Last Thursday evening progressive sci-fi rockers Coheed & Cambria headlined a triple bill with help from The Dear Hunter and UK’s Porcupine Tree. The triple bill landed on a comfortable cool evening at the Nautica Pavilion, a perfect night to take in a show. The venue sadly was not packed at all as ticket sales suffered but all who did show up that evening enjoyed three levels of prog-rock any aged fan could appreciate.
A fine mix of Coheed and Porcupine Tree fans gathered around the stage to give the night’s openers The Dear Hunter a chance. The alt-prog act from Boston, Massachusetts took to the stage while the sun slowly crept away to open up the night. Upon their first couple songs much of the crowd did not seem to pay attention but soon were sucked in to what sounded like a Mars Volta meets Queensryche. Their set seemingly became more impressive through the lengthy songs to the point where people started turning their heads to the music. Not being too familiar with their material I was impressed with what i heard.
UK’s Porcupine Tree took to a freshly vacuumed stage – yes, someone vacuumed the stage prior to them taking it – just after 9pm. Older fans of the band, that started as just a concept in 1987, gathered around the stage and focused all of their attention to the band and the visuals being show on the backdrop. Opening with “Ocean’s Razor” it was clear that I had never heard of them before. I for some reason thought they were a newer act but was just a little bit wrong as I soon discovered they have been around for a little bit.
At one moment lead singer Steven Wilson asked everyone in the house if they sounded ok due to the position of the stage. He then commented that everyone was treated to two shows – them and the Cleveland skyline. Comically declaring “that’s one big reverb” got more than one laugh from the crowd but also hinted to the soundboard that they were not happy with their sound.
The videos that played behind Porcupine Tree was full of random clips and psychedelic light shows that periodically would sync up with the music. At times I would almost fall into a musically fueled trance watching the screen trying to figure out what was going to happen next. The prog-rock was almost a prog-jam during certain moments of their set was a lot more progressive than I anticipated but delivered a killer set. I know I was not the only one impressed and I am pretty sure a lot of the younger Coheed fans went home later that night to check them out a little more.
The band thanked the fans for their support, thanked Coheed for their invitation, and then announced that it was the last night of their tour and that they would be retuning home. For a band that has not really been plastered all over the radio it was refreshing to see an act 23 years in the making take the stage and play their hearts out showing no indication that they will be slowing down anytime soon. I will be checking these guys out a lot more now that I saw them.
Porcupine Tree Setlist:
The Blind House
Kneel & Disconnect
Drawing The Line
Russia On Ice
The Start Of Something Beautiful
Way Out Of Here
The headliners of the night, also known as Coheed & Cambira, took to the stage and opened with “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. Claudio Sanchez and crew tore up the stage with their sci-fi prog rock goodness to all of their adoring fans, well, those who decided to show up. The pit was sparse and the bleachers were not filled that all. It was almost depressing to see the turn out of the evening as many of the older fans who came to see Porcupine Tree headed out after their set.
Coheed did not let that bother them at all playing through with “The Suffering”, a song I sang along to as loud as possible. Continuing with selections from their latest release Year Of The Black Rainbow the band rocked out to “Year Of The Juggernaut” and the acoustic “Pearl Of The Stars” with Claudio whispering to the adoring crowd. Starting strong the band had a couple of lulls in between songs but kept the momentum going with “Delirium Trigger” and closed out with the always amazing “No World For Tomorrow”. With fans screaming for more the band took the stage for a couple more songs ending the night with one of my favorites “Wake Up” where the entire place sang along with lighters in the air.
Having seen Coheed many times in my time including last year at Bonnaroo I could not say this was the best show that I have seen by them but was far from terrible. The fans sang along with practically every song but at times when Caludio turned the vocal duties over to the crowd it almost became difficult to hear them due to lack of a bigger fan base supporting guest duties. I would have loved to seen more people fill up the venue that evening but at the same time was perfectly contempt with the almost seemingly intimate set.
The term “you get what you pay for” came to mind after the show’s end. Three amazing bands took to the stage that night with long sets giving all who attended their money’s worth. I do wish that some of the Porcupine Tree fans stayed a little longer to check out Coheed before calling it a night. I am pretty sure they would have enjoyed what that amazing band had to offer.
Coheed & Cambria Setlist:
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
Ten Speed (of God’s Blood And Burial)
Here We Are Juggernaut
Pearl Of The Stars
When Skeletons Live
The Willing Well 1: Fuel For The Feeding End
No World For Tomorrow