man your battle stations

There’s nothing like a good face-melting, and all you have to do to get one is attend a Coheed & Cambria show. On November 17, 2007, I did just that at Austin’s Waterloo Park.

Touring in support of their most recent album, No World For Tomorrow, the boys served up an amazing and lengthy set that made standing in the rain and sitting in the mud completely worth it.

Due to their excellent musicianship, Coheed & Cambria will always be good. What makes them great is their showmanship and connection to their fans. Their music is naturally theatrical, so they don’t need to rely on big sets or props to convey a sense of grandeur. They don’t shy from their hits and play a fairly equal mix of material from all of their albums. Though they remain stoically in character for the most part, occasionally a genuine smile will slip – often in conjunction with the crowd cheering the epic nature of a solo or Claudio’s coiffure.

Adding to the experience of seeing Co&Ca live is the sense of community. Bringing in the likes of everyone from cute hipster girls to greasy, D&D-playing metal kids, the band unites a wide cross-section of people for one night to raise their fists and half-shout, half-sing “man your own jackhammer, man your battle stations” to spine-tingling effect and stand rapt for a twenty-minute rendition of “The Final Cut”. This is not something every band on the planet can accomplish.

Also on the bill were The Fall of Troy and Clutch. The Fall of Troy offered finger-tapping and head-banging to songs that fell along the metal/hardcore continuum with an occasional nod to pop-punk, while Clutch played blues-infused rock that leaned a little too far toward rap-rock vocals for my liking. The band does get extra points, though,  for handling a massive PA failure that cut their set short with grace.

Find out more about the bands: Coheed & Cambria | Clutch | The Fall of Troy

listen up: with a heart so vicious

Made for my friend Jesse’s birthday, it ends up being a love letter to emo.

With A Heart So Vicious Tracklist

01| Bayside – Masterpiece

02| From First to Last – Note To Self

03| Armor For Sleep – Car Underwater

04| Brand New – Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades

05| The Impossibles – This Is Fucking Tragic

06| Blood Brothers – Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck

07| This Providence – Card House Dreamer

08| Head Automatica – The Razor

09| Fall Out Boy – XO

10| Coheed & Cambria – Devil In Jersey City

11| Alkaline Trio – Queen of Pain

12| Saves the Day – Bones

13| Taking Back Sunday – Error: Operator

14| The Academy – Slow Down

15| The Get Up Kids – Forgive and Forget

16| Jimmy Eat World – No Sensitivity

17| The Jealous Sound – Anxious Arms

18| Say Anything – Spidersong

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