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In concert: Coheed and Cambria at 9:30 club

coheed cambriaCoheed and Cambria: big hair and bigger ideas. (All photos by Brandon Wu/FTWP)

By Dave McKenna

You could cut the pretension with a knife at Coheed and Cambria's Thursday appearance at the 930 Club, the first of two sold out shows. The New York prog rockers opened with "The Broken," off the latest disc, "Year of the Black Rainbow." Sample verbiage: "Your touch seethes of emptiness/Callous tips against the brush/The world's now breaking off to crust." The record has been pushed on C&C's hardcore fans as a "prequel" to the band's previous albums, all linked to a fantastical comic book series called "The Amory Wars," full of intergalactical devastation and stuff.

coheed cambria

Then again, prog without pretense ain't prog. (Emerson Lake and Palmer's irony-free LP "Tarkus," remember, was a concept record all about a mechanical armadillo.) And, in a live setting, Coheed and Cambria's grandiloquence is endearing. "The Broken," for example, found lead singer/lead guitarist Claudio Sanchez hitting notes up in the heavens and leading his quintet and the crowd in a soccer-type chant mid-song. The mix recalled Black Sabbath during its megabombastic Ronnie James Dio era.

Sanchez, whose hairdo would make a good mop, is a fabulous front man. His dramatic solos and stage hops also fired up the fans during "A Favor House Atlantic" and "In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3," both 2003 opuses that often sounded like Rush homages, with drummer Chris Pennie on the beat and everywhere else and lyrics that only a CIA cryptanalyst or college-age C&C fan could decipher. On the latter, the house filled with pumped fists and unified shouts of "Man your battle stations!" What that meant wasn't obvious or important. It's only rock and roll.

coheed cambria

coheed cambria

coheed cambria

coheed cambria

By David Malitz  |  May 28, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Coheed and Cambria  
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