By Mike Shomaker, DC Music Live
The word “epic” is wildly overused these days. Take for example, common banter amongst teenagers. “Man, these chili cheese fries are epic!” Or, “can we watch Family Guy on your iPhone during biology? That would be epic!” How about, “those cat videos on YouTube are epic!” With that disclaimer, there is no other way to appropriately describe a Coheed and Cambria show other than epic. The four-piece from Nyack, NY blew the doors off the 9:30 Club this week, twice, in epic fashion.
Since the return of drummer Josh Eppard at the end of 2011, the creativity has seemed to flow undisrupted in a manner reminiscent of the band’s Good Apollo days. In October, the first installment of the two-part concept album, Afterman: Ascension released to overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Early in the set on Tuesday night, a very humble Sanchez innocuously asked, “so what do you guys think of the new double record? Do you like it alright?” Without hesitation, the tiny 9:30 Club exploded with whoops and wild applause. A reassuring smile crossed Sanchez’s face.
Monday and Tuesday’s set lists contained several new songs from Ascension as well as the second installment, Descension, which officially released Tuesday. From Descension, “Dark Side of Me,” for which a video just released Wednesday, already seems to be a campfire sing-a-long. Similarly, “Iron Fists” is less edgy, more singsong and served as a nice respite during the middle of an otherwise raucous set. Hard hitters, “Sentry the Defiant,” which was originally released acoustically and “The Hard Sell” dole out the punches you’d expect from a Coheed record.
Both shows yielded timeless favorites such as, “A Favor House Atlantic” and “The Crowing,” off In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. Chants rose from an uncontrollable mosh pit during the 8-plus minute, “In Keep Secrets of Silent Earth: 3,” a cultish overture that epitomized the band in its early years. The classically inspired, “Welcome Home” has managed the closing slot for several tours now. Sanchez with his trademark double neck white Gibson and lead guitarist, Travis Stevers traded shredding sessions while the crowd went ballistic. New bassist Zach Moore seems to fit the mold perfectly, rounding out the rhythm section nicely with Eppard, who is well, Eppard: wildly entertaining to watch and one of the best drummers in the business. In typical fashion, the magnetizing light show and eclectic stage design emphasized the conception of The Amory Wars, the science fiction saga Sanchez has been developing since the first album, Second Stage Turbine Blade back in 2002.
Following its release, Descension reached #1 on the iTunes Alt Chart and Top 10 for two straight days on the main chart—a first time for Coheed. The band’s successes are evident in their ability to continuously produce thoughtful, inspiring and catchy music, not to mention their live show, which everyone should experience at least once.