April 18, 2006
Hello Apollo. Where Should I Begin?
November 5th, 2005: 7 p.m. The Sonar Lounge, Baltimore.
The stage crackled with streaks of lightning splintering through a thick red fog. The crowd was jam-packed in the low-ceilinged warehouse, fixated, waiting for that first thundering chord, waiting for Coheed & Cambria to take the stage.
The band is currently touring in support of Good Apollo Im Burning Star IV, Volume 1: Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, their latest release on Equal Vision/Columbia records.
The whole crowd was fired up, buzzing with excitement. A chant of Coheed, Coheed was taken up and joined by preppies and punks, prepubescents and parents. The sheer diversity of the bands fanbase was staggering.
Star Wars! someone screamed, inciting a burst of laughter from nerds-in-the-know; Co & Ca is not your typical band. The music is actually a soundtrack to a sci-fi adventure that singer Claudio Sanchez has created revolving around Coheed and Cambria, the two main characters of his story. Sanchez has joked on occasion that the only groupies that the band gets are kids wanting to chat about movies and comic books.
The sweeping strings of Co & Cas theme, Keeping the Blade, filled the Sonar Lounge, met with a roar of cheers. Sanchez finally emerged alone, wielding his double-bladed Gibson SG, finger picking the opening to Good Apollos ominous second track, Always & Never. Lighters were raised and the concert became a sing-along. Everyone around knew the words, and shouted them gleefully at the wooly-headed Sanchez.
The rest of the band slowly eked out on stage, taking up their instruments and slamming immediately into the Zeppelin-esque Welcome Home, followed by Ten Speed (Of Gods Blood & Burial), the only song, to my knowledge, about a demon bicycle.
They cycled through the crowd favorites from all three releases, including Devil in Jersey City, A Favor House Atlantic, and Blood Red Summer, a track reprised briefly on the new album amid The Willing Well: Apollo II: The Telling Truth.
Midway through the set, an elated male fan screamed, I love you at Sanchez while the frontman cooed Good Apollos only ballad, Wake Up.
Theres nothing like hearing a guy scream I love you on stage, said Sanchez afterwards. But man, I dont swing that way.
Co & Cas musicianship is apparent; bassist Mike Todd and drummer Josh Eppard snapped every song to grid with taut precision. Watching Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever trade licks on Welcome Home took the crowd back a few decades, where guitar solos were a staple of rock music.
Co & Ca fled the stage after Everything Evil, only to retake the stage amid cries of Encore! The band answered the call with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, their previous albums title track, and finished with The Final Cut, the solo-heavy closer from Good Apollo.
Mewithoutyou, Dredg, and The Blood Brothers opened for Co & Ca, All three openers shined, especially the ethereal Dredg; they will be doing an interview sometime in the near future with TBL.
If you havent heard Co & Ca yet, check out their homepage for streaming music videos or their myspace account to hear a couple tracks from the new album.
Check out some photos from the show, taken by Erin Miller, design editor at TBL.