Friday, March 4, 2016

Coheed and Cambria at the Theater at Madison Square Garden

Claudio Sanchez
While living in suburban Nyack, New York, Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever transitioned together through several short-lived local bands including Toxic Parents, Beautiful Loser, and Shab├╝tie. All the while, Sanchez was conceiving a series of science fiction graphic novels called The Bag.On.Line Adventures, later renamed The Amory Wars. In 1998, the musicians renamed their band Coheed and Cambria after two of the comics' protagonists, and adopted the comics' storyline as a theme that would unify their future albums. Coheed and Cambria's eighth album, The Color Before the Sun, released on October 16, 2015, is the band's eighth album and first album not connected to the Amory Wars. The progressive rock band presently consists of Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Stever (guitar, backing vocals), Josh Eppard (drums, keyboards), and Zach Cooper (bass).

Headlining at the Theater at Madison Square Garden tonight, Coheed and Cambria's progressive rock was classy and artful, incorporating elements of pop, heavy metal, and post-hardcore. This in itself was remarkable, in that the band threaded the various sounds seamlessly, without stretching to extremes and risking a loss of identity. Whether Sanchez and Stever played a soft acoustic song and jelling their vocals for light harmonies, or whether the four piece powered into wall-shaking power rock, Sanchez's smooth singing and Stever's innovative guitar work gave each song both shine and depth. It was not necessary to follow the fantasy-laden storyline of the older songs to recognize that their performance was unique and stunning; the freedom granted by the scattered inclusion of seven new non-conceptual songs distracted from the sequence of the sci-fi adventure anyway. The concert demonstrated that Coheed and Cambria is at the start of a new adventure, and is bringing along the finely-minted excellence of its past.

Visit Coheed and Cambria at