31. October 2012, Grünspan, Hamburg, Germany
Neither a hurricane nor diverse respiratory tract infections could stop the guys of Coheed and Cambria to, once again, set their sails for Europe. Tonight´s gig in the cosy Grünspan close to the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg is the first of a 14-day Euro-tour. What makes this gig special is that besides the usual electro set there´s also an acoustic one, which probably most concert goers, including the reviewer, are most excited to see and hear.
But first, Fighting With Wire, who already make music together for almost 10 years, enter the stage. And just in case, one doesn´t notice it right away, the guys don´t miss out any opportunity to point out their best feature: apparently, we are just watching three especially sexy Irishmen who like to have a drink now and then. Be that as it may, in the end, only the music counts and with Fighting With Wire it sounds very familiar. A little bit of Nirvana Grunge here and a little bit of Emo there – the trio does have a very good energy on stage and when they finish their set, they receive a generous amount of applause but sometimes sexiness is not enough.
Two years ago, in an interview with former Coheed drummer Chris Pennie, I wished for an acoustic gig in Europe. Back then, he said that the band needed to talk about that and, lo and behold, my will has been done (would be cool if that wishing business would always work out that easily). A 20-minute acoustic set is scheduled and it begins with a man and his electro-free guitar. The first notes sound but somehow they are not exactly the right ones (quote: I knew that I would fuck it up!). But that´s really no big deal, the crowd is happy as a clam and so is Claudio Sanchez, the band´s mastermind. One immediately notices that this is what he enjoys doing as many of Coheed´s songs are written at home on an acoustic guitar.
Next up is a Coheed classic, Favor House Atlantic, together with the whole band, in a more relaxed version. The crowd goes ballistic and shouts at the top of their lungs, “Good Eye, Sniper, I shoot and you run”. Thunderous applause follows that can be heard several times throughout the evening. Generally, compared to the support gig for the Deftones two years ago in Cologne, it´s almost as if there´s a totally different band playing tonight (alright, half of the band has indeed been replaced) but there´s talking, laughing and joking around. Also among the crowd, one senses nothing but wild enthusiasm. Tonight, it was plain sailing for Coheed and Cambria. With the third acoustic song, guitarist Travis Stever can enjoy his brief moment in the spotlight. He sings a song containing the line “The World is not too small for us” and is accompanied by Claudio´s mouth organ. Mother Superior and Wake Up (with the latter, Claudio is again alone onstage), the acoustic set is concluded. A short break to prepare the mind for the upcoming electro set follows.
Then it´s time to let one´s hair loose. There´s the same kind of fun as before, only this time it´s rocking fun. The crowd dances, shouts along and puts their fists up in the air to songs like The Suffering, Ten Speed and Blood Red Summer, with which the whole stage is bathed in red light, fittingly. Another highlight of the show is the Black Sabbath cover Heaven And Hell, a tribute to the legendary Dio who passed away two years ago. In Keeping Secrets is then the final song of the main set and also with this song, the crowd demonstrates their vocal talents.
For the encore, the guys report back with an electro version of Favor House Atlantic. And Welcome Home, one of the more bombastic songs of the band (by the way, the song is also on the soundtrack of Tim Burton´s movie 9), sends all gig goers back to their homes or hotel rooms.
Bottom line: Super sound – one could understand every word and enjoy every solo – a homely atmosphere and an awesome vibe among the crowd all contributed their share to a perfect evening. However, I definitely wouldn´t have minded an entire acoustic gig. Maybe in two years then.