There is magic in the air tonight. You can feel it on your skin and you can taste it on your tongue. You can see it in the eyes of the person stood next to you looking up at the stage in complete awe and wonder. You can feel it resonating from the amps and the bass drum and the microphones that fill the Koko stage. This is Coheed And Cambria performing ‘Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV Volume 1’ in full and it is absolutely fucking amazing.
First up though, there’s the small matter of Leeds riff lords Dinosaur Pile Up who warm up the already rampant crowd with their 90’s worshipping wall of noise. The band suit the sort of audience that Coheed attract and receive a rapturous applause as each of their devastatingly groovy blocks of sound come to close. You can see how much appearing on this stage means to the trio and it is a delight to watch them work in perfect unison. With a headline tour just announced, these continue to be a band to keep a curious eye on. (4.5/5)
The world that Coheed have crafted through the band over the years truly is a sight to behold. On top of creating a whole universe and story arch of extreme depth for those who wish to venture into it, there are novels and comic books to get lost in as well, and you can tell how well rehearsed the crowd gathered here tonight is in all three. The connection and the respect between fan and band is unlike anything else and on more than one occasion during this emphatic set it sends shivers coursing up your spine.
It’s difficult to put into words exactly what it is that the band achieve over the hour and half that they are on stage. It is a victory on such an unprecedented scale that you can’t help but just sit back and take it all in. Emotions fly about on so many different levels and shift between utterly triumphant and beautifully poignant within seconds. Tears are wiped away from faces as much as fists are pumped in the air. It’s almost as if the passion that exudes from the crowd drives the band to go harder as they smash at their instruments more and more vigorously with each passing symphony. ‘Good Apollo’ seems to be an album that has struck a chord deeper than just riffs and lyrics and that effect is clear through how devoted the faces of the people screaming back the words to the gloriously heavy ‘Welcome Home’ and gorgeously romantic ‘Wake Up’ look. Hell, even the full on jazz freak out of closing opus of ‘The Final Cut’ has arms raised aloft and bodies moving rhythmically to each battering note. Nobody stands still, nobody is silent and nobody is looking anything less than ecstatic.
The only way that one can truly comprehend how utterly life-affirming, ambitious and extraordinary this Coheed show was, is to try and experience it for oneself. A performance of such power and intricacy on such a grand stage doesn’t come along very often, but when it does it deserves to be treasured, shared and remembered. Nobody who was stood inside of the Koko on the 19th of June 2017 will be forgetting what Coheed And Cambria produced there that day anytime soon. (5/5)
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)