Sanchez -- the helm of the band and galvanizing force behind the expanding universe of "The Amory Wars" (a heady sci-fi story manifested first in the band's lyrics, before translation to the comic book medium and soon to be brought to the big screen via Mark Wahlberg's production company, Leverage) -- looked skinnier and healthier after having had to reschedule the band's night from a previously cancelled date. Not only did he personally apologize -- "You guys definitely got the shit end of that stick" -- he remarked at how he "enjoyed the shit out of" watching the Rams beat the band's bassist's San Francisco 49ers earlier in the day.
Relative to the show, his voice -- the reason for original postponement being swelling in his throat -- was fully spot-on. The only hiccups occurred early on, as he was taken aback at the fact that at least half the crowd was sing-screaming word-for-word right back at him. Initiates to the live show, the few of them, marveled afterwards that it wasn't an in-studio knob twist originating his signature high-pitch whine.
The set itself might as well have been picked out by any fan in the audience; as the guitars rose with the intro to "No World For Tomorrow," so did everyone's fist. Neither the band, nor the crowd, ever let up. Even a Pop's employee got a slice of the energy, as simply raising his hands to egg on the crowd's encore demands earned him his own namesake chant.
Preceding the headliners, the Dear Hunter earned their cheers the old-fashioned way -- by gradually but effectively assimilating the crowd into their ranks. As the set wore on, the cheers grew louder from the grungy, basement-dwelling mass for the epic narratives that seemed to endlessly churn out of the three guitars' thick reverb. The group resides somewhere between She Wants Revenge (gone ethereal) and Secret Machines (with adherence to a groove). Minimal stage banter and set-to-stun phaser noise effects led the crowd on an uninterrupted, epic venture.
While "Feathers" was sorely missed from Coheed and Cambria's set, there were other highlights: Sanchez raced the seizure-inducing lights with a solo on "Gravemakers & Gunslingers" and his group's jam-band breakdown sounded closer to jazz fusion than anything Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee put on wax. The performance reminded fans exactly why they own an album titled "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness." "Welcome Home," the night's final and most anticipated song, reminded them why they bought that guitar.
Coheed and Cambria set list:
No World for Tomorrow
Gravemakers & Gunslingers
A Favor House Atlantic
Ten Speed (of God's Blood and Burial)
Here We Are Juggernaut
Goodnight, Fair Lady
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Encore (two unknown songs, then...)