Coheed and Cambria stellar as ever on ‘Afterman’ tour

by Kevin Smead

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Dustin Michelson, Senior Staff Photographer

Coheed and Cambria is one of those bands that undoubtedly evolved throughout its career, while somehow remaining exactly the same. At Monday night’s show at San Diego’s House of Blues, this paradox was on display in full effect.

The night opened with a strong performance by Russian Circles, followed shortly after by Between the Buried and Me. Now, for those who’ve never heard BTBAM, it’s absolutely a band worth checking out. The band is able to switch genres from technical metalcore to rocking ‘80s steez, complete with wailing guitars and clean vocals, both placed measure to measure in the same song. If nothing else, BTBAM’s worth seeing just for its technical prowess, which is unmatched. Singer Tommy Rogers switches between guttural screams and traditional clean vocals in an instant, never missing a note. Also, lead guit

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Dustin Michelson, Senior Staff Photographer

arist Paul Waggoner sweeps better than a janitor at a high school, his fingers flying as if typing on a keyboard. Coupled with its rad LED backdrop, which changed from raining white lights to rainbow strobes based on the song, the BTBAM set was nearly as good as Coheed’s.

Nearly.

There’s something to be said about a band that truly demands the audience’s attention on stage, and as soon as the lights went dark, Coheed and Cambria had everyone hooked. The set opened with “Pretelethal,” the intro to the band’s latest album, “The Afterman: Descension,” when the guitarist and singer Claudio Sanchez played a ukulele while the band filled in the background. The band then came at the audience with full force, following up with the next track on the album, “Key En

tity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant.”

Coheed played for nearly two hours, playing tracks from its entire catalogue. This brings me back to my opening statement. While you can track Coheed’s progression pretty easily, the songs still sounded cohesive and the set didn’t feel disjointed whatsoever. Coheed and Cambria’s style is so well defined the band is able to weave tracks together without any jarring effect. The set sounded sort of like variations on a theme, which made for a strong overall experience. And man, the band played a lot of songs.

Highlights of the show included the always excellent “A

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Dustin Michelson, Senior Staff Photographer

Favor House Atlantic,” “The Afterman,” which is the title track from the band’s latest double albums, the progressive-rock masterwork “The Crowing” and tons more.

The band ended its set with an extended version of the already 8 minute 12 second title track off the band’s second album, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3.” Before the guys could get off stage, the crowd was clamoring for more. Thankfully, an encore was inevitable and the band came back out and played the softer, semi-acoustic “Wake Up” and then finished strong with the ever-popular (and unbelievably awesome) “Welcome Home.”

While there was some weird mixing going on in the venue (which I may attribute to where I was standing), the show was a riotous success. I highly recommend checking out Coheed and Cambria next time the band comes to town. It’s guaranteed to be a killer experience you won’t soon forget.