Parking in the Sydney CBD. It’s a nightmare, especially if you don’t frequently drive there. Miss just one turn and you are screwed, caught in an endless maze of one way’s as you try to work your way back to where you should have been.
I had a VIP pass for the show. I also purchased the VIP sticky pass for my cousin. Initially, the VIP pass was to allow you inside the venue 30 minutes before normal doors opened for an acoustic show by at least one member of Coheed and Cambria (COCA). I then saw on Facebook a few days before the show, that all VIP pass holders for the Australian and New Zealand shows will be a meet and greet session instead of the acoustic show.
Due to my issue with the parking, i didn’t know if the meet and greet went on as planned. When i got into the venue (which was 10 minutes before the doors opened), I was treated to Travis Stever performing an acoustic song from his side project. I didn’t realize he was such a good vocalist but it wasn’t what I wanted to see. By the way, the meet and greet didn’t happen in Sydney, however it happened in Brisbane. Apparently, too many people had VIP passes for the Sydney show, hence the acoustic set.
Coheed and Cambria is Claudio Sanchez. So when i saw the rule that at least one member of Coheed and Cambria will perform an acoustic song, i always assumed it would be Claudio, since he is the vocalist and the guitarist and the main songwriter for Coheed.
So yeah, Travis played a song from his side project. This was unfair to the Sydney fans, it was unfair to me. Australian fans do not get a chance to see Coheed and Cambria all the time, so an acoustic song with Claudio should have been the norm here. Next time guys, keep us in the loop. COCA fans are devoted to COCA, but remember it’s a two-way street. Don’t fall into the one way street train of thought that a lot of bands seem to have.
Then Circa Survive came on. I haven’t heard a song from them, so i was interested into hearing what they are like. What a disappointment? All I can say is that they are the most luckiest band in the world, as Coheed as taken them around the world on The Afterman tour. I like a song to have a good riff. Coheed have a lot of songs that fall into this category. Circa Survive don’t have that. The last song Get Out and the second last song, The Difference Between Poison and Medicine Is The Dose weren’t bad songs, however that was it. Actually one of the guitarist’s stormed off the stage pretty quickly. He was tuning up his guitar the whole night, which was confusing, however there was an incident early on in the set where the singer hit the neck of the guitar, so maybe something got messed up there.
COCA opened up with No World for Tomorrow. The title track from their 2007 album, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. This is where Claudio (the character) comes to grips with the fact that he is The Crowing and sets out for the ultimate battle with Wilhelm Ryan and Mayo Deftinwolf.
This is the battle cry. COCA is the ring master and the fans are the IRObots. It was the perfect opener.
Bye, bye world, or will our hope still hold on?
Boy, you’re never going see,
The things that will come of these (days.)
Raise your hands high!
Young brothers and sisters,
There’s a world’s worth of work and a need for you.
Oh, a change is coming, feel these doors now closing in.
Is there no world for tomorrow, if we wait for today?
In the whole story arc of The Armory Wars, the characters are tools of fate. Raise your hands high, young brothers and sisters. We are at the show, and Coheed and Cambria has come of age. They opened up with No World For Tomorrow and then took us to the pop/punk – emo tones of A Favor House Atlantic.
A Favor House Atlantic is from In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.
During the War of the Mages started by Wilhem Ryan, Althaddeus Favor was a Mage that disappeared, and it remains unknown what happened to him. Ryan then moved in on his home, the House Atlantic. This part of the story came to light during The Year Of The Black Rainbow release.
A Favor House Atlantic is about the death of Al The Killer. At the start, Al betrays Claudio (the character), as he takes the group to the House Atlantic, which is Wilhelm Ryan’s headquarters. Al redeems himself at the last-minute, and helps the group to escape, which in turn will cost Al his life. The Bye Bye Beautiful part is said to Ambellina who Al started to like and it was for that reason he made his last heroic stand.
Bye bye beautiful
Don’t bother to write
Disturbed by your words and they’re calling all cars
Face step, let down.
Face step, step down
It is well-known that Coheed and Cambria songs have dual meanings, referencing real life events that then are woven into the story arc. There are good arguments put forward on a lot of Coheed blogs, that mention this song is about the Columbine shootings.
Goodnight, Fair Lady was up next continuing with the pop rock feel started with A Favor House Atlantic. We have gone back in time for the story. Back to the time of Sirius Armory. This is another song with a dual meaning. In the context of the story, this is where Meri, the wife of Sirius is saved from having her drink spiked by a police officer called Grave Colten. Sirius is presumed dead at this point in time, as his ship had exploded. In real life, it is about a creepy looking guy at a bar. The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.
I’m the snake waiting for you, dear
And eventually you’ll come to me
I know you will
The Crowing kept the pop rock feel going. This is where Claudio (the character) is woken up by Ambellina, a member of the Prise (a form of guardian angels) who has been sent out to protect Claudio and ensure that he becomes The Crowing, the one foretold in the prophecy, that will be responsible for the end of the Keywork. It is from the album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.
If I form mistakes, would I take them back
If erasing them could, if erasing them would
But would they be the words that I would say
Next up is Vic the Butcher and the show has moved away from the pop rock feel into a more heavy rock feel. Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher, is about Claudio’s and Chondra’s real life relationship. In relation to the story Vic is a tyrannical general who massacred innocent people for the good of the cause. The Achilles heel for Vic The Butcher is Sentry The Defiant, the Sargeant that defied Vic and paid the price with his life. The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.
Baby I’m bad company,
And you don’t have a mark
You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen
Come with me, I want to make you dirty
This will cut you down to pieces
One-eighty-four, let’s burn it down
And if I can’t keep from living with this regret
I’ll need to change the way I think
The show now went into the mellow part of the night. The hair from Claudio was all tied up.
Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful is the opposite of Vic The Butcher. It’s about loss, when a person that we love is gone, how would we feel. Evagria pulled Sirius from Vic’s possession and acts as his savior from the souls who want him. The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.
I am not who I seem, who you thought I could be,
The support you could lean up against when you need,
I’m the dark when you want, the lights out at all costs,
This is mine, that is yours, I’m the bricks in your wall.
The Afterman started with the beautiful delay lead written by Travis, that goes throughout the whole song. The song was written when Claudio’s (singer) wife Chondra, found out that a very close friend passed away via Facebook. In relation, to the story, this is where Meri, Sirius’s wife hears the news that Sirius Armory is feared dead, after his ship explodes.
She gave her heart to a falling star
When news filtered through of his tragedy all the walls went up
Around a world she declines
As the tears from her eyes fall
No one understands, and no one will
All she has lost
Here We Are Juggernaut is heavy. It’s a perfect pick me up after The Afterman. In real life, it is Claudio referring to his wife Chondra as his secret weapon and together they are unstoppable. In the Amory Wars story, it refers to the characters Coheed and Cambria, the growing attraction they are felling for each other, the discovery of Wilhelm Ryan’s plan to siphon the universe’s energy for his own use and the plight of Dr. Leonard Hohenberger, the creator of Coheed and Cambria. Here We Are Juggernaut is the battle cry. It is from The Year of The Black Rainbow album.
We were stupid, we got caught
But nothing matters anymore
So what? Here we are, juggernaut,
So let’s hang us a hangman, we’ll bury our burdens in blood
Dark Side of Me is about allowing people into your world, the good and the bad. As mentioned by Claudio in the deluxe edition book, “True intimacy lies in the dark side, in making peace with the fact that it lives somewhere, so that you share it with the person and they can be there to help you overcome it.”
In relation to the story, this is after Meri had died in a crash caused by Sirius after she told him she couldn’t be with him and that she was carrying the baby of Officer Colten. The song is on The Afterman; Descension album.
“You had a million chances to play the hero for her, but you made your choice and hers too. You left that woman in the dark and came back like you could just turn the light on? If you loved her, you would’ve stayed up there Sirius, you would have let her go.” Colten said to Sirius.
I gave my everything
For all the wrong things
In this cold reality I made
This selfish war machine
Oh, this has become hell
How can I share this life
With someone else?
I promise you
There is no weight that can bury us
Beneath the ghosts of all my guilt
Here in the dark side of me
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is the closer of the first set. Its epic and the crowd sang it all the way through. Man Your Battle Stations is the war cry as the Rebel army prepares for war.
In the seventh turning hour
Will the victims shadow fall?
Should the irony grow hungry?
With the victory and all they sought for
We were one among the fence
One among the fence
The encore begins. Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute was written before the final Michael Todd (ex bassist in Coheed) episode. In relation to the story line, Domino is a form of energy in the Keywork, angry and bitter, forever stuck in the afterlife.
The story of Domino, a boxer with talent that gave in to all of the temptations of fame, like drugs and fell in with the local mafia boss. After losing a fight against the current champion, Domino is offered a chance to redeem himself to the mafia boss by committing a robbery. He convinces his brother, to help him. It all goes wrong, his brother gets killed and Domino unable to live with himself, commits suicide. The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.
Welcome Home is closer, with its Led Zeppelin Kashmir groove. It’s as epic as Kashmir. A song dealing with loss that turns to anger. The Writer is the character in this, he is the reaper, about to kill a woman that he loves as she pleads for her life. The song is on the Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness album.
One last kiss for you
One more wish to you
Please make up your mind girl…
Before I hope you die
Overall, Coheed put on a show. They easily could have played another 5 to 6 numbers, and in my view they should have, as they don’t tour Australia often. I remember Dream Theater put on a three-hour extravaganza the first time they toured here.
Also a big thumbs up to Josh Eppard on drums (Welcome Home) and Zach Cooper on bass. You guys killed it.
Till next time.
One last thing, parking cost $29. Nice hit on the wallet. Thanks Sydney CBD for ripping people off again. At least the Beef Yeeros at Brighton Le Sands made up for it.