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The Mass Media

Coheed and Cambria’s ‘Neverender’ Tour Hits Boston

Coheed+and+Cambria+lead+guitarist+and+frontman%2C+Claudio+Sanchez%2C+performing+at+the+Blue+Hills+Bank+Pavillion+in+Boston%2C+MA.+Photo+courtesy+of+Craig+Bidiman%2FUMass+Boston+Staff.%26%23160%3B

“Coheed and Cambria” lead guitarist and frontman, Claudio Sanchez, performing at the Blue Hills Bank Pavillion in Boston, MA. Photo courtesy of Craig Bidiman/UMass Boston Staff. 

It has been nearly 12 years since Coheed and Cambria released its landmark major-label debut with the brilliant “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear through the Eyes of Madness.”

To celebrate the success and impact of “Good Apollo,” the band embarked on a national tour to perform the album in its 75-minute entirety every night. And last week, the tour came through Boston and the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Despite the overwhelming chill of an outdoor venue in early May, the crowd was electric.

Opening the evening was The Dear Hunter, fronted by musical savant Casey Crescenzo—a man who wrote, performed, and recorded his own symphony, “Amour & Attrition,” back in 2014. But with his full-time project, The Dear Hunter, Crescenzo has spent the last 10 years or so telling a story of his own through five albums titled “Act 1,” “Act 2,” and so on—with the most recent being “Act 5, “With the Devil in Confessional,” which was released last year on Equal Vision Records.

The Dear Hunter has also released two standalone projects, “The Color Spectrum,” which is comprised of nine four-song EPs that represent the color spectrum, and an LP titled “Migrant.” Essentially, there is no stopping Crescenzo’s creativity or ability to construct rock music that packs so much into the form, constantly reinventing itself.

After a brief intermission, Coheed and Cambria began its set with the recording of the intro track, “Keeping the Blade,” playing to visuals on screens to entice and excite the crowd. And then out walks singer and mastermind Claudio Sanchez with an acoustic guitar to play the next track, “Always & Never,” which has such a lullaby feel to it, before breaking into the band’s biggest hit to date “Welcome Home.”

“Welcome Home” has become a standard within the modern prog (progressive) rock lexicon. Brandishing a double-neck guitar, first seen in the video for the song, Sanchez and company rocked out on stage as the crowd let loose.

As the album progressed, the band seamlessly went track-by-track, speaking very little to just give the crowd their money’s worth and a kick-ass rock performance.  Having seen the band a few times, it’s hard to find a more tight, solid, and composed set of performers.

The beloved ballad “Wake Up” called for lighters as the crowd got a chance to breathe and hold their loved ones, as well as sing along to some of the band’s more popular lyrics—”I’d do anything for you, kill anyone for you.” It’s sweet in a dark, sinister, Gothic kind of way—which is perfect for Coheed fans.

Then the band really kicked into overdrive with another successful single, “The Suffering,” a song that brought many fans to the band thanks to its catchy chorus, amazing riffs, and lively drums—as perfectly performed by the flamboyant and charismatic Josh Eppard. Eppard carried much of the excitement of the gig through his hilarious facial expressions and intoxicating energy as elaborate and psychotropic images repeatedly flashed behind him while the band played.

The aptly titled finale track, “The Final Cut,” ended the set with what I consider the best closing track to a concept album ever. It’s everything a finale track should be—dramatic, epic, and truly exudes conclusion.

This wasn’t the first time, however, that the band had performed this album on special occasion. Only a few years ago, Coheed toured select cities, at which the band played four consecutive nights—each night featuring a different album from the band’s discography to the point, with the third night being “Good Apollo.”

These strings of shows were called the “Neverender,” and this year’s “Good Apollo” tour was also given the “Neverender” tag—which thrilled fans who were eager to hear the entire album performed once again.

For a slight history lesson, fresh off the acclaim the band received from its triumphant sophomore album, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3,” which was released by Equal Vision Records in 2003, the band came out with a virtually untouchable follow-up that has transfixed its fans for well over a decade. And throughout the career of Coheed, fans have followed along with the seven-album epic concept story line called “The Amory Wars.”

What makes this album and tour more special is that the mind behind the band, Sanchez, has been crafting a series of graphic novels to coincide with the first three albums/sagas of “The Amory Wars.” However, a series for “Good Apollo” wasn’t announced or released until this tour was announced, which brought much rejoicing to the legions of fans and collectors of the band’s projects.

Another perk of the tour announcement was that for the first time since its release there was to finally be a vinyl pressing of “Good Apollo”—not even just one, but three! Something that made me incredibly happy as a vinyl collector and lover of this album.
Twelve years later, “Good Apollo” is still one of the strongest prog rock albums in the modern era and Coheed and Cambria are truly living legends for having written it and given so much to their fans for supporting it so much over the years.