ARTIST: COHEED AND CAMBRIA | VENUE: THE RITZ, MANCHESTER | 01/02/2016

SUPPORT: GLASSJAW 

RATING: 6/10 

I’ll start this review quite differently than any other, so as strange as this gets; bare with me. I’ll start by picturing the scene in the Gents toilets at the O2 Ritz, where I overheard to gentlemen discussing what and where their first Coheed and Cambria show was. One of the gents passionately talked of how his first Coheed show was at Download Festival eight years ago. And this is where an epiphany hit me; Coheed and Cambria don’t just have fans. They have dedicated fans. Who after hearing them don’t just listen to them from time to time, they fully support them and go to every show they do in their town. Promoting their 2015 album, ‘The Colour Before the Sun’, the band brought Glassjaw over with them from the states after touring over in their home country before hitting the UK. But before I discuss the main act of the night, we’ll talk about the main support first.

Long Island band, GLASSJAW (8) are not a new upcoming band and have been round for quite a while. Consisting of vocalist Daryl Pulumbo and guitarist, Justin Beck, the band have evolved and progressed over time, changing members constantly throughout their span. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not a tight band by any means of the matter. Their sound was flawless. Sounding like a deranged cousin of Incubus, Deftones and Rage Against the Machine, the band thunder though their set. Starting with tracks like “Tip Your Bartender” and “Mu Empire”, they throw the crowd into their set instantly, with their constant switch between pure adrenaline anger to calming cleaner vocals constantly, immersing you completely. Something to be admired is the fact that Pulumbo puts the crowd’s attention on the rest of the band when he’s not singing; stepping to the side of the stage and pointing to the rest of his band. Showing that the band stands together and not as individuals. The band also performed new tracks like “Shira.”

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Showing off Pulumbo’s signature droning ambient chorus vocals, captivating the crowd as they all seem to be immersed by it all. It should be pointed out too that the band seem to have not aged one bit, and act seemingly as young as upcoming bands of today’s music scene, which should be genuinely admired with a slight sprinkle of jealousy. The band finishes their show with a track off their second album, “Serbian Kiss”. Putting a close to their energetic and angry set, but the crowd loved it nevertheless. In a nutshell, Glassjaw were a great main support and a great warm up for the main act.

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As the background music and lights fade out, the crowd roars with ear piercing excitement, as they know what they came for has finally arrived. And in matter of moments, COHEED AND CAMBRIA (5) had arrived; starting with one of their new optimistic releases “Island”, the crowd goes crazy, pushing an influx of energy around the venue. Soon after, the band twists and turns into its darker ego, playing “Key Entity Extraction V”, becoming a heavier entity. Playing something that’d you’d expect from Alter Bridge. Claudio Sanchez’s vocal are on point, looking like the love child of Slash and Dave Grohl, he effortlessly sings through the set with ease, backed by lead guitarist Travis Stever.

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Who has undeniable guitar skills, as he plays challenging leads whilst doing back vocals also, the concept being of it is mind bending. The set overall blends a nice mix of anthemic hard rock whilst jumping into metal throughout the show, which stops the set from becoming very repetitive, though the length of the songs do begin to tire personally. I believe that to be something of a Marmite topic; some love it others hate it. The crowd itself was something I hadn’t seen in a while, a crowd fully captivated; singing along so loud at points they were louder than the band. Playing the show out with an encore of “Ten Speed” and “Welcome Home”, the audience seems pleased and so was I. Though the band didn’t have or need hundreds of backing tracks, they were extremely tight as band.

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But yet gave you a taste of band which probably started in a garage somewhere, giving you a dose of authenticity and originality without any gimmicks, just guitars and well written songs. And that’s all their fans needed as well, and they got that and more tonight.

WORDS: MATT LUNN / PHOTOS: SAM CROWSTON

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