Openers Touché Amoré get a reception normally unheard of for an opening act but having formed in 2007 with 8 full-length releases so far, it’s not surprising they are received well. Vocalist Jeremy Bolm is in great form with his vocals on point. He and the band do a great job of whipping the crowd up, even inspiring a few singalongs, ready for the first of the co-headliners, Thrice.
The last time Thrice graced our shores was pre-pandemic and it’s clear that the fans are eager to let off steam. Vocalist Dustin Kensrue showcases an impressive vocal range, at one point crooning and romantic, the next vicious and angry.
Considering they have been around since 1998 it’s not surprising that the audience is lapping it up. Opening the set with “The Color of the Sky” and “Scavenger” from 2021’s “Horizon/East” album, they flip between new tracks and old favourites such as 2003’s “The Artist in the Ambulance” and then back again, a true mix of top tracks from their so-far 21-year musical career. Set closer “The Earth Will Shake” from 2005’s “Vheissu” album is a worthy finisher full of giant hooks, vocals, and vibes. Coheed and Cambria aside, I’m not usually a prog-rock fan, but I was impressed by Thrice’s set and inspired to check out their back catalogue, and isn’t that what every live band wants from a potential new fan?
Coheed and Cambria are not a band one casually listens to; you are either obsessed or you aren’t, and a live show is where all the obsessed (including myself and my 14-year-old son), come to pay homage to one of the best songwriting teams in Rock music today, Over half the set is comprised of tracks from this year’s “Vaxis II; A Window of the Waking Mind” album, but they are so beautifully crafted they are received by the crowd with just as much excitement as Coheed’s older, well-beloved, tracks.
Opening with the grandiose “The Dark Sentencer”, they proceeded into the more instrumental “Embers of Fire”, which, here, as well as on the album, is a prequel to the track “Beautiful Losers” which blend perfectly together. “Shoulders” follows, then a surprise turn on keyboards from lead vocalist Claudio Sanchez for “A Disappearing Act”. This was the one track I was worried might not translate well into a live show as it’s so different to their usual songwriting style, but I needn’t have worried; a bouncy, synth-filled tune that I and the crowd positively lapped up.
Fan favorite “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3” was up next with the audience performing its customary “Man your own Jackhammer!!” chant which never fails to get the goosebumps rising for me. The pop-punkiness of “The Liars Club” comes next which was a divisive tune when released (too pop for some!) but I think it’s one of the highlights of the set and is certainly the song stuck in my head in the days following the show. “A Favor House Atlantic” and the usual set-closer “Welcome Home” become, essentially, a giant karaoke session, Claudio’s vocals often being overwhelmed by the sound of the crowd.
But you can tell the band are more than happy to let the audience express their Joy. The epic track “Window of The Waking Mind” from this year’s release showcases the band’s conceptual prog roots. The start of the song being completely different to the end, it feels like a track from a musical and is a perfect set closer for this tour. After a brief interlude, the band returned to blast through fan favourite “The Running Free” from the 2007 album “No World for Tomorrow”, faithfully sung back to the band by the audience and is a great way to finish such an eclectic set.
The only negative thing about Coheed and Cambria’s set is its short length, exactly one hour, but with this tour being a co-headlining one with Thrice (who also had exactly an hour) this is also to be expected, but I do wish it had been longer. But overall, this was a joyful and cathartic gig enjoyed by all.
Review and photos by Donna Craddock – Click Click Bang Photography