We recently had the opportunity to attend the Chicago date of Coheed and Cambria’s winter headline tour with support bands: Between The Buried And Me and Russian Circles. You can check out the review after the break.
The last time I had seen Coheed and Cambria at an actual venue was a few years back and at Congress Theater with Torche and Circa Survive. Even back then Coheed was touring on No World For Tomorrow and they sold out Congress so I didn’t see why today wouldn’t be any different. I guess I must not have remembered how long the line was all those years ago but I soon found out that it was vastly larger than I had anticipated. It was around the corner, down the street, across the street, around another corner and down two blocks… But the odd part was that I found a parking spot right off the bat, so a lot of people must have hitched a ride on the blue line.
After standing through the tedious line of about 1,000 people or so I was finally in the venue and had to push and shove my way through the 2/3 full crowd to get to the photo pit. Right as I got in the lights dimmed and Russian Circles took the stage. The dark and ambient atmosphere was only lit by two small worm lights that were illuminating their pedal boards. They droned out a few notes then got into their progressive post rock set. In an ominous glow of flood lights and heavy instrumentals, Russian Circles definitely gave Congress a haunting and gigantic tone. Mid way through the set there was a minor technical difficulty of the bassists strap breaking, they took this in stride and continued to play and fixed the issue without anyone even noticing something had happened. They gave a flawless effort and captivated the entire crowd during their entire set.
Things started to become bigger in scale as the night progressed, the stage, the bands, the props and the performances gradually became larger and more intense. Between the Buried and Me had upped the ante with huge LED walls and a fairly decent light show. Obviously a crowd favorite and much more notable throughout the crowd, BTBAM brought the crowd into a huge uproar as they took the stage. Their combination of showmanship and hardcore and melodic sound they drove the crowd wild. Usually Congress is known for only having acoustics and a sound system that works for rave type shows, but from where I was standing, it didn’t sound half bad. I had never seen BTBAM and they had definitely left a mark on me musically, it’s usually a hard sell for me to like a hardcore or metal band, but I was enthralled for the entire set, so I have to give them an A+ overall.
As far as bigger and better goes, Coheed took the cake hands down. Smoke, lazers, huge lights, oddly terrifying manikins in huge tubes and their new logo that was about 20 feet tall and changed colors to accent the stage lights and change the mood each song brought. The set list was composed mostly of new songs from their new releases “The Aftermath: Ascension” and “The Aftermath: Descension” with hits off of In Keeping Secrets and Good Apollo like Welcome home (final song of the night) and The Crowing. When Claudio took the stage and played he seemed, in my eyes, to be 30 feet tall because of his confidence, skill and the fact that he’s been one of my idols since I was 14. With new bassist Zach Cooper, Coheed sounded superb and even though his style isn’t as prominent as former bassist Michael Todd, Cooper fit in well and I was pleasantly surprised with his overall performance. IT was awesome to finally see Josh Eppard back playing drums, his presence and overall outstanding talent really gave Coheed that cohesiveness they had before all the trouble with band mates leaving because of personal issues. The new songs were definitely some of the best they’ve put out in years and I was completely happy with their entire set. It was the epitome of great stage show and brilliant playing ability. The only thing I wish was different about the entire night was that it wasn’t at Congress and was at a venue with better sound. Other than that, the night was a complete success and a great show overall.
Information about the review…
Tour: Coheed and Cambria Winter Headline Tour
Bands: Coheed and Cambria, Between The Buried and Me, Russian Circles
Reviewer: Jim Vondruska
Date: February 9, 2013
Venue: Congress Theater in Chicago, IL
Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.