Monday, May 15, 2017

Coheed and Cambria w/ The Dear Hunter @ First Avenue 5/13/17

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Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument, concert, night and guitar
Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and concert

Photos per Nate W on Instagram

So this show was a big deal to me given Coheed played Good Apollo 1, my favorite of theirs and a 5-star record, etc.

And with The Dear Hunter of course, And great to see them together, a billing that happened maybe 2 or 3 times historically, but I'm not sure if it's happened in 5 or 6 years.

First Avenue: I arrived 1 hour before the 7:30 PM listing online for the doors. I was maybe behind 20 or 30 people. Did my usual walk straight upstairs once I get inside, hunting for a chair so I wouldn't have to stand for 4+ hours.

No chairs on either side available. It seems nearly if not all of them were taken by Coheed's VIP members, at different levels.

Luckily though, I managed to snag one from 1 of the tables wayyy off to the obstructed view area. And I managed to move it to an area I could hear and see the stage, but not on the rail/front in the balcony.

Now I met a bunch of very cool people there, as I often do, which seems almost a very high percentage at concerts I attend, are not from the Twin Cities.

-A few guys from Duluth waiting in line.

-A couple from Iowa who I sat behind, and were nice enough to save my chair while I went to get Merch (which I picked up some of the Coheed Amory Wars graphic novels involving Good Apollo, and Act IV Score Book, which I hope to show in a video soon).

-2 guys at the Merch table who were huge TDH fans, which was kind of rare surprisingly. The line for Coheed Merch was like 20 people long, But there was no one in line at TDH table. Although they had no cds to sell which was odd.

Travis and I forget the other guy's name. But Travis I think is the fella whose also into Cloud Cult and I may see at the Northrop show coming up next month. And I also mentioned to 1 of them, I think it was the other fellow TDH fanatic about The Family Crest show at Turf next Saturday. I think he told me he lives in Mankato. But a few hours for TFC, if he enjoys them like I do, might still be worth it.

2 TDH fans (a couple I think) from Winnipeg as I was walking to my car. They did see the show at Fine Line I missed, I asked the guy I was chatting about if he knew the band The Psychics who are from Winnpeg, but he did not. But he was a Porcupine Tree fan (but didn't know Marillion, which I shared my Chicago story with him while waiting for the light to change).

Coheed did not have, or had sold out of copies of Good Apollo 1 Vinyl  when I got to the front of the line, which to go along with getting shut out on Record Store Day for it, is a 2nd strike. I am going to have to monitor many sites soon for a copy as I really need a copy on vinyl of that album.

About the show:

Clip per The Dear Hunter's twitter 

The Dear Hunter: This was likely the largest crowd to ever see them perform in Minnesota, which beyond anything else is a good thing. Also Gavin Castleton was with them as he was last September (the show I missed), and I was happy to go up and meet after the show. Very cool guy, who I name dropped probably a dozen bands, many of which he knew which I found cool. He's a sElf fan, per the fact both him and Matt Mahaffey are multi-instrumentalist songwriters (like Casey too of course). Kevin Gilbert of course didn't ring a bell, but he doesn't to many.

But TDH's actual performance was quite good as always, albeit shorter than I'm used to. The big issue though for me was the MIXING. I could barely hear the vocals at times. Now part of that could have been per there were 2 or 3 Coheed fans behind me who talked literally during 75% or more of TDH's set.

Although I still suspect the fact I heard a lot more bass and guitar and the vocals seemed buried, even with those babblers in my ears, I wonder if the people behind the board may not have been aware of the balance (or lack-of).

Set list? I totally get that it's a set list Casey and the band want/like to play, etc. And it's as an opener/support so not as much ground was covered (even playing a 10+ minute track like "The Night on the Town" etc might not have worked for this tour per that reason).

Mostly songs from Act IV and V logically, along with 2 or 3 songs from TCS and and Act III. And it was neat to hear that Beatles outro at the end.

As for Coheed, I adore Good Apollo 1. It is such a melody/hook and energy fest, it never gets old. I am a sucker for incredible hooks. And the band had a very cool Video for each and every song which added a lot frankly.

Although I will try and make a video or 2, getting more into this show and maybe Good Apollo 1, but I can say, the concept about a playwright of some kind being self-tortured either in his story/trying-to-write the story, and/or real life experiences kind of hit me more than it ever did before. Almost that I really want to read those GA Amory Wars Graphic Novels I bought.

But at the same time, for the year 2005, I can't place it #1 still because as progressive as it is, when it comes down to it, the meat of the album is major-key melodies, which I love immensely when done well and strongly, but compared to some other 5-star records, I don't see it as quite as unique or adventurous.

Mind you, I still find the album and tons of things about it very progressive and appealing, but I can follow why say in 2005, I look at Between the Heart and the Synapse being slightly better. I almost see GA1 like Fair to Midland's Fables from a Mayfly, strong  melodies and energy hitting you left and right. But that's the biggest takeaway from it.

Also "The Telling Truth," specifically the 1st 4 or 5 minutes and then the end is really a Reprise/Coda or Overture of 3 or 4 of the main themes/melodies which I guess I never consciously thought-about or realized.

And a song like "Ten Speed (of God's Blood and Burial)" and maybe "Crossing the Blade" sound an awful lot like Iron Maiden at times, specifically the song "The Trooper" which Claudio I know has admitted to enjoying and maybe even covering.

"Mother May I" might be my favorite track on this record now. Love it to bits.

All in All, an epic show that I sweated buckets at and was very happy to get to witness.

I would like to see In Keeping Secrets live someday, but I dunno if it'll happen again. And at First Avenue? I am not sure I can handle another Coheed-mob there again, but who knows how I'll feel or even if they will end up there if they do come back again to do it.

1 of 5  of my 5-star records I've now seen live. Which I should post a list soon about (not just 5-stars, and include even Tributes).

The Dear Hunter
The Moon / Awake
Mustard Gas
The Revival
The Most Cursed of Hands
Is There Anybody Here?
This Body/She's so Heavy (The Beatles)

Coheed and Cambria
Keeping the Blade
Always and Never
Welcome Home
Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)
Crossing the Frame
Apollo I: The Writing Writer
Once Upon Your Dead Body
Wake Up
The Suffering
The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court
Mother May I
The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End
The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth
The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
Bron-Yr-Aur (Led Zeppelin)

Delirium Trigger
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3