Coheed and Cambria’s latest outing, Vaxis – Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures, is a thoroughly enjoyable listen on its own, but seeing the band perform it live puts the album in an entirely different light and elevates it to a new level.
Coheed and Cambria took to the stage and were met with thunderous applause. The band took only a few seconds to ready themselves and take their places before instantly jumping head first into their set and performing the first song from the album, not even greeting the audience beyond a few waves.
In the nature of a concept album, the songs flowed very naturally from one to the next, giving the band only moments to change their instruments before the next number started. It was an almost non-stop musical frenzy from beginning to end.
Despite the fact that the album was only released the week before the gig (aside from a few singles), a large chunk of the audience sang along to the choruses of multiple songs. There was a clear love for the band and a great appreciation for the new album in the crowd.
The pure unfiltered manic energy that went into lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s performance was palpable. Every instant he was not singing or playing his guitar, he was frantically dancing across the stage, head-banging, and generally hyping up the already hyped audience.
During one of the few interludes between songs, and the only one long enough to properly speak to the crowd, Sanchez addressed the audience to talk about the album. He mentioned that, since the founding of the band, they had been interested in achieving a specific sound and that they believed Unheavenly Creatures had come closest to realising that goal, also stating that he personally thought it to be their best album. The sincerity in both his statement and his performance in general was obvious and it was immensely endearing to see how proud the band was of their work. That sincerity and passion is a huge part of the reason that Coheed and Cambria are such a phenomenal band to see live and of why the album worked so well.
Following the end of their set, the band came back for an encore performance of their best known and ever popular song ‘Welcome Home’. Many bands seem reluctant to play their biggest hits from years gone by, whether because they feel they have evolved as artists, or simply because they are sick of constantly being asked to play the same song. Coheed and Cambria, however, seem to love and embrace their entire catalogue, performing this classic with just as much energy and passion as they did the rest of the show.
To summarise their performance, Coheed and Cambria took an already excellent album and raised it to unbelievable new heights. Unheavenly Creatures is an album that was made to be seen live and this showed throughout every second of the performance.
Image: Sven Mandel via Wikimedia Commons