Coheed and Cambria/Dinosaur Pile Up – Camden, Koko – 19 June 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Phil Cooper   
Sunday, 25 June 2017 04:00

‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV Volume One, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness’, was the third album from Coheed and Cambria released back in 2005. As an album, it is widely considered as bands largest success and gained wide critical acclaim following the release of the singles: ‘Welcome Home’, ‘The Suffering’ and Ten Speed (of God’s Blood & Burial)’. Now, 12 years later, it is being toured in its entirety as the latest instalment of the ‘Neverender’ tours. The previous two being ‘Second Stage Turbine Blade’ and ‘In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3’. The Neverender presents a host of potential challenges and pitfalls to the band as the fans have listened to each album from start to finish countless times and know every chord and word, to present a show made up completely of ‘GAIBSIV’, Coheed certainly have their work cut out.


Coheed Cambria poster


What’s immediately apparent from entering the Koko come doors open, is that this is a very well-designed venue with easy access points and well-arranged PA system. There is a very definite air of excitement amongst the crowd leading to an atmosphere building up within the walls of the Koko. The oppressive heat of the day is heightened as the crowd files in and takes up position and the bars have their work cut providing liquid coolant. Dinosaur Pile Up take the stage at roughly eight o’clock and their half hour set works well to get the crowd ready for what’s to come. Throughout their set it’s clear to hear and see that Dinosaur Pile Up take their main source of inspiration from the glory days of grunge. Taking cues from the likes of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins with their song structures, vocal delivery and riff stylings, there’s even the obligatory shoe-gazing moments. Dinosaur… are a three-piece made up singer/guitarist Matt Bigland, Mike Sheils (drums) and Jim Cratchley (bass), they present a tight focused sound full of catchy riffs and big rhythms that quickly wins the crowd over and leads to a surge toward the front.


Nothing quite beats that moment when you’re excited to see a band, the support has finished up and the stage crew have been on to get the headline gear ready. It’s that buzz from the crowd as the time approaches and the houselights drop, tonight was no different. As soon as the lighting changed the low murmuring of conversation turned into a throaty roar just as the string segment of ‘Keeping the Blade’ kicked in. It was immediately clear that the crowd was here to sing along with every minute of this gig and then the cheer went up as Claudio took the stage. The acoustic number ‘Always & Never’, the first vocal track on ‘GAIBSIV’ began and the crowd were in fine voice. Claudio didn’t even need to ask for the crowd to join in, all he needed to do was step back from the mic and without missing a beat the crowd were there and judging by the ear to ear grin on his face it was obvious that he was planning to enjoy the night.


Due to the nature of the tour there was never going to be any surprises with the set-list. Coheed had set out to play possibly their best-known album in full and doubtless all the fans present had been listening to said album prior to the gig. It was never a doubt that people would like the songs, it was however interesting to observe the musical arrangements made so that every track would work in a live setting. The obvious numbers of ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Ten Speed…’ weren’t going to be an issue having been gig staples since their release. Similarly, ‘The Suffering’ has had many run outs on the live schedule; the interest lay in tracks like ‘The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court’ and the four tracks that make up the final parts of the album (The Willing Well I-IV), all have extensive layering not to mention a variety of time signatures and these were the ones that could have had potential to go astray. However, there was no slip ups and each track blended seamlessly into the next providing the overall grand sound scape that makes up ‘GAIBSIV’.


Coheed Koko 2


Throughout the gig Coheed nailed every point of the album from the soaring vocals to the powerful Zeppelin like riffs. Josh Eppard pounded the drums and Zach Cooper was all calm and composure with some busy bass line work, together they provided an excellent rhythm section that locked down all the time signatures and grooves with apparent ease. Travis Stever and Claudio Sanchez each took their turns with the guitar solo work and riff duties and then traded off each other with the culmination of ‘The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut’. Claudio added to the spectacle of the gig by covering the stage with acrobatics and taking the double-necked SG and soloing behind his head during ‘Welcome Home’.


Over the course of the set there was no verbal communication from the band to the audience until the encore. This could have had the potential to come across as putting up too much distance between themselves and crowd, however the expressions on their faces and the power they put in showed that they cared about the performance and about putting on the best show for the audience. Indeed, the crowd were on fine form and certainly didn’t feel any disconnection from the band. In many ways, the lack of on stage banter enabled the music to flow better, which when it is a full album works very well. It also means there is more time for more music which is never a bad thing!


The encore comprised three tracks, ‘The Island’ taken from the latest album ‘The Color Before the Sun’, ‘Delirium Trigger’ from ‘Second Stage Turbine Blade’ and the title track of ‘In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3’. The first two tracks were met with the same consistent high approval as the bulk of the gig with the crowd continuing to sing along at full voice. However, when the final track kicked in the level of movement upped a gear and the singing grew in volume. This has always been a crowd favourite and it was an excellent way to end the night.


The 18th of June was meant to be the final night of this tour, however due to phenomenal demand they added the extra date. It was clear from start to finish just how many Coheed and Cambria fans there are and how devoted they are to the music. That’s partly the joy of the ‘Neverender’ tour: the fans that are there aren’t necessarily there for the big numbers; they want to hear every minute of their favourite album from their favourite band and become one among the fence…


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