Adelaide venue, The Gov smelt like beer and smoke as I walked in. The open room was dimly lit, providing an intimate atmosphere in preparation for the night’s main act: Coheed and Cambria.
The audience varied in ages, from mid-twenties to early-forties, many of which would have been dedicated fans of the band during their 20 years together. There was a collection of (very) big hair – possibly influenced by lead singer Claudio’s do – old band t-shirts and dark lipstick.
To get the crowd warmed up, Melbourne group Closure in Moscow pretty much blew our eardrums out of our heads. The band was a hot mess (in a good way) of Kurt Cobain hair, but the music blaring was nothing like the Nirvana-style, instead heavier with consistent guitar riffs and drum patterns. Lead singer, Christopher, had eyes you could delve into right from the back of the room. This guy was a performer, like damn. Honestly, the energy of Freddie Mercury mixed with the Vogue arms of Madonna; I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
Next on, was the American group everyone came to see: Coheed and Cambria. The first thing I saw, of course, was that insane hair, followed by the tamer presentation of the other members. The four-piece group started off melodically and slow, eventually progressing to a heavy drum rhythm and guitar solos. Claudio closed his eyes during a good part of the music, feeling the crowd’s emotions rather than watching them. Phones were recording and hands were thrusting, some with pointed fingers and others with clenched fists.
The songs flowed one after the other with very little breaks, taking the theme of their older concept albums and carrying a story that all the fans knew the plot to. The mosh intensified and not one soul showed any sign of exhaustion; you wouldn’t think it was a Wednesday. There was such an original blend of music and lyrics that were so personal yet so relatable, showcasing Claudio as a poet as well as a songwriter.
The last song ‘Atlas’, written for Claudio’s son, hushed the environment and left fans somewhat content. As expected, the audience almost demanded the band back on stage, which they obediently did so. For the very last song (for real, this time), ‘Welcome Home’, Claudio broke out his double-neck guitar and absolutely slayed the stage. What an end to the night!
I left the pub feeling I could conquer the world, only to get in my car and listen to the whole album all over again on the drive home.
Photos: Matthias Pfeil