PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Reviews

Coheed and Cambria + Circa Survive: 27 April 2010 - Houston

Coheed and Cambria's Year of the Black Rainbow tour stop in Houston featured a wide-ranging setlist, a strong performance, and an overrated opening band.

Circa Survive

Coheed and Cambria + Circa Survive

City: Houston
Venue: Warehouse Live
Date: 2010-04-27

I walked into Warehouse Live to find the club packed on a Tuesday night. Coheed and Cambria brought out the fans in the middle of the week. Second opener Circa Survive had just started their set, and their fans were out in force as well. This segment of the crowd sang along enthusiastically with all of their favorites and even chanted "Circa! Circa! Circa!" at one point. I tried to get into it, but couldn't quite manage. The band plays technically proficient, hard-hitting music with a decent amount of variety between the songs. But it's frontman Anthony Green that's the band's major problem. His high-pitched emo-style singing should be one of Circa Survive's main hooks, but he was consistently off-pitch throughout the entire set. Every time Green tried to hit a high note, it was dreadfully out of tune. But the kids either didn't notice or didn't care. I know that Green has a considerable following, so maybe he sounds better on studio recordings.

Either Coheed and Cambria use better equipment than most bands or Warehouse Live has done something subtle but effective to their sound system. Usually the sound at this venue is muddy and the vocals tend to get buried, but everything from Circa Survive and Coheed came through loud and clear. Coheed and Cambria opened their 90-minute set the same way their new album Year of the Black Rainbow starts; the ambient introduction of "One" followed by the pummeling "The Broken." The crowd sang along with every word of every song during the set, despite the new album being only two weeks old. In contrast to Circa Survive, frontman/guitarist Claudio Sanchez's voice was in great shape, and his usual mop of giant curly hair swirled around him all night. "Here We Are Juggernaut", one of Black Rainbow's strongest songs, was equally powerful live. But the beginning of the set was just a warm-up for the crowd until the band dipped into their back catalog. "Al the Killer" whipped them up into a frenzy while "Everything Evil" was a sing-along highlight of the night. "Evil" never seems to leave the band's set, but it's still a bit amazing how the audience sings along with every knotty, difficult turn of phrase in the song, which doesn't even have a hook until the very end.

A couple more tracks from the new album were followed by another of the band's best songs, "Three Evils." This one hasn't been in the setlist on a regular tour since 2005, so it was great to see it performed again. Next up was the new ballad "Pearl of the Stars", a good song that was well-placed in the set, giving the band and crowd a bit of a break. After this was the surprise appearance of "Time Consumer" and an intense performance of "No World for Tomorrow." The band brought it home with the highly technical "Guns of Summer", an excellent showcase for drummer Chris Pennie. Predictably, they closed with "A Favor House Atlantic" and "In Keeping Secrets of the Silent Earth: 3." The former inspired another huge sing-along, and the latter is the perfect closer, which is why the band almost always closes with it.

Despite being only a week into the tour, Coheed and Cambria didn't sound like they were out of playing shape in the slightest. Pennie's drum theatrics mesh nicely with Sanchez and Travis Stever's guitar heroics, while bassist Mic Todd stands stoically at stage left. Todd, though, always comes out looking great because he's about the only band member that will talk to the crowd during the show. As the band left the stage after "In Keeping Secrets", the audience dutifully cheered until someone started the Houston staple chant, "One more song! One more song!" This quickly morphed into cheers for a dozen different numbers and chants of "Coheed! Coheed!" The band returned with an encore featuring Black Rainbow's other ballad, "Far", which lost a bit of its unique sound in the live show. The chunky riff of "Welcome Home" came next, and I was sure that the concert would finish up with the usual endless-jam performance of "The Final Cut" or its spiritual successor, Year of the Black Rainbow's title track. Instead, the band pulled out a rarity, the complex prog-rock epic "21:13." Having this song finish the show left me, at least, with a much better feeling overall than having to sit through (or bail on) an awkward, forced jam session.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.