I could’ve gone to see the Misfits but seeing how it would’ve been my fourth time, I felt like I had a pass to miss a fiend club meet up for the chance to catch Coheed and Cambria’s Unheavenly Skye tour with Mastodon and Every Time I Die at the Greek Theatre. The sweeping, virtuosic, narrative-driven, poppy, metallic music of Coheed and Cambria has always intrigued me. They captured a different sound and concept than any other band within the progressive genre, which I suppose is the only one you can fit them into. And so, this sweet summer night saw the clouds gather over Los Feliz to rumble with thunder and lightning because tonight, the Rock Gods were out to play.
Every Time I Die began the night with some of the best metalcore on the market today. I had been trying to catch them for awhile and was blown away by their intensity, fun, catchiness, and just how jagged their riffs were. Following them was one of the most important progressive metal bands of all time, Mastodon. I wouldn’t leave their accolades at prog metal though, they will have a lasting impact on all heavy music. It’s amazing a band this heavy was able to crossover into the mainstream, winning Grammys and being all over television. Mastodon always held a place in my heart, at one point they were my number 1 most seen band ever. And for good reason, there were times during Mastodon sets that I got so high that listening to their music and watching their visuals made me literally take a trip to another dimension. Though I was sober for this concert, I did travel a bit in my mind’s eye as the band played Crack The Skye from beginning to end. Hearing “Quintessence” always makes my mind travel places and completely detach, I mean that’s what the band is asking me to do every time they repeat “Let it Go” in the chorus. Other notable moments in the set were “The Czar” (obviously), “Ember City”, and perhaps their calling card, Blood Mountain‘s unrelenting “Blood and Thunder”.
Coheed and Cambria put on an incredible set that showed off so much musical talent by every player that it’s almost hard to comprehend it working under all the rock fury and pop sensibility. At first I had no idea what to expect but I left incredibly impressed. Claudio Sanches was able to bounce between different incredible guitars just as easily as he was able to go between heavy songs and softer ones. Celebrating his grandfather’s hundredth birthday, Claudio got us to sing happy birthday for the man. Memorable moments of the set were “The Gutter”, “The Suffering” and of course, the closer, “Welcome Home”, which is easily the last incredible riff ever written. There isn’t a riff as recognizable and potent as that one that has been written in the last twenty years. It just fills you with ideas of good versus evil and confrontation between warriors. It’s a riff that is motivated by epic stories made to play behind epic stories.
Words by: Rob Shepyer
Photos by: Maggie St. Thomas