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CMW 2013, Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music

CMW 2013: Coheed and Cambria @ Sound Academy

By: Adam Harrison

Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. (Photo: Adam Harrison/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. (Photo: Adam Harrison/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Canadian Music Week took a fantasy fiction twist on Thursday night when Coheed and Cambria brought The Afterman: Descension to Toronto’s Sound Academy. The aforementioned album follows 2012’s The Afterman: Ascension, which follows The Armory Wars, a concept that is evident in much of Coheed and Cambria’s work, and is also an ongoing series of comic books created by lead singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez.

A Place to Bury Strangers, a three-piece band from Brooklyn opened the evening. They play within a genre known as noise rock… and that’s exactly what it was. Most of their songs consisted of ear-piercing feedback that had some audience members covering their ears for protection. They played in darkness as singer/guitarist, Oliver Ackermann frequently launched his body and guitar around the stage. At one point Ackermann ripped several of his guitar strings from the neck and wildly swung the axe around. What is definitely an acquired taste left most of the crowd puzzled as to what they had just witnessed.

Coheed and Cambria received a warm welcome as they began their set. Their two most recent segments of The Amory Wars, the Afterman series, were the main focus of the 75-minute set, which proved to rejuvenate the band on this tour.

The set opened with the mystifying  track from Descencion, “Pretelethal,” which featured Sanchez on a ukulele. This tranquil setting didn’t last long as the four-piece from New York blasted into “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant” which ignited a mosh pit. They went on to play four of the five “Key Entity Extractions,” all proving to be set highlights. During “Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher,” it was nearly impossible not throw your fist up, bang your head and chant along to the chorus of “Hang your secrets, hang em’ up, hang em’ up now.” Other set highlights included old goodies such as “A Favor House Atlantic,” “No World for Tomorrow” and “Here We Are Juggernaut.” However they strayed away from their pop radio hits from the Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV series such as “Feathers” and “The Running Free,” redefining their progressive fantasy rock roots – and it’s working.

Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers. (Photo: Adam Harrison/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers. (Photo: Adam Harrison/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

The star of the show is always Sanchez, who never fails to grab your attention with his shrieking high-pitched voice, energetic stomp-around dance moves and insanely bushy hair – an Afro that would make even Quest Love proud.  His vocal work was spot on and he ripped on the guitar like a madman. To say he’s a seriously talented and creative individual is an understatement.

The encore included “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute,” the most epic of the “Key Entity Extraction” pieces and closing the evening with the Guitar Hero classic and Coheed and Cambria’s claim to fame “Welcome Home.” Leaving everyone in a state of awe.

Coheed and Cambria have been nothing short of impressive over the last year with the creation of The Afterman series and they proved on Thursday night that The Amory Wars are just beginning.


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