Coheed and Cambria aren’t messing around. Barely a week after they dropped their new album The Unheavenly Creatures (read our review here), they’ve already hit the road in support of the album. Last week they hit the Roundhouse in Camden with support from instrumental math rockers CHON.
Opening proceedings were CHON . Their jazzy brand of math rock is an astonishing display of musicianship as they ploughed through song after song. They weren’t the most talkative band, mainly letting the music do the talking for them, and they were warmly received for their efforts. However, they failed to really engage the crowd on this occasion, with their style perhaps not suited to the audience, who in general prefer the more bombastic approach of tonight’s headliners.
Aside from that, it’s hard to criticise their performance itself. The sound engineers allowed each instrument room to breathe as the guitarists showed off their technical prowess, and CHON were relentless with the amount of material performed. But it simply paled in comparison to what was to follow.
After a short break, and a bit of exposition from the PA system, Coheed and Cambria  burst into action with “The Dark Sentencer”, the opening track from their new album The Unheavenly Creatures. Although this tour was in support of the new album, the setlist itself covered tracks from across their discography (with the exception of their Afterman albums), only really playing the singles from The Unheavenly Creatures so far.
Like CHON before them, Claudio Sanchez and co were relentless, powering through their set without too much chit-chat in between, however they were able to engage the crowd a lot more with the audience singing along to every note played. It was certainly an unusual sight seeing Claudio perform without his guitar for the new tracks, though, with a member of their entourage coming on stage to fill on during those moments, but it seemed to make him even more energetic as he bounced around the stage. Drummer Josh Eppard was on top form once again, as were Travis Stever and Zach Cooper, and the sonic chemistry between these four is almost unmatched in the live circuit. By the time they hit “Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)”, everyone was bouncing, and the crowd all shouting “CALL YOUR MOTHER!” during “The Gutter” is one of those hilariously fantastic moments that only a band like Coheed and Cambria could get away with. The biggest moment, of course, came in the encore when the band closed the show with a rendition of their classic “Welcome Home”.
It is something of a shame that Coheed and Cambria couldn’t play more material from the new album, but we still got a good setlist covering most of their career. Though with such a deep back catalogue as Coheed’s, that’s why we occasionally have the Neverender Tours to play albums in full, and ensure every track gets is moment on stage. So, eventually, we’ll be seeing all tracks from The Unheavenly Creatures get played. Let’s hope they come back to the UK sooner rather than later so we can find out.