere in between the commercial success of He is Legend (the Masquerade) and U2 (the Fox). Yes, the Tabernacle has long been a place of welcome for genre stalwarts, as well as talented upstarts that may or may not soon die a slow, slow marketing death from overexposure.

Sci-fi progressive dork-rockers (and I say that with all the fanboy love in my heart) Coheed and Cambria stopped off this past Tuesday in support of the recently released No World For Tomorrow, with Southern metal legends Clutch directly in tow, which I guess means that Fall of Troy brought up the precious little dented red caboose at the end.

I somehow managed to find a parking space and haul ass inside just as Fall of Troy was kicking off their set. Honestly, I had never listened to these guys before, so I asked my friend Jake when I got there “So, what do they sound like?” Without hesitating for a moment, he replied: “Dude, like Coheed in high school.” Jake should be a music writer; I couldn’t come up with a more apt description if I tried (which I didn’t), though Thomas Erak is significantly more tap-happy than Claudio ever thought about being. These dudes listen to a LOT of Aphex Twin. Great set, but they got the loudest pop when they hyped up the next two bands. Meh, so it goes.

Clutch absolutely murdered the room, playing with the bourbon-fueled swagger of a band that has nothing left to prove, and the jolting ferocity of one that has everything to prove. Over one hour of booze-addled, Skynrd-on-quaaludes brilliance. During the set, some tweener in front of me wearing a 30 Seconds to Mars hoodie remarked “What the hell am I listening to?” Before he was able to get his clove cigarette out of the pack, I grabbed him by the throat and shook him like an Etch-A-Sketch, salivating and shouting “GREATNESS, YOU FOOL, GREATNESS!!!” I may have some demons.

As surely as I sit here in my pajamas at 10:30 in the morning, Coheed and Cambria are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Ever. Eschewing their expected openers “In Keeping Secrets of the Silent Earth,” or “Welcome Home,” Claudio (whose hair has reached epic proportions in its own right) and company instead came thundering out of the gates with “No World for Tomorrow,” jumpstarting a monstrous set that spanned all four albums and hitting nearly every fan favorite. The single ovations for songs like “A Favor House Atlantic,” and “Ten Speed of God’s Blood and Burial” rivaled the reactions that most bands get for their entire set. The screaming and applause for “Everything Evil” alone had to register at least a 6.5 on the Richter.

My last words? “Bury me with my photo pass.”

Note: Flash photography wasn’t permitted at this show, though I was able to squeeze off a few good shots of Fall of Troy. If you want to know what the rest of my pictures would have looked like without the flash, find some stock photos and then shake your head from side to side until you can feel your brain banging against your skull.

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