I’ve read about Coheed and Cambria. I’ve talked to Travis Stever of Coheed and Cambria. I’ve written about Coheed and Cambria. After all of that, there was nothing else for me to do but see Coheed and Cambria live as they toured in support of their latest album, Year of the Black Rainbow.
I arrived at the Knitting Factory 30 minutes before the show started last night to find the venue surprisingly packed. The line to purchase tickets was out the door, and while there was a little room on the floor, the 21 sections were mostly filled.
As I noticed several people wearing shirts from past Coheed and Cambria tours (isn’t that a concert no-no?), Seattle-based band Wild Orchid Children took the stage. Their instruments and mic stands were decked out in American flags and all seven members were wearing the band’s own “I’m a Wild Orchid Child” t-shirts. All I could think was, “Well, this should be interesting.”
In retrospect, I don’t think anyone in the audience was quite ready for the set they put on.
WOC began with a song that started as the perfect soundtrack to an intergalactic space trip, complete with bleeps, bloops and whooshes, then morphed into a nearly ten-minute jam session, featuring a bongo, tambourine, shakers and other forms of hand percussion, all led by Kirk Huffman, who sounds like all three of the Beastie Boys rolled into one.
Though they had 40 minutes, WOC only played six songs. No matter how they started, each song turned into multiple-minute grooves, though no one was complaining.
During their set, Huffman announced that they were releasing their new CD on Equal Vision Records on Nov. 9th, but that they had it for sale so we could “cop it early.”
After announcing their last song, a member of the crowd yelled “You guys kick ass!” The rest of us couldn’t help but agree.
Following a brief intermission filled with chants of “Coheed! Coheed!,” beloved alt-prog rockers Coheed and Cambria took the stage, immediately launching into “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3,” which was followed by “The Camper Velourium I: Faint of Hearts,” and “Here We Are Juggernaut.”
It took six songs before anyone in the band actually talked to the audience ( “You guys having a good time so far? Awesome!”). This was quickly explained by bassist Mic Todd, however: “We’re not particularly talkative but we appreciate you all coming out.”
Songs like “Three Evils (Embodied In Love and Shadow)” and crowd favorite “A Favor House Atlantic” followed, each featuring guest vocals from the entire audience.
The band left the stage after playing “No World For Tomorrow,” though after more “Coheed! Coheed!” lead singer Claudio Sanchez returned with an acoustic guitar and played “Wake Up” for screaming fans.